Women have been completely screwed by society. Since we were in elementary school we’ve been taught to play nice, listen to your teacher and follow the rules. If we spoke up about something we considered unfair we were ignored or disciplined for being rude. We became self-conscious by being taught that we needed to make a good impression and appearances mattered. Then, once we became mother’s it was even worse. If we put our own desires first, we’re considered selfish. After all, aren’t moms supposed to sacrifice for their kids? Delay their own happiness until after they’ve graduated and left home?
All of these expectations have left us ashamed and guilty if we decide we’re unhappy in our marriage and want a divorce. For some women, it’s the pressure of her family who believes, for religious reasons, that divorce is wrong. Sometimes it’s her husband who convinces her that her desire to end the marriage will destroy the kids and screw them up for life and warns her that she’ll never be able to make it on her own. Other times it’s the woman herself who is afraid she’ll be labeled a bitch or selfish by her friends and neighbors for tearing up her family.
For many women, they want to remain the “good girl.” The one who doesn’t shake things up, who doesn’t speak up and say “Yes! I deserve to be happy.” They are the ones who suffer in silence and swallow their sadness and promise themselves that one day, when the kids are gone, they’ll leave and get their shot at happiness.
But here’s the problem – that day might never come. An unforeseen illness or tragic accident can, in a moment, change everything and the postponed happiness is gone forever.
We all deserve to be happy TODAY. This isn’t selfish, it’s self-preservation.
The reality is that no one is living your life but you. Your family isn’t with you day-in and day-out to see what’s happening, if your friends don’t support you, they’re really not your friends and, as for your kids, they will be absolutely fine. Kids are not only incredibly resilient but the tension they inevitably feel in an unhappy home is far greater and damaging than the momentary sadness they would feel from a divorce.
Are you ready to claim your happiness? The first step is overcoming your fear – fear of the unknown and fear of other people’s opinions. In my coaching practice I help women who are contemplating divorce or in the process to overcome fear, rebuild their self-confidence and deal with the oftentimes overwhelming steps required to start their new life.
Have you met with resistance from friends and family when you’ve mentioned divorce? Share your tips on how you dealt with it in the comments below.