"Throughout this book, I felt Bruce had a secret window into my own life and private thoughts. Many private feelings I am currently dealing with were addressed and revealed in a manner that made me feel it is not only normal, but I am truly not alone in this. I was surprised that I cried while reading it and the comfort that the words brought me. I read tons of self-help books, among other types of books, and this book actually gives me hope and things to look forward to. My tears were from the fact that I am facing the words I read. I have been getting negative feedback from outside sources and these words reassured me not to listen, keep them out of your life and do what is right. The section on the other home/parent opened my eyes and freed me. I did not go into reading this book thinking it would help me on such a deep emotional level." ~Dorothy Justice, Vice Chair-Community Action Partnership

November 28, 2012

Moving Forward After Divorce

You may still be grieving and attempting to leave the past behind in order to let go. This is perfectly normal. Today, at this point in your development, reprioritizing and organizing your life for your future is what’s important now.
This article is the sixth segment in a twelve part series I developed for maximizing your opportunities for success after divorce called, “My 12 Point Ladder To Successful Divorce Transition With Children.” The fifth or last segment published,  “Working Past the Ex, Negativity and Games”, takes a look at new co-parenting roles in light of the divorce and new challenges which may result.

This segment, “Moving Forward”, is about designing your own new path. You may not have noticed, but you are a new person now. You may look the same in the mirror, but change is imminent. 

By this time in your transitional development, you are adjusting to your new household, your kids are settling into their new family dynamic, and you are managing to find a good balance that works with your co-parent for the benefit of the kids. 

You may still be grieving and attempting to leave the past behind in order to let go. This is perfectly normal. Today, at this point in your development, reprioritizing
and organizing your life for your future is what’s important now. 

For some of us it’s easy to let the past go by the wayside and move on. We pick up where we left off, no big deal. You may hear the words in some form, “I have my health, my career, the break was mutual, and we’re still friends—I’m satisfied with my divorce settlement and my kids.“  Couldn’t they all be this way. It leaves most of us wondering why the marriage couldn’t work since everyone is so flexible.

For another group, it’s not so easy. It’s a bit more extreme. It’s hard to imagine the preceding scenario since one or both parties can’t seem to find common ground anywhere. There’s more energy displaced on positioning themselves in the newly formed and ever-changing relationship. It’s a challenge moving forward coping and dealing with divorce affairs, which may bleed into issues around the children.

Third and final, there’s the group in the middle. It’s not extreme but it’s not a walk in the park either. There’s no conflict but someone just took the hit rather dramatically and it’s hard to believe its over. We were either blind-sided or for whatever reason it's one sided and can’t let go of the family.

In any case, most can agree divorce usually happens long before we’re ready to admit. No one is just using the “D” word. With few exceptions, we may be kidding ourselves that the marriage is working.  We stay for the kids, fear of change, denial, hope, or maybe fear of being alone itself.

Eventually what’s inescapable will conquer. The inevitable will happen. How we each survive divorce and breakups in general can take many forms. Coping includes moving forward in our personal life. For most of us, change isn’t a term we like to use unless we need. That may be at a greater cost if we’re caught not looking or unprepared. Regardless, change is smoother if we accept and embrace it.

After the initial year in the separation process and agreement, I started thinking about a new life for myself. I started to design my new life as if I had a second chance. All the interests I had that I couldn’t find time for were now all moving to the forefront.

There was no need to look back any more. I could envision a life with new meaning. This meant I could accept change and opportunity, new relationships, and now more importantly, a new outlook. All of this takes time of course and doesn’t happen overnight.

Where do I go from here? I had my kids and I had me. If I wanted my kids to have a decent shot in life, my career would need some priority. With pressure from colleagues and friends, I took a leap of faith and left my employer of nearly10 years. I had no idea at the time this would take me on a journey that would transform me.

I could have stayed and reaped the love I enjoyed for so many years from that employer. I had a cozy position and was compensated well. Eventually I determined staying would only be the safe route. I needed more at this time in my life. I wanted challenges from my career, for me. In a sense, I needed new.

What’s the plan? Did I have a plan? Not necessarily, but I knew I needed to keep moving and put new things in front of me. I knew enough at this point I didn’t want to repeat history or regress in my personal life. I started setting targets and goals for my life with my children.

Before long, many doors started to open. A change of pace and new scenery was what I needed even if I didn’t see it previously. This move would lead to a significant career change and then years later my own company startup—things were rolling.

I was motivated by seeing my children happy and wanted to keep it that way. I wanted them to have a life that wasn’t impacted by single parenthood. They deserved all the same benefits as a two-parent home—a safe, secure, warm, loving environment without judgment and opportunity to excel.

My kids were my inspiration- I didn’t want to let them down. I was already feeling extraordinary guilt for their unprecedented new household status. I worked hard and to some extent placed a lot of energy into my career—a sort of therapy for the soul.

More changes for me came when I began coaching--first at the request of my daughter’s soccer moms to coach volleyball and then my own solicitation in boys inline hockey for which my youngest daughter joined. I got the coaching bug. 

All culminated into coaching my daughters in multiple sports, tournament teams, and eventually ice hockey. I learned I could be a factor in many kids’ lives. I kept moving, I transformed, I grew in the process and my children reaped the rewards.

Lets be honest, it’s upsetting for all involved to go through a divorce and then try to bounce back- not an easy task. It takes time to move through all phases of loss after divorce. It may have taken me personally 2-3 years to finally feel whole again. My personal slogan I relied on time and time again-- grieve, but keep moving. 

Next Up! Building Structure- In Your Kids Security!

Bruce Buccio resides in Colorado, USA,  is a Rebuilding Coach and Expert and soon to be published Author. Today, he writes primarily inspired by experiences raising his children, but also writes about inspiration, growth, and love.

© 2012 Bruce Buccio

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