Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Divorced Woman's Secret

Since returning to work full-time, I am surprised to learn how many of my friends have divorced. You would never realize it on the social websites since these women either remove their relationship status or leave it as married. Once we reconnect after a long absence, they confess they are now single. This has me wondering whether the choice to remain silent on the social medias is a personal choice based on their privacy or one made because of the feelings of failure that follow many women after divorce. It's hard to tell unless I sit down and have a heartfelt talk with them.

This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. Most of these women were domesticated, having given up their careers to care for their children. Their husbands were the sole financial supporters and therefore in charge of the household finances. Which means that once they're single, these women are starting out with nothing to claim as their own. Their skills and talents are most likely outdated, and now they have to somehow earn an income and fend for themselves. If this is the case, it's a tragedy they remain quiet. It's an even bigger problem they go in quasi-hiding and don't reach out anyone. Not knowing where or how to move on is difficult to handle altogether, but going at it alone is a burden.

I know because I remained silent about my own divorce for nearly a year. There were several reasons why, but mainly due to traditional obstacles to preserve my mother's disappointment. I thought I was alone in my little secret, but it doesn't make my experience any easier knowing that my friends also went underground with their divorces as well. Especially if there was an element of shame or disappointment that encouraged that decision. As women, we need to band together for the emotional support but also to open ourselves up to opportunities. You'll never know what lays ahead when you reach out to friends, especially to those who are in the workforce.

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