Help, I lost myself again. Almost divorced at 27, I shamefully turn out to be the statistic I fought so hard not to be. I have looked through blogs, articles, and pretty much anything that would help me make sense of how I am feeling. I was starting to become desperate, with no luck. So I figured why not, set the trend, maybe it’ll help others who end up in my situation.
To be painfully honest, it is going to be extremely heartbreaking. I have felt like a failure for many months now at a time. It continues to hit me in the form of waves. Even when I wouldn’t feel sad about the act of divorce itself, I knew I had the right to mourn the loss of my eternal future.
In the beginning people who knew looked at me with nothing but pity, paranoia, and all of the above. The whispers were getting louder and clearer and then came the social media unfollowing. These actions are just some of the things you encounter, learn, and begin to tolerate when going through divorce… even if the divorce is amicable.
In the United States, about 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Just breathe that in for a minute.
In thinking about life, imagine you thinking that you are starting your life at 25, trying to enjoy your husband, get pregnant in your marriage, all while focusing on the new life you started because that would mean the world to you… but honestly should you have to “try”? It should come pretty naturally and it didn’t for us. It felt more so like we were stuck. My words of advice? Move on.
I knew the night of my wedding that I would end up divorced. If you even have an inkling of that feeling, trust me and save yourself a lot of heartache and headache. My husband and I were relatively young but most certainly in love. The day and night of our wedding we danced, drank, and enjoyed ourselves with our families and friends who were in from out of town. Shortly after I knew for sure it wasn’t what I was meant to be doing. However- I stuck through it. I saw my husband get visibly upset the night of our wedding due to his groomsmen all arguing with significant others, not being attentive to bridal party pictures, and much more. Which in turn began upsetting me. People were visibly TOO drunk, not that it should matter at a wedding, but these people were becoming belligerent, rude, and sloppy. I saw myself growing angrier and angrier along with my husband. He began taking his frustration out on me during the wedding, as well as once we were settled in our hotel.
That night should have been the most special night of my life, but it felt like a complete disaster internally. I cried myself to sleep that night and woke up to find my husband still on the couch in another room. We had fought the night of our wedding about our toxic friends and him being extremely drunk went to sleep without me.
It was the morning of our brunch, and I knew I had obligations to fulfill. So I got up, took a shower, woke him up – still incoherent partly, got us both ready. I ignored the previous day/night (again which should have been the most special day of my life) and left to meet our families for brunch.
It was comforting to see my parents there and smiling. This made it relatively easier and made me feel as though last night was just another bad night. I pushed past the feeling from our wedding day/night and enjoyed brunch with ONLY family and family friends. That’s when I began realizing the issues were not us or our families, it was our friends. We each had a group of people in our lives who were not taking our relationship or marriage seriously. They were all either single, dating casually, or not quite ready for that next step. Which made it difficult to get them to feel serious about the MOST important day of our lives. They were all pretty selfish and caused a lot of pain to my husband and I unknowingly.
This made me start to resent them more than I already did due to previous painful encounters both him and I were put through. As we left for our honeymoon the following day, I was feeling much better. I was starting to see a glimpse of what married life is really like. I was growing happier by the minute knowing we were leaving Chicago for a week. On our honeymoon things were great. We rarely had any arguments until we returned home. This is when I knew it was safe to say, it was the people in our lives, because I encountered more pain than ever before caused by his friends.
Almost a year into our marriage, I was still being mistreated by certain females that were friends with my husband or dating their friends. I was made out to be delusional but in reality the truth unfolded on its own once we separated. My husband stood by me like a rock once we were married, and tried very hard for them to not mistreat me, but things had gone too far by 4th of July. I genuinely helped his friends throw a party at their home, to find myself becoming the issue because one of the females in the group was upset, bad mouthing me behind my back, but also accusing me of mistreating her when that was not the case. I was keeping my distance from toxic people (such as her) and that turned me into the wrong doer somehow. I was almost always blamed for things I did not do or act on.
6 years of roller coaster emotions, screaming matches, horrible communications, more tears than I’ve ever had in my life, I made the scary decision to leave my husband. I felt that we both have stable careers, and can start over. For the record- it really WAS like a light switch– when you know it’s over, you know, DON’T question your gut. Your gut is NEVER wrong. You deserve to feel loved. You deserve more than being ignored, or mistreated by your significant others friends.
