About This Book

Chicken Soup's first book on divorce is wonderfully uplifting and filled with stories and poems from men and women who have been there and successfully navigated the divorce and recovery process. Heartfelt stories provide support, inspiration, and humor on all the phases of divorce, including the initial shock of the decision, the logistics of living through it, the inevitable self-discovery, and the new world of dating and even remarriage. Readers turn to Chicken Soup during the good times and the bad, and this book is a long overdue addition, created for the millions of divorced and divorcing men and women across the world.

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From surviving to thriving: 5 ways to find happiness after divorce

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Patty Hansen

From post-breakup getaways to custom-made divorce cakes, divorce these days appears to be a cause for celebration – for some. But what if your new single status has you running for cover rather than jumping for joy? Inspired by contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, here are five ways real-life divorcées managed to move on.

1. When you reach the end, start at the beginning. In times like these, moving out of your marital home may have you second-guessing your decision to divorce – especially as you take the real-estate plunge. But starting over doesn’t have to be scary. As Carol Randolph recalls in her story "An End is Also a New Beginning," leaving her home and friends for a shabby apartment left her in need of social support. To help her adjust to life post-divorce she joined a support group. Today, Randolph operates New Beginnings, a non-profit organization that serves as a resource for those struggling with divorce and separation. In helping others come to terms with the end of their relationships, she realizes that the experiences they shared have had a profound impact: "The ripples of my personal journey has touched the lives of many, whose own journeys have in turn profoundly enriched my life." And as Randolph reminds us, an ending is just a chance for another beginning.

2. Become your own best friend. For many women, divorce means letting go of one person and getting to know another: yourself. As Lynn Kinnaman writes in her story "Flashes of Brilliance," she was overwhelmed by the thought of being alone. "Now I had to make things work for me, and I didn’t know where to begin," Kinnaman writes. "The most puzzling questions before me were: Who am I? What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" Instead of mourning what she had lost, Kinnaman resolved to rediscover her passions. She experimented with different hobbies, trying dance and yoga classes, and went back to work full-time. Eventually, after a lifetime of providing assistance to her husband and children, Kinnaman got to know herself again outside of her roles as wife and mother.

3. Connect with your kids. Sachiko Iwanaga, a fifty-year-old divorced woman, received the support and encouragement she needed from an unexpected source. In her story "You Can Do This," Iwanaga remembers her anxiety about divorcing her husband and her worry over the negative effects it would have on her thirteen-year-old daughter. As moving day arrived, Iwanga’s daughter approached her unexpectedly: "She gave me a big hug. ‘You can do this, Mom,’ was all she said." By taking the time to talk with your children about your divorce, and letting them know that you foresee positive changes ahead, you just may find that your kids are more supportive than you realized.

4. Forgive, but don’t forget. For Laurie Max, changing her attitude about her ex-husband drastically transformed the way she viewed their divorce. In her story "Breathe" she describes how altering her perceptions helped her let go of bitter feelings, "Instead of focusing on the emotional and physical breakdown of my marriage, I began to remember the happy times that my ex and I shared. I let go of fear and opened my heart up to possibilities," she writes. So forgive your ex and yourself. Like Max, remember what was good in your relationship and examine what needed to change in order to move on and successfully approach new romantic relationships.

5. Free yourself to love again. With her two teenage daughters out of the house each weekend for their weekly visits to see their father, Brenda Crawford found herself in desperate need of a social life. She tells the story in "The Dating Game" of how a string of bad dates, some mortifying, some excruciatingly awkward with moments of brief agony, led her to find happiness in a new relationship. After each failed experience, she went back to her computer to log onto the online dating site where she was a member. Finally, her online efforts produced what she deemed "Mr. International," and who would later become "Mr. Right." Now with the comfortable view of hindsight, Crawford writes, "I still have the memories of dating and look back at how much I grew while finding myself." Determination and hope are essential when you dive back into the dating pool and be open the possibility of meeting someone.

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