For those of you who have been reading my blog before now you already know the title to be true so hello to the newcomers and thanks for reading 🙂
I’ve been writing about this for a while without much background so today’s that day…how I became a (gulps) twenty-something divorcée. This post in particular was sparked by me turning 25, today actually :-). I don’t know about you all but around my birthday I tend to get a bit more self reflective than usual. So, let’s get started, shall we?
I cringe because I don’t think for one second that anyone who gets married for the right reasons ,(subject to opinion), wants divorce to ever be an option. I know for me personally, divorce was a decision I never wanted to make and was one only made when I felt that it was my absolute last resort…let’s back track a bit.
I’ll try to be as brief as possible. When I was 19 I met a man in college and fell in love and was married 1 month before my 21st birthday. Red flags galore, but I digress. By 22 I was separated and by 23 my divorce was finalized. I/we ignored red flags that we were, in fact, just not ready. I cannot speak as to his reasons for continuing with the wedding but I can speak for myself. Outside pressure, planning, money spent, and ultimately feeling/hoping/praying that love truly would conquer all.
I write this not for pity, not to glamorize divorce (as if that’s truly possible) but simply because I never want another young lady like myself or man to enter into marriage lightly only to be faced with D-Day (more like D years) down the road. Despite what statistics say happy/healthy marriages do exist and divorce is NOT inevitable. So, Tip #1. If you are considering marriage and have doubts, strong red flags, “Listen Linda, honey!” Regardless of money spent, promises made, outside pressure it is INFINITELY better to call off an engagement than to go through a divorce. I don’t care if it is the night before the wedding, the day of etc. Going against your spirit and that gut instinct when making a huge decision like marriage will more than likely end in heartache.
At the time, this was inconceivable to me. To call off an engagement was to admit failure, was to admit everything was not ok, was to trek into the unknown…something that I did not perceive myself to be ready for. It was to be brutally honest with my family and close friends about the state of my relationship and more importantly, be honest with myself. In retrospect that would have been so freeing! At the time though I was far too concerned with what other people thought of me.
Tip #2, Don’t Isolate Yourself!!
I had begun to isolate myself before and within my marriage not being able to truly face what was going on. It was not until after the decision to separate was finalized that the truth came spilling out of me like a well over a dry brook. How refreshing! It was then that I realized my family and friends, bless their hearts, had been there all along, loved and cared for me like no other, would have been nothing but supportive and actually could have been great resources during that time.
Whew, that was tough. Now for the next chapter. Shortly after the decision was finalized to separate I made a lot of personal strides. I began and finished grad school, purchased my first car, snagged my first full time job and began to rebuild quality relationships with my family and friends….I also made a lot of mistakes motivated by my selfishness at the time.
During my marriage I became more timid than usual, was in isolation a lot and did a lot of pretending. I quite honestly often felt as if I were having some sort of outer body experience. Sometimes looking at myself and questioning was this really my life? And sometimes even crying, yelling to God, for Him to save my marriage.
Well you can just imagine that when the decision was made to separate for good and I began to make these personal strides, you couldn’t tell me nothing honey!! Lol Freedom!! I began to return to my extroverted introvert personality with some bumps along the way. So I’d like to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart apologize to close family and friends I may have hurt during this time. Thanks for being patient with me! And some people I have never met that I know my actions indirectly hurt them.
I realize now that I was grieving my marriage and made a lot of irrational choices that before I would have never even considered. Yep, divorce changed me, no doubt about it. I know now that it was for the better. I honestly feel like after triumphing that I can conquer anything! I often joke with a friend of mine when considering personal choices that I’ve gotten a “whole divorce” so it’s nothing people can really tell me. I say that half jokingly, I accept correction when needed and judge my own heart and actions daily BUT I live for me. The decisions I make I believe are God’s will and at the end of the day no one has to live with your decisions but you (for the most part), so as long as you’re not intentionally hurting anyone, you should make decisions that agree with your spirit and really just go ahead and be happy!! That was Tip #3 by the way ;-).
Finally, the person I am today: introspective, extroverted introvert, lover of books, self confident, does not focus on comparing herself to others etc…could NOT have become so empowered if it had not been for God, true friends, close family and some free therapy courtesy of my alma mater lbs. I honestly don’t think I’d be the woman I am today had I not have had to gone through something that shook up MY plans for my life so much. So I thank you! As I celebrate turning 25 today I have never been more proud of the woman I am, accepting of my past while acknowledging it is just that, the past :-), have never felt more confident about myself and the present/future and that my friends, is priceless!!!
Until next time, soar high!! ❤️