Now- let me be clear, the gruesome and painful details of what happened in my marriage will remain in my marriage. That was what we agreed upon during our separation. Plus my husband is an extremely amazing guy!! I have nothing but love for him, and I would never bash him to anyone. However, between the two of us, there were issues that could not be fixed. Once the communication, trust and love is gone.. there’s nothing left to fix in my opinion.
Once you begin to feel this way, or have been through this, you should not be afraid.
Getting an apartment on my own was extremely terrifying the following year. I was going backwards in life. Having individual responsibilities such as bills, food, going out to learn who you are in your new life is all going to feel daunting. These things are all expensive, but every penny is worth it. I lived off of $100 a week for months, and while it was tiresome, nobody was in my space making me wonder if I was loved or not. Finances were tight, but my best friend was supportive, and that’s all that I needed.
Once you learn who you are, you find the best part of your life. If I had taken the time to do this soul searching earlier, I could have avoided all the pain I felt during my marriage and relationship for so many years. I questioned every group outing with his friends because I was fearful of what encounter I would face. I began to wonder if the person on the other end making me look/feel bad is going to attempt to take my husband and stability away from me. Many times I ran into other women being disrespectful of my marriage. You know who you are, all of you. Shame on you… but I guess I also owe you the biggest thank you in my life. You gave me my freedom back. You gave me the key to happiness. So even though you’re sucky people, thanks.
Post-divorce or separation you learn some of the biggest lessons in your life. You may have made the decision that you deserve better. If so, you are on a roll! No one will stick up for you the way you will stick up for yourself. Speak out when you are feeling certain ways, tell yourself and people around you that you are better than this.. even if it’s hard to quite believe at the moment. You will eventually be ok!
People ask, what comes next? Learning how to love yourself and date again. Dating, the most daunting of tasks you have to embark on. You’ve been in a committed relationship for many years, and you didn’t have to worry about things like shaving your legs or someone judging you, or being home alone. You were comfortable with these things and so was your significant other.
Whereas, dating is just plain hard! You have to just pick someone and decide whether or not you two are compatible. It’s definitely the most awkward thing ever. It shouldn’t seem so foreign since that is how you got your husband in the first place, but it becomes a completely foreign concept. You will find yourself spending hours having sometimes what’s considered a pointless conversations with this date over Mexican food to find out this might not be what you were looking for. Or you find a pretty decent guy who ends up selling pot out of your kitchen, forms sentences that he thinks sounds smart but don’t make sense, and is high 99% of his awake time. Dating is plain ugly! It’s not always sweet and romantic, it’s awkward, lots of times uncomfortable, but sometimes it can be gratifying.
When you find the person that you decide to date, good for you.. they’re not paying your bills, so who cares?
Dating someone post-divorce is hard. You constantly have doubts, question every decision you make, and even if you don’t want to admit it… it’s always on your mind that he or she may betray you like you’ve been betrayed before. You’re not alone though. What you can’t do is act upon it. Learning to trust your judgement and your new partner is a scary process. Scarier than you’ll ever let them know, and I think that’s a little normal. Just don’t allow your insecurities to project on your new partner. He’s not your ex (for a reason). ALLOW YOURSELF TO BELIEVE YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED.
In terms of losing friends.. you need to be prepared for that. People will pick sides, talking about what you’re doing to your ex, rumors as if there weren’t some there to begin with and much more. You will end up losing more friends than you thought you would. It will hurt, but if they don’t want to stick around, it’s their loss. This part of life is inevitable, unfortunately. Go through your friends list and cut ties with anyone you question. People will not like it, but this is your new life.. YOU have control.
Want to know the TRUTH about starting over after divorce in your 20’s? You need to look past the pity and pointed fingers. Know you WILL get through this, be grateful that you got a second chance to live your life the way you want to. Even though it isn’t what you planned, be a little thankful that at least you got to cut ties with the toxic people that faked liking you the whole time. They were really awful anyways. Find a healthy way to vent it out, and put one foot in front of the other and start taking steps. You’re not the first or last person to go through this. Your heart will mend, and I promise you will be okay!