I am not getting over my divorce

As I am facing down the third anniversary of the end of my marriage, I am bombarded with flashbacks. Those days leading up and after. How scared I was. How hurt I was. How flabbergasted I was. Not understanding why or how this was happening. Yet, I remember thinking that this is short term. Soon I will be over it all and will have moved on.

Now sitting here, I cringe at what I imagined how it would all go. I really didn’t know. What would happen. The continued actions that broke me. How I would react. I misunderstood grief and the grief process. I was mistaken in believing divorce was simple and brief. I had no idea that still years later, I would be working just as hard to heal as I was then.

Today, I know, I will never get over my divorce. Move on. Let it go. Add in whatever cliche phrase that belongs here.

I have heard them all too. Multiple times.

I will never “get over” what has happened because how do I get over something that has fundamentally changed my life. Changed who I am. How I live. How I love. What happened on that Tuesday night altered the course of my life. The past is not in the past. Because the past gave me my present and my future. My life includes divorce. And all that goes with it. Co-parenting. Split custody. Every other holiday. Single motherhood. Stepmom. Half-siblings. New relationships. Dating. An ex-husband. Every decision and choice that I have made in the last three years stems from the end of my marriage.

It bothers and frustrates me greatly when I am told these words. I want to scream and yell. And slap myself if I have ever said these words to anyone else before. Why am I just suppose to get over it? Move on? Let it go? Our society hates anything that has to do with grief, hurt, suffering, and real emotions. Especially when actions create invisible, internal wounds.

No one would tell my friend with breast cancer to just get over it. Or my friend whose husband died leaving her raising four boys on her own to move on. Or my friend who lost her baby at 20 weeks pregnant that the past is in the past. Why is our culture so scared of change that occurred from divorce and other hardships? Changes in life due to wanted events are celebrated and praised. A marriage. A baby. A graduation. A new job.

This is my life. So, no, there is nothing I can do to get over it. And I am not even trying.

But I am learning to be at peace with my divorce. Peace with the actions that transpired. Against me. And the ones that had nothing to do with me, yet I was deeply hurt from. Peace with the dreams that will never happen and the new ones taking over. Peace with the childhood wanted for my sons to the one where they will never know any different. Peace with who I use to be and who I am today.

I am learning to accept this life that is now mine. One I never wanted but forced upon me regardless. I am learning to thrive despite. I am learning to heal the wounds. I am learning to love the new chapter of my story.

I am taking what was and is and living. With it all. I am not brushing it off. Pretending I didn’t change. Acting nonchalant over my failed marriage. Ignoring the issues and problems that are present. Divorce carries an abundance of shame. Guilt. Humiliation. Disgrace.

What I am doing is turning that abundance into love, forgiveness, acceptance, growth, redemption, freedom, and respect. I want to be proud of my actions and words. My hope is when my life is coming to an end, I can look back and see just how important it was to not leave it all to the past. I took what was handed to me and I made it into something beautiful and worthy.

So. For me. I am not getting over it. Ever.

18 thoughts on “I am not getting over my divorce

  1. The phrase I’m working with as i face my first divorced Xmas which is also the first anniversary of him leaving me… Is “moving forward”. Not “on” like a destination that can be departed, but forward like someone with broken bones after a train wreck. Someone who will heal, but with scars, maybe a funny hitch in my giddy up, but forward all the same. Because how can we ever stop being divorced?! I’ve been trying to think about the way i was before my bomb drop-i can’t quite remember who i was anymore. Seems like 100 yrs ago. Until i think about the cold words said to me, and the pain burns fresh with fire. But i can say that i am better now than i was 10 months ago… Step by step forward. Hopefully to a better destination.

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      1. It’s so true that society can’t handle grief. I find it insulting when people ask if I’m dating yet-like I can jump into that so quickly. But society is also quite supportive of throwing away relationships. My mom, my still married and happy friends just keep telling me that I’m strong and amazing and deserve better. That makes it so hard to share my grief. And the worst is the “it’s for the best-you wouldn’t want someone who would leave you”. No, i just want the man i married, who told me how happy i made him, and built dreams with me, my best friend. So, i reach out to total strangers online who are brave enough to write about this, to feel more normal in this bizarro version of normal.

