By Dana Greco,LCSW
Recent statistics state that divorced women with children are four times more likely than married women to have an income that is under the poverty line. A single mom is nine times more likely than a married woman to have an income that is less than half the official poverty line. Although 10% of families in the U.S. are headed by a woman, 40% of poor families have a female head of household. Of course, divorce also results in a higher cost to society as a whole. According to one study, a single divorce can cost state and federal governments more than $30,000 in court fees, increased bankruptcies, food stamps, and public housing benefits
These statistics are the result of poor planning and the decision to rely on the husbands income. When marriages end and the divorce is final, the marital assets have been divided, child support and shared parenting is all arranged and agreed upon, it is time to severe the ex-spousal attachment. This means you are no longer indebted nor reliant on him anymore. It is not in your best interest to perch yourself in the marital home, lunch with your other divorcee friends and bond over ex-husband bashing. It is time to pick yourself up from the debri of divorce and get back out there and become self-reliant and self-sufficient.
It is not uncommon for most divorce proceedings to take time. Therefore, during this process find yourself a therapist who won’t indulge with you in licking your wounds by sharing in ex-husband bashing you so much want to enjoy. Rather, it would be more productive that your therapist and you utilize the session to formulate a goal plan that is more empowering than sitting in her office each week blaming his mother for the way she screwed him up.
Let’s be honest we married him and no one is to blame but ourselves. But rather than spend the rest of your days being bitter or self-loathing,, and trying to make up for it by making myself feel better by taking his money and bask in the glory that he’s finally gone, when really he isn’t gone as long as there is a monetary attachment. My advice is if you haven’t finished with your education enroll immediately and get your degree, take a part time job, develop a support network with other mother’s to share the caretaking hours with play dates and sleepovers. Don’t stop until you are in a routine of growth and productivity.
Ex-husbands may be feeling guilty and offer extra money or comforts. As easy as it seems to accept his contribution, resist it, in essence it’s about control. As long as you rely on him for money he has control over you..If you think your life is easier because you don’t have to work, think again. What makes life easier is the freedom and control over your own life. The dependency you have on him only victimizes and imprisons you. It’s living your life as a coward. Take stock in your strengths and develop those skills that got rusty while you were home rearing children, or learn new skills. Get back in the work force, role model for your children and teach them how to be independent both financially and emotionally, Statistics report that 75% of divorced women remarry. Most of the time it’s because of financial security, unfortunately, these marriages are doomed like the first one. Do what is best for you and your children, rely on your own income even if it means scaling back on luxuries and lifestyle. Help your children especially your daughters develop better decision making skills, better judgement, value education and job experience and independence that will in long run protect them from being vulnerable and kept by their husbands.