Divorce | A Friend’s Story
I sat down with a friend after the end of her marriage.
I’d learned of my friend’s divorce after it had been finalized. I heard about it “through the grapevine” but decided to reach out regardless. I sent her an AFTER: Divorce candle, in an attempt to offer some love and support. After a week or so, we got a chance to connect and talk about it. She was kind enough to share some of her experience with me.
I wasn’t sure where to start, but luckily she was ready.
“It felt like I’d failed,” she confessed.
She had made a promise, in front of friends and family, to commit to this person for the rest of their lives. And in her mind, she had broken that promise.
“I spent a lot of the beginning shrugging it off. I told myself that it was just a divorce. Big deal. People do it all the time. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d lost something important.”
She told me how others helped her in the process, and how they hadn’t.
“People always say “there are other fish in the sea” during breakups. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to “go fishing”. That’s what had gotten me into this situation in the first place. It’s not like I felt I’d never be able to fall in love again, or even that I didn’t want to. I was just so busy rebuilding my entire life that I wasn’t ready to look so far ahead.”
She told me that it was painful to think about the life that she had built – the life they had built together.
“It’s scary thinking about the road before you, about starting over. I’m grateful to have friends that are willing to just listen. I’m glad that I know people that will let me cry without trying to fix anything.”
I asked her what else the experience taught her.
“I’ve started to figure out how to be alone.”
“I have my own apartment now, and sometimes it feels so lonely. No matter how much support I get from others, I still feel the hurt. I’ve had to get comfortable with this part of my “new” life. Sitting by myself, reflecting on my experience – it’s been a powerful part of the process.”
“I want to move forward – and on the journey, I’m going to cry sometimes. I’ve also learned that there’s no shame in that.”