Golden Piece of Advice for Divorcees

by MCR Correspondent

By Zahra Billoo

My five-year divorce anniversary recently passed, Alhamdulillah.

I post often about the process of meeting someone new, but less often about divorce itself. My intention in my postings is to remove stigmas, normalize challenges, and offer support to those who are experiencing similar. To the extent that even less communal support is available through divorce, sharing some lessons about it as well:

—Divorce is hard and sad, but it does not need to be toxic. Even when you cannot control someone else’s behavior, you can control your own.

—Divorce is not a failure. It is the end of a chapter. It was destined before the relationship even began.

—Get professional help. The right religious guidance, marital counseling, and even divorce attorney will help things go smoothly.

—Come back to your pre-marital agreements. Those are easy to lose sight of during tense moments but they will ground you if you let them.

—Be kind to each other in the process. Be kind to each other’s families in the process.

—Tell people something, but not everything necessarily, when the time is right. If you do not, they will wonder, and ask, and talk. Control your narrative.

—Hold each other’s secrets close. They remain private even after you have parted ways.

—Be generous. Justice is important but avoiding injustice is paramount. The lines get hard to read and so err on the side of cautiously generous.

—Give yourself some time to heal before moving on, even if you think you are well. Rushing does not serve anyone, least of all yourself.

—Make a clean break, if the circumstances permit. Absent children, you can wish your ex well but also do not need to remain in touch.

—Trust Allah. Above all else, trust Allah.

For those of you who are also divorced, what would you add to this list?

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