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Advice for women before filing for divorce

Divorce is an ugly word. It's seldom every thought of as a pleasant experience. Emotions run rampant, including anger, fear and resentment. You may ask yourself why you even married the person in the first place. Since most people marry for love, you've likely answered that question yourself.

However, there are three things that any woman getting ready to divorce should know.

-- How lonely you will be. This is certainly not the best thing in the world to hear, but it is the truth. You'll have friends and family members checking in to see how you're doing -- at first. After a while, though, they stop. It's then that you realize how quiet the house is, how empty. If you have children, when they are with their dad, the quiet can seem even more daunting. This will pass, although you might feel like it will not at first. You can get a dog and hold out for the feelings to leave or try to address these and other feelings with a therapist.

-- How long it will take. You've heard some women say that their divorce only took a few months to finish. So why did your divorce attorney tell you it's going to take 18 months. Realize that this is an important process and trying to hurry it along is not recommended. Instead, make sure you are fighting for what you deserve, such as child custody, child support, alimony and property division.

-- How being a divorcee will leave you discriminated against. While we've come a long ways in the past few decades when it comes to dealing with discrimination because of a divorce, it's still out there. You'll find women who used to talk to you now don't. Friends who used to come over for coffee are now too busy. You'll feel like everyone judges you. You'll feel as though you're "broken." There's no easy way to deal with this than to be aware it will likely happen -- and it will end, too.

These are three things that you should know before filing for divorce. The bumps in the road don't have to send you flying, though. You'll make it through and back to traveling on a straight and comfortable road.

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