Your Loss Is Your Gain

30 Dec

Thought I’d stop and check in on you. How’s your holiday been so far? It can be a tough time for a lot of people and divorced parents are no exception. There’s something about the season that can make us focus on what we’ve lost rather than what we may have gained. Whether or not you have a good relationship with your ex, the
griefholidays have a way of reminding you of the un-whole aspect of your family and then unceremoniously throwing it in your face. It may be because you’re not with your kids during the holiday. It may be because you are. It may be because you’re all together but in a very different dynamic than you were a few years ago. It may even be a very positive and happy time. But it’s still a reminder of what used to be and that things may be patched, but in some ways they’re still broken.

Believe me I get it. The hard part is that there really is no “fix.” As with the loss of a loved one, all you can do is that which fate allows, which is to acknowledge and move on. Be strong. Lick your wounds, stand up straight and use your experience to your advantage. In many ways the hurt strengthens us. There’s a grit to it that allows us to know we’ve been there and made it through. It doesn’t erase the negative or fill the emptiness, but there’s something about having lived through adversity that humbles us and reminds us that we’re human.

Look, I could sit here and do my best to pump you up with words of encouragement; telling you not to focus on the pain. But honestly, I think sometimes we need to morn our losses. We need to give our souls a chance to heal. To ignore the pain is no more healthy than it is to dwell on it. If you’re sad, that’s OK. Give yourself an opportunity to grieve. It’s a part of who you are and to ignore it would be to ignore an important element of the whole “you.” So embrace it. Accept it. Carry it with you. Hold it dear rather than bury it deep where it can do
the-only-cure-for-grief-is-actionmore damage. I believe that in each of our defeats there is a victory. In every mistake a lesson to be learned. The new year represents a new dawn and an opportunity to take the sum of our experiences and build on them. To create new goals and new aspirations. To find renewed determination to make it better. And in order to do that we need to remember the hurt as much as the pleasure. Let it inspire you. Let it motivate you.

Recognize that life is a mixed bag. Too much sugar isn’t healthy for the body. We need a proper balance of emotions to feel complete. So shed a tear for the losses, share a smile for the gains and look to tomorrow for new opportunities to sore higher than you’ve ever flown. And use these moments of emptiness to remind you of where you’ve been and how amazing it will feel to be full again. Then when you’ve given yourself a chance to take it all in and come to terms with it, it’ll be time to take action and put it all behind you.

Take advantage of this time to reflect on the past year, both good and bad. A new year is right around the corner and anxious to take you on new adventures. Let’s be ready to go and see where we end up!






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11 responses to “Your Loss Is Your Gain

  1. middle finger

    December 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you. The wounds are still fresh after an unwanted divorce and now she is talking about moving my 6 yr old daughter even farther away from me. I need strength and hope thar things are going to get better.

    • divorced dad

      December 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      You’re more than welcome. One of the reasons I keep writing is comments just like yours. They’re just as helpful to me. Hang tough. This is but one small moment in your relationship with your daughter. If she knows you love her and you continue to be there, it’ll all come back to you. You’re her dad. Always will be. And no one can take that fact away from you. No matter how much it hurts today, there are amazing moments to come. Just hang tough.

  2. Pat Rooney

    December 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Your point about grief is so right. We live in a world of good & evil and a lot of opposites. Keeping them in balance is a task we have to accept. Ignoring one or the other is not finding a balance. sometimes a “spoonful of sugar” helps. lol Thank you for your insights.

  3. Adams82

    January 3, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Thank you for this post. I just found this site tonight. Your comments are spot on. My little girl is 2 1/2 and My everything. My ex and I split our time with her 50/50. She’s a good mom and Im a great dad. Lately ive been dealing wih the feeling of being completely empty when she isn’t with me. I could care less about anything and anyone else when she’s not with me. I didn’t choose to be divorced, my ex wanted out and found someone two months before I found out and we separated.

    I’m bookmarking this site. Many thanks again.

    • billfilipiak

      November 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      No one can ever change the fact that you’re her dad. Nothing. Be patient and take it day by day. Give yourself a chance to let it sink in. You’re going to have good and bad days. It’s a huge adjustment and you’re likely going through a sense of complete loss. But it gets better. You’ll get your sea legs and your head will clear. Let it progress and evolve. Stay positive … You’ll get there and she will ALWAYS be your daughter. Always let her know you love her and that you’re always thrilled when she’s with you. Hang in there!

    • billfilipiak

      February 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks for the comment and welcome. You’re certainly not alone. Focus on the positive and your daughter and you should be fine. Not always easy and there won’t be bumps, but I truly believe the positive route is the best. Every stage of your relationship with your daughter and ex will present new challenges. Keep checking in and let us know how you’re doing!

  4. Graham

    October 6, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Today is the first day I have been seperates from my wife and 2 daughters age 5 & 3. I was the stay home dad in the relationship and now we are seperated and I have gone from many hours with my children to the unknown. Nice to find your blog. Will keep a close eye.


    • divorced dad

      October 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Sorry to hear Graham. As much as you can, always remember how important it is that your kids have great relationships with both you and their mom. Hopefully it was a friendly split and the two of you will find ways to work together. Keep us posted!

  5. Trevor

    November 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I wish I could figure out what is the cause of the pain I have right now. I’m sitting in my office, near tears but only because I’m sad and overwhelmed with regret. My wife asked for a divorce 4 months ago. We have a beautiful 4 year old daughter who I only now get to see every Thursday and then every second weekend. Am I broken to get sudden bouts of overwhelming grief? I sit and feel so bad because I can’t fix this. I’m literally living day to day holding the pieces of a shattered life as if was a broken vase. I cannot fathom life ever getting back to ‘good’ again. To even think that feels like everything amazing we had together was for nothing.

    Finding your site after so much searching… gives me hope. Thank you for running this small oasis for us divorced guys seeking some sort of reminder that we’re not the first divorced guys going through this and that somehow… there’s a sun just about to peak over the horizon.


  6. L.J. Burke (@kidsareforever1)

    February 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    You have to take care of yourself during your divorce. I dedicate several chapters on this subject in my book “Divorced Dad” Kids are Forever, Wives are Not. I hope it helps.

    L.J. Burke


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