The Truth About Starting Over After Divorce In Your 20’s

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.

Backstory:

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.

Moving On:

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!

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The Age of the Power Couple

Today is our annual MAGAP (Midwest Chapter – The Association for Graduate Enrollment Management) Conference at DePaul University.  While sitting there I began to think about, how as women claim more leadership positions, the power couple is becoming a model for modern relationships.

Now mind you neither my husband nor I have SUPER high power careers.  To paint a quick picture for you, we both work in Higher Education as Assistant Directors at the same institution, and are relatively young in our mid 20’s & early 30’s.  Both of us take pride in our careers and strive to do well each day individually, as well as together.

Speaking of working “together,” that is the piece I cherish the most!  I not only get to spend my day with my husband, but it is not a complete foreign concept to him when we talk about work.  He shares the same success, failures, and accomplishments as I do and that is what you call in my book the definition of a true, “Power Couple”.

We consistently push each other to be better, stronger, and strive for greatness! Although sometimes that can be challenging, I always appreciate him being my personal cheerleader & coach.

Well today, I would like to not only be his BIGGEST FAN but his cheerleader too!!  My husband served on the CRM Selecting & Implementation panel at our conference today (and he did truly amazing).  I am ever so proud and a little envious of him. 😉

My husband is influential and instrumental in the functioning of our family. He is instrumental in me not losing my mind at the end of a hard day at work.  No matter the day there is always a foundation of love and commitment to one another. The concept of soul mates and being deeply in-love is a state of emotion that we believe is built throughout a marriage rather than an emotion a couple begins with. We believe this because our love now is stronger and deeper than it was on our wedding day. Each day we are together we are sharing more moments, having more experiences, and obtaining a greater understanding of each other. All of these moments building on each other creates a deeper and stronger connection between us.  My admiration, appreciation, and respect for my husband is much stronger now than when I was doe eyes and carefree on the day we said I DO.

After we said I DO is when life happened. The I DO is the wedding. The marriage is bills to pay, houses to find, new in-law family dynamics, first time conflicts to discuss, children to prepare for, and work to be done. The moments of adversity intermixed with the moments of pure joy is what makes love deeper and marriages stronger.

At the end of the day, I am thankful for being what is called a, “power couple.”

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Sweat is just fat crying

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@neeeedzzz

This summer I’ve decided to begin going to the gym at least twice a week.  I don’t have a lot of free time, but prioritizing my health is super important to me after a few recent scares my husband came across.  I found that helping motivate him, helps me along the way as well.  Plus we can totally squeeze 1 hour of exercise into our week.

I felt that it takes a lot to physically conjure up the courage and make it to the gym your first time, and below are some tips that have helped me.

Go with a friend

Everything feels easier when your with a friend, and going to the gym is no exception to that.  Talk about your health and fitness goals before signing a gym membership.  Try to find a time in your schedules that will allow you to go together.  Working out with a friend can not only motivate you, but it makes you feel a hell of a lot more comfortable in a sometimes intimidating environment.  Plus, having a friend around means that you’ll always be covered if you accidentally fall off of a treadmill when you’re running too quickly!

Meet with a personal trainer AT LEAST once

My husband and I had our first sessions at the gym yesterday, and each of us met with a trainer.  My trainer was a female around my age, and she had a similar body type as well.  This was actually really helpful in my case, because I was able to discuss my body freely.  Trainers don’t make you feel self-conscious, in fact she acted more like a workout buddy who had tons of valuable feedback to provide.

She was able to conceptualize a workout plan for me, before I could (to be fair, I had no idea where to start).  She educated me about the various machines there that looked extremely intimidating, and by the time I was half way through my session I felt like a pro.  Although there are people who prefer a full-time trainer, I am not one of them.  I feel as though, I got everything I needed from one session.  I plan to create my own workouts moving forward.

If the thought of planning a workout routine sends you into sweats, then consider following a workout tutorial online. Whether you’re off to the gym or you’re exercising from the comfort of your own home, it’s entirely possible to lose weight and have fun by following the advice of some experts.

Take is fashionably slow

The single biggest piece of advice that you should take from this post is not to overdo it on your first visit to the gym.  I started to get that nauseous feeling, and I knew it was time to stop.  Be sure to pay attention during your gym routine, and learn how to use each piece of equipment properly – the more you know about it, the better your workout will become.

I’m not super into fitness and I don’t particularly like going to the gym, but it’s something that I do for my future self. For me, going to the gym is more about preventative health measures than looking beach body ready. I definitely think that exercise is an important healthcare practice, but whether you decide to do it in the gym, the comfort of your own home, or outdoors is completely up to you.

Also, there is nothing wrong with adding a little swag or flare to your workout gear.  I took this opportunity to go shopping (of course), and found some really great things.  I’ll be sharing all the goodies I purchased very soon! but that is for a different post, at a different time.

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Which of the following two qualities in your husband would it be?

Who Wins? – The Best Friend or The Good Provider Husband?

Why should I be forced to choose?

From a spouse’s point of view, it can be extremely testing to adjust, or be both. Making it more troublesome in today’s economy and it’s money related effect on relational unions and families. Many traditional roles of husband and wife have been turned around, turned inside-out, and turned upside-down.

It is a fight that we, spouse’s, battle each and every day. A few men may have surrendered the battle, and simply centered around the one they do best or are most alright with. Be that as it may, in the event that it were up to our spouses, which one is generally vital? Which one would the spouses need most? This question applies to singles too, and is something that must be considered when making a guarantee in marriage.

The Best Friend Husband

This is the spouse that is there. He is available in all ranges. He is there to invest energy with you and the children. He contributes around the house, or is “domestic sexy.” You have a relationship based on correspondence. At the point when the work that he does, whatever or wherever that might be is accomplished for the day, he is hanging out with you. You really feel you know him personally, and he knows you personally, on account of the quality time you spend together. When you have a question, an idea, or something to state, your first decision is to address him.

Be that as it may, with regards to giving, he is falling somewhat short. You may not be sure if you will have money to pay the bills. On the off chance that regardless he has work, this occupation may not pay what is expected to completely bolster your family’s way of life. Your night out on the town fundamentally consists of putting the kids to bed and watching a movie at home in light of the fact that there is no money accessible to go out. Your companions are discussing their consistent excursions; however, you have yet to go on one because of an absence of accounts. Your monetary future, your family way of life, is loaded with a ton of vulnerability.

The Good Provider Husband

This guy has it going on in his career, and his way of life shows it. There is never any uncertainty that the majority of your needs, the children’s needs, and the requirements of the family unit are met. That, as well as your needs, are met too. You shop at the nicer places rather than generic places, your things and children’s things are all predominantly known brands. End of the week shopping trips with your girls, as well as your children, are financed and happen frequently. You take trips for all intents and purposes when you need. You have the choice to grow a career for yourself, or remain at home.

In spite of the fact that he is “that person” in the profession front, and giving an extraordinary way of life to your family, he is seldom present – physically, inwardly, or rationally. The profession that gives such a great amount to you and your family keeps him busy all the time. When he is not working, he is loosening up, discussing work, or hanging with the guys. Your girlfriends know more about what goes ahead in your head, home, and with your kids than he does. It has been months since you’ve shared a personal affair that is attractive to you.

Choose Only One…

It can take so much out of a husband to provide financially for his family, that he sometimes must make sacrifices that keep him from the wife and family he is working to provide for. Then again, a spouse may state to overlook the lucrative career so he can invest however much quality time, and create as many teachable, yet fun, moments with their family as could be expected. Doing as such may restrain his career and financial options. In the event that you needed to pick one… what might your decision be?

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