1. There’s no one to be resentful towards. It seems like having a husband/dad around is going to reduce your workload by half but anyone who has ever been married or co-parented knows that’s not true — at least, if they’re female they know that. Men think they’re doing “their half” by taking the kid to an outing once a week or making dinner once a week. When I was married I did have more help than I do now, but I was always resentful about it because I worked just as many hours as my husband did (I even brought home more money) but when I got home it was still me who had to do most of the house cleaning and bill-paying and making sure our son was getting bathed and had nutritious food to eat. Now that it’s just me, the pretense of having help is gone.
2. I’m closer to my kid than ever. My ex gets to see him as much as he wants to (which amounts to about every other weekend), but my son and I typically spend all evening, every evening together. Once I got to stop taking care of my exes life, I had a whole bunch of time and energy freed up to devote to just my son and I. He’s really into reading right now, so we’ve been making new friends together at different children’s library events across the city.
3. Now I’m only raising one child instead of two. I can’t reiterate this enough: women, live with your boyfriend before you marry him. Lots of men will seem responsible but are secretly swimming in credit card debt or think doing laundry every few months is adequate. If it’s going to drive you crazy, let it drive you crazy before you’re legally tied together and have a child to raise. I didn’t follow this advice and I ended up learning that I was going to be taking care of an adult baby while I was also raising an actual baby.
4. My house is cleaner. Like I said, only one child to clean up after.
5. My finances are easier. I realize I’m privileged here because I have a decent job but despite having a smaller household income managing our money is a lot easier because there are no surprises. My ex was terrible with money, always making impulse purchases we didn’t need. Even though it’s only my salary (no alimony) supporting my son and I right now, I’m much more responsible with it, so there’s less stress about what the checking account balance is this week.
6. I can still have sex whenever I want to (I’m still reasonably young and still reasonably attractive, or, more honestly, I’m still a woman) and I still have lots of friends and family that I have a deep, emotional connection with. So I have all the relationship stuff I want, but without the cost of another person’s dishes in my sink and clothes in my laundry pile to do, much less the emotional upkeep of a husband.
7. My son and I can exist in our happiness bubble. There’s no one grouching around the house because there’s toys scattered around the living room or because, you know, sometimes children cry or scream or laugh. I’m naturally on the positive side of things (hence writing an article about why my divorce was so great for me) and most men are not only not like this, it kind of bothers them when you try to be.
8. I feel more loved. There’s that old saying about being around people who bring you down: let go of them or get dragged down with them.