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DIVORCE: 10 THINGS I LEARNED AFTER THE FACT--by Vicki Lansky

For anyone who hasn't been divorced, trust me— divorce is never what you imagine it to be.
Here are a few insights that may hopefully save you a trip to court— or at the very least, give you some idea of what may lie ahead. I know everything listed here might not apply to everybody (there's always going to be the exception to the rule) but it covers most of us.

It Takes Longer To Get Your Divorce Behind Than You Think. Or Can Allow Yourself To Believe.
I thought I had it together after a year. Then I thought I had it together after 3 years. Then I was impressed when I could say I had been divorced 5 years. Then I was devastated that I could be brought to tears in seconds after 8 years when something inappropriate— I thought— was said to me. I guess it's always "there" but fortunately with each passing year it feels longer ago, less important and more comfortable but unlike your child's owies, it's never quite all gone. As that old saying goes, marriage may not be forever, but divorce is.

Going Through Divorce Is A Physical Experience.
This one took me by surprise. My body seemed to experience a death defying whirlpool. I hate speed, roller coasters and the feeling of one's stomach dropping when on a turbulent airplane ride. But I can remember having all those feelings— simultaneously— while just sitting in a chair after we separated. Yuck! Fortunately this usually passes in 3 to 9 months. Shorter than than #1 but not short enough!

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