INTERNAL REPUTATION – Often for many of us Jandas the hardest pill to swallow is to accept the current reputation we have among our family, friends and random people we barely know. I say this with a great deal of humility to acknowledge that often rebuilding from the inside out takes a long hard look at ourselves and see where the damaged areas are. Perhaps your family, friends and random people you hardly know don’t really care that your marriage ended in divorce, or you survived domestic abuse. But my sense is people don’t want to be around someone who continues to be a burden to everyone else. If it makes you feel any better, others are not perfect human beings either with many themselves damaged individuals. So, please do not to worry, there are more damaged people around than you think and your job is to make peace with the fractures within you which will heal and make you stronger. So, please note the emphasis is on believing in yourself and each day continue on the journey to be the stronger woman you have been all along.
EXTERNAL REPUTATION – Ask any Janda and most will tell you that they want to get past the stigma associated with being one. The negative context of being a Janda is that of a damaged, used up woman whom is a burden to her family for her inability to support herself and her children if she has any. The economic precariousness of a Janda makes her dangerous for other married women worried of husband-snatching scenarios because there are scarcity of good eligible men out in the world. Single, never before married women may also sigh out when there is another Janda added into the single-and-looking pool. Again the scarcity of eligible good men to date makes it all an intense social exercise for married, single and recently Janda women alike.
HELPFUL TIPS TO REBUILD REPUTATION IN POST-DIVORCE LIFE:
Identify Friend or Foe. As discussed above the That’s the outer challenge, a Janda has to deal with. Internally the reputation of repairing the emotional wounds, the PTSD post-divorce abuses is another area where a newly single woman will have to deal with. It is important to identify clearly who are the neutral and trustworthy family and friends post-divorce. You may have to let go of some friendships, and/or limit interactions with unsupportive family members. That is okay. Your mental health is more important than keeping toxic people.
Create an Economic Independence Plan. Most of the external social stigma of husband-snatcher reputation stems from the lack of financial independence of a Janda. Many married women leave their previous careers to start families and are often left penniless when they divorce or become widowed. The lack of planning during the married years may be catastrophic and create a vicious cycle of staying in the Janda stereotype. One way to break out of that cycle is to have a plan in place. Do you need to get a job? A second or third job? What would the work be? Whom can you rely for help during the initial stages to make sure you and your children are safe? If you are staying with family members or with friends, have a goal of how long you would like to be out of their home and into one of your own. The mistake would be to think that the rough life is permanent. It is not and you have the ability to turn your life around.
Manage Your Health. Emotional and mental health are so dependent by adequate sleep, well-balanced nutritional intake, proper exercise and meditation. Just as important to have a financial plan, it is as important to have a health plan. Many Janda refocus on getting back on the fitness track post-divorce to regain the self-confidence wrecked or lost during their marriage. Many cannot afford the time to focus on themselves because of years dedicating themselves for the needs of others before their own. This is both inner- and outer-work where they reinforce the rebuilding of the self-esteem and your reputation to your self. How you perceive your self matters in the road to personal development.
Giving Back. There’s no better cure to end self-pity than the ability to help someone else in greater need than you. If you cannot donate money, you can donate in time. If you are short on both then you can pray for someone else in need. Sending positive and good thoughts for another create a layer of strength within you as well as a latent gratitude for life itself, yours and others.
The road to living at peace with our selves is a daily journey and you have EVERY opportunity to live your best life. You are responsible to a happy life that you promised yourself.