10 Stories on Surviving Divorce
No one gets married with the expectation of getting divorced some day in the future. When you promise to love and cherish someone for the rest of your life, you don’t picture what it will be like to be alone again. And there’s no manual on how to put your life back together when “forever” is cut short. You may feel like you’ve somehow failed as you live out the dissolution of your marriage in front of the same loved ones who cheered you on as a couple - and are now taking “sides”. But we want you to know that you are not alone in your feelings. If you’ve gone through a divorce, are going through one now, are thinking about getting a divorce, this post is for you. It takes great strength to survive this painful experience and we see you.
Here are 10 stories from women like you who have navigated the pain and heartbreak of divorce - and come out the other side stronger than ever.
When we decided to get married, I did love him. I was happy, and I told myself that this was surely going to happen eventually, so why not a little ahead of schedule? Intellectually, I told myself what I needed to hear. But emotionally, something wasn’t right. I was too busy “being a bride” to hear what my intuition was screaming.
I've often found myself wondering why you don't get new identity papers when you get a divorce. Looking back now, I know that if I had received some, I would have missed out on an amazing opportunity to grow and become the woman I am today.
I fell in love. I got married in my 20’s. Settled into a beautiful condo with our pup, Miss B. I had a great job and my career was in full swing. Life was going well and on track for greatness. Then, in a flash, or so it seemed, it all came crashing down.
The light clicked off. I got up wearily and fumbled through the dark corridor to the switch, knocking my shins against the corner of a postal box before finding the dial and turning it as far as it would go, buying twenty more minutes of light. I lost track of how many times I lost the light before everything was loaded into the U-Haul, but when I finished, I was almost too tired to drive and much too tired to feel. It was the second time I’d left a marriage—I was twenty-nine.
I was the kind of woman other women feel jealous of. I was married and we had a beautiful daughter. We were both very successful in our careers and had a high lifestyle. People used to say that we were the perfect couple.
It would be easy to number the ways that my ex-husband fell short of what I needed in a spouse. But what good would that do? It didn’t take me long after we split to realize that if I didn’t take a good look at my own hang-ups and shortcomings, I would never truly heal.
Divorce is a death. A death of a united family. A death of future dreams and hopes. This death brings with it a heavy grief, weighing on the parties involved like a heavy blanket. As a friend, how can you support someone you care about experiencing such an emotional loss?
When you get married you expect it to last forever. You make a commitment to share life with someone and start a family and dream about the life you’ll lead together as you grow old alongside one another. Never do you expect that person to come to you one day out of the blue and say they no longer wanted the life that you’ve created together. That is exactly what happened to me.
Our world imploded after discovering that my in-laws were separating after 40 years of marriage. Within hours of that first phone call, my husband and I rode the roller-coaster of emotions, and a week later we fled. We packed up our kids and started driving towards the mountains.
Just days before my fortieth birthday, with no time to be hasty, I blew up my life with a single match in a midlife crisis I didn't realize I was having. Clichés are clichés because they are true, I suppose. But I didn't want this one to be true. I wanted to take a giant eraser to the mess I’d made. Instead, I found myself signing divorce papers, painting new peach walls a clean slate of white, and buying kimonos on the internet.