May 7, 2014

I know I am not the first person to ever get divorced and unfortunately, I won't be the last. Divorce has taught my heart so many things. Things that I didn't know I wanted to learn. Divorce still has a stigma attached to it. My fear when the news first broke was judgement. I was afraid people would think I wasn't trying, or that I was a horrible person, or that I was a bad wife, or damaged. Being under 30 and divorced came with its own challenges. I wasn't quite settled into married life and then I had to figure out how to live on my own, in a different state than my family, for the first time in my life. So many changes occurred in a three year span, but I have to say the hardest adjustment was getting divorced.

I had so many feelings and emotions running through my being. I couldn't decide if I was more sad than angry, or more hurt than sad. I just felt lost. Feeling lost is the worst part. I couldn't decide which direction to go. Every decision I made involved another person, but no longer was he here with me. Every fear, doubt, concern with discussed with another person, but no longer was he available to listen. How does someone bounce back from that? How does one cope? I have a few lessons that you or someone you know may find useful. I am in no way an expert, but I feel as though my experience may benefit someone else who is or has gone through the same thing.

It Does Get Easier
I know it can seem like life will be horrible forever, but that isn't so. I dealt with several bouts of depression and there were days I couldn't grasp the thought of ever getting through it. This isn't something I shared on a regular basis with anyone, but now that some time has passed I feel like it would be beneficial for others to know that yes, I was depressed. I had never felt so low, sad, or hopeless in my life. I would cry out to God, call my mom, pray, read the Bible, cry some more. Whatever I had to do, I did it. I had to let the emotions flow so that I could begin to recover and heal. I think there is something about loss that opens up your soul and makes you feel pain in places you didn't know existed. I often find that after these times the heart is stronger and any joy you feel is that much sweeter.

People Will Understand 
I had to accept the fact that I wasn't alone in my struggle. So many people had experienced divorce and when they offered their advice or told their story, I listened. I wanted to feel a kinship with these people because it made me feel less alone, less afraid, and more hopeful. They got through it and so can I. So can you!

Being Alone Will Feel Okay
I am not going to lie, at first, it was really hard to live alone. I missed the presence of another. I wanted to cook for two, clean for two, do laundry for two, anything to feel normal. After a while, I embraced living alone and having time to sleep in, relax, do things my own way, establish a comfortable routine, and learn who I was again. Being married gives you another identity and I felt for a while like I wasn't quite myself. The truth is, that's normal when you're first married because your identity is now linked with another person. Once my ex-husband and I were separated, I had to learn who I was again. I have to admit, I kind of like who I am now. I feel like myself - most days. 

Don't Rush
I cannot tell you how many people asked me when I was going to start dating again (that story for another post). I had to be honest with them and myself and say that I wasn't ready for a relationship. It's been about 8 years since I have "dated" someone. I am a serial monogamist and I will openly admit that (okay, I just did). I was in a long-term relationship before I met my ex-husband and I didn't waste anytime jumping into something with him. I feel as though this is a great time to do all of the things I have wanted to do, but never had the chance. If the time comes, and the right person comes along, I will be open to it, but I don't see that happening for a while anyway.

Make the Move 
No one is going to be there to kick you in the pants and tell you when to start living again. You will have to make that decision on your own. For me, it took me several months to really "live". I was just doing my best to get through each and every day and at the time people were graceful enough to allow me to do that. Now that it's been a year, it's time for me to make some decisions in my life. I have a career, family, and my own personal well-being to consider. I can't wait around for life to happen. I have to make it happen for me. 

Do you have any advice, or want to chat? Leave a comment or send me an email

Original Image Heart of Gold 


  1. I felt the same way when I had gotten divorced; but I knew it was the best thing for me- and turns out my ex has been divorced 3 times since me. I also agree with taking some time after dating or remarrying. There is a lot to discover about ourselves as well; it took me 7 years to get married again, and I actually had become comfortable and happy living the single life that I thought remarriage was not a possibility. Life does go on, and there are many people who get through it. -Great post. -Jess L

  2. Been there, done that. Divorce has its own greiving process, you are sad, then angry and so on. Eventually you have acceptance (for yourself), which is so very important. It took me awhile to really get out there and live, and when I did I was so very sad that I had missed so much. But its a process, and one people don't understand unless they have been there before. I'm sorry that you had to go through it, but I believe you are a much stronger person now then you were then.

  3. You sound like one smart cookie by knowing that you were not ready to start dating when people asked you about it.

    My nephew's wife divorced him after 2 years of marriage and my sister (his mom) was devastated. I assured her that he would get past it and it wasn't the end of the world, even though it felt like it. Glad to see you are making life happen for you! Good luck!

  4. I've never been divorced, but I think everyone needs to read this to better understand their friends and family who have gone through a divorce. Thanks for being so open and honest!

  5. This is all great advice. I haven't been divorced, but have friends who are. They have mentioned similar advice.

  6. I'm glad you've been able to turn your situation around and you can use it to encourage others who are going through the same thing! Your blog is lovely :)

  7. In my opinion, acceptance is always the key to successfully moving on from a divorce. It’s difficult at first, especially if the concerned party is still in denial or angry with their former partners. Time can heal those wounds and scars, but people must also do their part to cope. And it’s good to know that you’re already on that stage. Keep it up!

    Gregg Jackson @ Sherrill & Cameron, PLLC

  8. There are some lessons that one can learn from a divorce. A person might think that divorce is the end of everything; but at the end of the day, this same scenario can make them even stronger and better than what they used to be. At the very least, they might become wiser with making decisions and choosing the right option that are laid out before them.

    Christine Bradley @ West Green Family Law

  9. I admire your courage for overcoming the divorce, and coming out of it stronger and wiser. Your experience goes to show how there is a silver lining for everything, no matter how dire a situation may seem at the moment. You’re right to keep in mind that everything will be alright in time. After all, time does heal almost everything, and an end of a failed marriage doesn’t mean the end of life and your quest for happiness. Thank you for sharing this inspirational post, Melissa! :-)

    Sandra Walker @ Eric Risk