8 People Share How Their Divorce Changed Their Life for the Better

Health Information Relationships


Honestly, it took me a long time to heal from the betrayal, but my friends and family are the ones who really got me through this tough situation and made me feel loved. I come from a very progressive family, and they were all so supportive of my decision. This (and therapy) helped me overcome all the pain.

Looking back now, this process has been very liberating. I feel like I have a second chance at life, and I can start all over—almost like a rebirth. I’m much more confident and have rebuilt my self-esteem, and finally, I’m enjoying the smallest moments of my life again.”—K.T.

I learned how to find happiness and confidence on my own, instead of depending on others.

“Leading up to the divorce, my ex-wife and I had many issues, the main one being constant infidelity on her part and a complete lack of trust. I also wanted custody of our son (which I knew would be a huge battle, but it was a non-negotiable for me), and I worried about the stigma of being divorced and how it’d affect my life going forward.

During the divorce, I learned through counseling that I was (and am) enough. I also learned that I have to do things to make myself happy and not rely on others to provide that for me. So, I gradually became more positive. I started meditating, which helped with my anxiety and calmed my mind. I grew more self-confident, too, and overall just discovered the ‘me’ that I always wanted to be but completely lost in my marriage.

There’s a new life waiting for you on the other side of divorce—I’m living proof of that. In fact, I wouldn’t change a thing that I went through to get to this point of peace and happiness.”—Todd W.

Divorce allowed me to have some fun with dating and to explore my sexuality.

“Everything changed after my divorce. Before, so much of my life was lived through the lenses of others: I was making choices based on what I thought I should do, rather than having the courage to live in the ways that felt most authentic to me.

This fresh start gave me the space and time to figure out my identity, like playing with a new hairstyle, for example, or experimenting with my fashion choices. I started dating for fun and connections (and not with the goal of marriage). Throughout this experience, I also realized I am queer, so I got to immerse myself in that world, too.

My biggest fears towards the end of my marriage were about not being able to live without my partner. What if I can’t find someone who will love me and accept me? But now, I’ve seen love take shape in so many meaningful ways with my romantic—and platonic—partnerships.”—Stephanie C.

I no longer have to sacrifice big parts of myself.

“I didn’t get married with the expectation of getting divorced. I did—and still do—love my ex and hope for his happiness. But we married young, and when our visions for the future didn’t align, we kept trying to make things work by sacrificing big parts of ourselves in hopes of making the other happy. Eventually, we understood that for both of us to feel fulfilled, it was better to move on.

While initially heartbroken, I’ve been able to reflect on the past three years and see how much more myself I feel. I moved from my home state and now live in my dream city. I’m pursuing my career with a different kind of freedom, which I can confidently say wouldn’t be the case if I were still living my old life.

Divorce is absolutely not a failure. To me, it’s actually a failure to go through life unhappy when you have the power to change your circumstances. This is the bravest thing I’ve done, and I’ve learned not to let negative comments surrounding that stigma get me down.”—Samantha M.

Related:

https://www.self.com/story/happiness-after-divorce

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