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      2. Bizarre sounds about right. Three years later, I still don’t understand what happened or why he has done what he has. Grief is complex. The journey we are on is hard and dark. But there is little lights of hope mixed in.


    1. I will NEVER forget the words he said to me, “You need to get it through your head!! I’m done with you, I’m done with you. I want a divorce!!!” June 4, 2015. I believed him and moved on but they will always be there, etched in stone. So I hear you and feel your pain. It does get better. I promise.

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  2. Dec 3rd was four years. And many days I’m still in survivor mode…getting kids where they need to be, figuring out how to get through the month with no money left in the checking account. We survive and push forward some days because that’s all you can do. We weren’t given a choice you just do what you have to, to survive.

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  3. As I read this I could literally feel what you were saying! The betrayal, the gut wrenching sadness and the grief. 12 years ago My spouse who was my high school sweatheart, my life, my everything for 11 years told me he didn’t love me anymore. That moment my life shattered. I had worked so hard for 26 years to build this life that I was so happy with and now With 3 words little words it was all shattered and there was nothing I could do about it. I came from a divorced family and I was so proud that I had met my soul mate so my 2 year old son and my future children would never have to experience that, shattered. I found out later he had met someone online. This one moment was followed by even more painful discoveries and mean spoken words that made me question everything about myself. There in my lowest of Lows I turned to my almighty God and he was the only way I got through it all. He gave me my identity back. I was His daughter and he created me how he wanted me. I found love again and had two more beautiful children. But I will never get over my divorce. Everything you said in this article is so true. I can feel it all in my gut, even still. I have been following your articles because I struggle with anxiety and depression. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. It is so healing to know that you are not alone. I wanted to share a little if my story with you so that you can know you are not a lone. There have been many times I couldn’t pray. I’m thankful there were people praying for me when I couldn’t pray myself. I will pray for you.

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  4. It’s amazing the lovely things that come out of the dark. I am also moving forward! The only way to keep going is to do just that…. I too have wounds that will never heal, grief that continues to spiral, and things I will never understand still. But, I have given all of that and placed it in God’s hands. I no longer except to carry the weight of it all alone on my shoulders. I have grown closer to him in ways I can’t explain. It’s my journey and my journey alone with our Heavenly Father, I have experienced his unfailing love! I’m praying for you! Know that the only one who can see the lovely in the dark…. is you!

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  5. Thanks for sharing so transparently. You are brave and it is beautiful. Some things change us forever and because of that alone, they can’t be gotten over. Blessing to you and prayers for you!

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  6. It’s been 4 years for me and the ripples of his actions continue to affect me in ways I could never imagine. It’s beyond the cheating, then me forgiving him, and then him changing his mind and deciding that I’m not what he wants and getting divorced. It goes way beyond that.

    It’s coming to grips with now splitting up my daughter during holidays, vacations, etc….knowing that I’m missing on precious moments.
    It’s coming to grips that now we are so far behind our financial goals because we have 2 households to maintain instead of 1.
    It’s coming to grips that my/our goals, future plans are null and void. It’s coming to grips with the feeling of insecurity and sometimes having no idea which direction life is taking you.
    It’s coming to grips that after 12 years of building relationships with his sisters, brothers, mother, cousins…spending every holiday with them, almost every weekend BBQing…all that is gone. I’ve lost an entire family.
    It’s coming to grips that his now 23-year-old girlfriend — 15 years younger — gets to be around my daughter and his family. When I asked him what he has in common with a 23 year old, his reply was, “it’s easy with her.” That was a slap in the face. A punch really. No, a shot to the head. Of course it’s easy with her. She’s young and carefree. She has no baggage. She’s not the one you married, struggled with, built with, had children with, and went through ups and downs with.

    So yeah, to anyone that tells me to get over it and move on — mind you, I’m already engaged to someone else — I tell them to come back to me when they are going through this themselves. It doesn’t end once we sign the divorce papers. The pain continues because there’s always something else that comes along and opens up that wound that you are trying so hard to close.

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