It was a blow to me when my ex-husband told me that he didn’t want to continue being married to me anymore because he had fallen out of love with me. I had not seen it coming. I thought our marriage was perfect, that we were meant for each other and that we would remain together until the end of our lives. I believed at the time that it was a good thing that we were never getting into arguments. I see now that the lack of communication between us was only a small part of what was not going well.
During my separation with my ex-husband, there was a lot of crying involved, a lot of self-pity, of thinking that my life had ended and that I would never be happy again. Because I am someone who likes to find answers on the Internet and in books, that was exactly what I did. I spent hours and hours on the web trying to find the solution to my marriage problems, or to give me the right coping mechanisms or the right things to say to my then 3-year old child about why his parents were separating.
The Internet provides a myriad of self-help columns and advice from experts. Unfortunately, they were all coming from abroad. What I realized then was that there was not one book available in local bookstores in Indonesia to help people deal with a divorce. The only useful advice I found on the Internet was a website from the Justice Department explaining the steps you had to take in order to ask for a divorce.
One day, while searching on the web, I fell upon an article written by Kristin Armstrong, Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. What she wrote opened my eyes to something I had completely forgotten to look after during my three years of marriage: Me.
I had somehow succeeded to put myself aside and become another person whose main identity was being a wife and a mother. I so wished that someone had told me how much I had changed back then. It was only then that I started to make some decisions in my life, decisions that I feel have greatly helped me in dealing with what I was going through.
Here are the things that helped me get through my divorce:
- Find an occupation; if possible, one where you are earning money
- Find out the things that define you as a person
- Surround yourself with girlfriends
- Do sports
- Find your “me time”
- Don’t stay bitter
About Vanessa Reksodipoetro
Vanessa is a single working mom living in Jakarta with her son Amal. Half French, she grew up and lived in many countries, but can't imagine being anywhere else than in Indonesia. Vanessa is passionate about her work at local NGO Yayasan Usaha Mulia, and about promoting social good in general. In her spare time, she enjoys watching TED talks and writing in her personal blog Et Voila.