We’ve all heard the word. Divorce. None of us set out to get married to get divorced. I know I didn’t. I know I also thought for years “that will never happen to me.”
I also know I am one of those people who just smiled through it all and kept chugging along. All while dying on the inside.
It all happened a few years ago. It all started more years ago than that. And today I sit here remarried. And happy. But most importantly, healthy. I’ve lived through another type of hell since getting divorced, but walking through a season of divorce can suck every living breath out of you. Literally.
No story is the same, but many have similarities. Some deal with narcissists. Some adulterers. Some face parental alienation. Some have lived through abuse and addictions. And some of us have faced it all.
What I do know is no one is ever prepared for it. There is no 12 step program to prepare for divorce, and there is no fix-it button found through any step of it. It all feels so unreal. You wonder how you will make it through some days. And some days, even just hours.
While I have no regrets, I wish there were things I had known, mostly about myself, during that season.
3 Things No One Tells You About Divorce
You are braver than you realize.
You are going to have people who tell you it’s not the way. You may have others asking you why you stayed as long as you did. You will have doubt and fear and every other type of anxiety creep up on you at all hours. You will have people who tell you to stick it out for the kids. But I am here to tell you some relationships are more detrimental to children than a broken one. It takes a huge amount of courage to stand up for yourself and demand a better life for yourself. Not for your kids. Not for your parents or for your friends. But for yourself.
You will lose friends.
And truthfully? The ones you do lose, you didn’t need in the first place. People’s true colors shine through the hardest times. And some won’t abandon you because they’ve taken the other’s side, but simply because they are shocked. And don’t want to get involved. Those aren’t the ones you want in your inner circle anyway. Just remember–friends are friends for a reason, for a season, or for life. You will find out through this season which category each of yours fall in. And that’s ok. If they aren’t in your corner holding you up and cheering you on each day, delete them. As harsh as that may seem, it’s for your health. The only people who need to be in your inner circle are those who are for you. Not necessarily only those who agree with everything about you. But those who are grounded and guarded and have your best interest at heart. Those who will say the hard things to you. And stand by you regardless of your faults and failures.
Divorce is like a death. Just without all the food.
The process of grief is the same. You lose someone, and possibly that side of the family–whether you wanted to or not–your norm is only a memory and all of life changes. But unlike when someone dies, you won’t have casseroles and meat trays delivered to your door. Let yourself grieve. There will be an ebb and flow to healing. It’s ok that some days you are just getting through and not necessarily the super-hero you once were. It’s really ok. Because in the end, you will be a stronger and braver super-hero than you could ever imagine.