I know you have all heard of it – The Divorce Diet. Having issues getting off those extra pounds from the three kids you popped out? Get a divorce. For all the negative crap you have to deal with when you’re going through a divorce, the one upside is that it’s a great way to lose weight quickly. Kind of like a really bad case of the flu.
In all seriousness, it’s no laughing matter. Not being able to eat due to depression is never funny, and getting thin from divorce or life change isn’t funny either. But there is another kind of divorce diet that I’m talking about — and it isn’t the one where you stop eating because you are so depressed.
Misery Does Not Love Company
Not everyone who gets divorced is miserable when those papers are signed. In fact, some are elated. That doesn’t mean they don’t need time to heal because after any kind of life altering experience, change comes and it is always necessary to figure out how to navigate that change. No matter how happy you are to be out of your marriage that does not mean that you are healed from the heartache of the loss.
But, don’t misunderstand. Misery does not love company. There are times when you are miserable as a couple and don’t even realize the extent of the misery you are experiencing. I once had a client who was in a marriage and she was unhappy. There wasn’t anything that she could pinpoint that made her unhappy. She and her husband had fun together, they were great friends and the sex was fine; she just wasn’t happy being part of a couple.
Ultimately, they got divorced. What happened next for her was miraculous, and she didn’t even realize it. Her friends and family started to tell her how wonderful she looked and how great it was to see her smile again. Acquaintances at work approached her and said they had been afraid to speak to her before because they thought she was always angry and had noticed a huge change in her demeanor.
This miraculous transformation? It was really quite simple to explain – she had gone on The Divorce Diet. By “shedding” a living situation that wasn’t making her happy, she had “lost” almost 200 pounds in one fell swoop. And, when she shed that weight she found happiness, energy, light and strength.
The Key to Avoiding This Kind of Divorce Diet
Don’t be in a rush. Don’t get married unless you’re sure it is the right thing to do. We all have our niggling doubts, it’s when the can’t sleep, keep you up all night thoughts take over that you need to rethink what you are doing. It is infinitely better to call off a wedding than to go on this diet.
Although this seems rather obvious, the truth is, sometimes we get caught up in the planning of the wedding and not in the reality of the marriage. And women in particular are prone to this. Yet, when the last rose petal falls and the white dress comes off, the reality is that you have to wake up next to this person for the next 50 or 60 years of your life. Can you stand the way he (or she) chews, or drives or procrastinates that long? If not, don’t do it! You’ll save both of you much greater heartache in the long run.
When Avoidance Doesn’t Work
If you’re already in a marriage and the only avoidance that worked is the one you had of yourself and your true feelings of the relationship, it might be time to consider going on The Divorce Diet. If it is, respect your spouse enough to talk with them. They probably deserve that. Be honest with them about how you feel. Treat them with kindness, because you don’t know if they feel as if this marriage was the same kind of mistake that you feel it was.
Courtesy goes a long way when you own up to a mistake and apologies and being contrite go even further. Think of how you would want to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot, and act accordingly. After all, when you can once again fit into a smaller size, and show off your new figure, it’s the least you can do.