There are a lot of highlights to moving into a new space after separation or divorce – a new place, a new neighborhood, new rooms, new furniture, new people – but many struggles come with the new.
You’re going through a transitional period when you’re moving and settling into a new space and new chapter of your life. T.H. and Jessica have both gone through these transition periods, and they understand the struggles and difficulties that come with this transition. They’ve lived it, and they get it. So let’s talk about it.
Before getting into the good stuff, let’s be open about the tough parts.
Jessica’s Top Woes:
- Having to move frequently. For her, the transition out of her second marriage included multiple moves, because finding an apartment isn’t easy and sometimes what you think will work out doesn’t. She had to rent furniture and even utensils, and not feeling like she was permanently stable took its toll on her.
- She couldn’t see her kids as often. With custody, and with moving, that limited her time with her kids, which was very difficult, especially during a tumultuous time in her life. Because of her moving situation, she was no longer the stable home parent, while her ex had been living in his apartment for eight years. “It was a harsh reality for me to accept the fact that when my kids think about going “home,” they’re thinking of his place,” Jessica admits. It made her kids more hesitant to come to her place because they’d have to pack bags for everything.
- Her last apartment sucked. It was dark, with no natural lighting, and being in that kind of environment sucked the life out of her. She started becoming depressed, and her therapist even recommended she buy a sun lamp for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder to at least get some more “sunlight” and vitamin D in her sun-deprived apartment.
“There’s the list of the most traumatic events in a person’s life,” Jessica recalls. “Those three events are the death of someone in your family, moving, and divorce. When you’re getting divorced, you’re basically going through all three of those things.”
T.H.’s Top Woes:
- The compromises that came with moving. When she recently moved with her kids, it wasn’t just into a new home, but in with someone else and theirs. For about seven months, her kids were living out of a suitcase in her new partner’s kid’s rooms. “It was a lot of compromises on his end, on his kids’ side, and my kids’ side,” T.H. remembers. Their family went from the four of them to so many more people in the family.
- The changing of their family dynamic. On top of them moving in with someone else, their father had sold his home and moved out of state at the same time. All of these things happening at once made the transition difficult, not only for T.H., but for her kids as well.
The best thing for T.H. was that her daughters were away at college and her son was at boarding school, so the transition wasn’t a daily situation for them. Summers were tough, but after they finally did get settled into the new home that she and her partner had been building, everything began falling into place. Now they’re living in a fantastic home, her kids and his kids have their own spaces, and it’s all working out. “It can be difficult,” T.H. admits. But this time, she was thinking of herself and putting her needs first, and in the end, it benefited all of them.
“As our kids get older, after you’ve been divorced and separated, you’re entitled to move on with your life,” Jessica emphasizes. It’s crucial to find a balance between prioritizing your kids but also giving yourself the freedom to move on. And for T.H., there was also alimony to consider. Her timing worked out perfectly in that she no longer needed the alimony when she cohabited with her current partner, but it was also something that needed to be discussed. You need to also think about whether or not you’re going to put your life on hold and pause it because of your alimony, or if you’re going to choose to move on without it.
Sure, there are lots of difficulties and obstacles when it comes to moving and transitioning to a new life and new home, but the outcome is worth it. Everything works out over time. It’s a rocky path at first, but in the long run, you’ll come out the other end feeling so much better about your life and the direction you’re going. It’s all about trusting your gut and doing what’s best for you.
“So just know that if you feel sometimes that your situation is dragging out or you’re having a transition years down the line, it does happen,” Jessica expresses. “You’ve got to be able to roll with the punches and you have to be able to keep things in perspective and just know that you’re always moving forward. Wherever you’re going, wherever you’re moving, you’re always moving forward.”