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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Lessons From the Beginning

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One of my Twitter followers asked me if I was going to rename my blog, Lessons From the Beginning of a Remarriage now that I am going to be married again. She continued by noting how it had to be strange promoting a book about divorce while I was preparing to wed. I love the idea and the nature of the title, but the name of this blog will not be changing.

When I first found myself suddenly single, I looked online for support. I found two broad types of divorce blogs and support groups: those populated by people in the thick of the shock and pain (hereby dubbed “the purgers”) and those run by people who kept the pain at a distance (“the sanitizers”). I identified with the purgers; after all, I had plenty of anger and sadness to share myself at that time (I could kvetch with the best of them!) . However, I also recognized that spending time sharing sob stories would not help me heal. So I moved on. The sanitizers made me ill in those early months. They made divorce seem like something entirely rational or they chose to take a Pollyanna stance, making it out to be all sunshine and roses (How to Throw a Great Divorce Party!). They had some good points, but I couldn’t relate and I wasn’t willing to listen since I didn’t believe they had ever felt my pain.

I chose not to share my story until I was past the worst of it. My intent from the beginning was to help people and I needed to make sure my own oxygen mask was securely fastened before I attempted to aid others. At the same time, I knew I didn’t want to be a sanitizer. I may not have felt the pain myself anymore (true at least most of the time), but I certainly hadn’t forgotten its sting. I write about the early pain so those who are there don’t feel alone and those who are healing know that I understand the anguish. I write about the healing process to give support and assistance for those who are struggling. Finally, I write about dating and remarriage to give hope to all.

My topics of choice have naturally evolved as I’ve moved on. I no longer talk as much about my personal divorce experience and I bring in more about love after divorce. That’s natural and I have to believe that the blog, like me, will continue to evolve. At this point, there is a divide between my blog and my life. I still write about divorce yet I rarely think or talk about it in my daily life. It’s really not that different than the math I teach. Even though I may solve equations all day at work, I do not bring them home with me (even though my students seem to think I do math all evening for fun!).

(There are exceptions. For example, just today, my coworker mentioned that many of our students this coming year are in single parent homes. She knew I was divorced but didn’t know any of the story. She said she had a hard time understanding why someone would divorce, especially with children in the picture. She is coming from her experience where divorce is very rare. I shared with her my story and some of the stories that have been shared with me. By the time we parted, I think she had more understanding and compassion as well as a little insecurity when she realized that no marriage is divorce-proof.)

It is strange sometimes writing about divorce while a wedding contract sits beside my computer. But it’s strange, not bad. On a personal level, I can still learn from looking back at my own experiences and hearing about those of my readers. Even more importantly, I want to show other people that you can laugh again after crying, trust again after betrayal and love again after divorce.

I will still write about divorce from the perspective of someone who has been there and moved on. After all, for every ending, there is a new beginning. Maybe the most appropriate title for the blog would be, Lessons From the End of a Marriage, the Middle of Healing and the Beginning of a Remarriage. But that would be one hell of a URL! πŸ™‚

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19 thoughts on “Lessons From the Beginning

  1. I divorced almost two years ago and began blogging in June 2012, and like you, my writing has shifted focus, as my life as a divorced woman continues to change and evolve. We always will have our past experiences that influence our writing and that we can draw upon, and with new experiences come new lessons to share. Thanks for such great writing!

  2. Well done with your blog and for continuing the writing of your story!
    “If you survive you can tell the story, you can go on. If you don’t survive, that’s it” Maria Belon. Tsunami 2004 survivor.

  3. I’ve just started delving into your blog (as well as starting my own), and I must say that you inspire me to push on. PS – Huge math nerd here. lol

  4. I for one am so glad you didn’t sanitize your blog. As I go through your posts, I’m seeing myself in many parts of your story. I am grateful for the honesty you portray around the pain and the hopefulness in your healing process. I’ll get there too. Thank you.

  5. I have been separated from my ex husband for only 6 months and divorced about 3 weeks. So I am definitely in the thick of the pain stage. But I thank you for your insight becauae I needed help learning how to move on.
    I was completely blindsided by my divorce, but unlike you I have two amazingly beautiful daughters aged 2 and under. We had been together for 3 years and married for two. We were actively planning and moving towards our future, to me we were in love, date nights, intimacy, great conversations, connection. Then after a business trip, my ex tells me he no longer loves me, and he never did. That everything we had was a friendship for him. I felt like the air was sucked out of the room. We separated and in November he filed for divorce and it was finalized December 4th.
    Its been so difficult. And I haven’t been able to let go. Let go of the hope that he Will realize his error and come back. Let go of what we had. Let go of ever thing that is no longer a reality. It has literally consumed me. Ive been searching for help online. And i have encounterd the ‘sanitizers and purgers’ and they have been counter productive. But this blog is a ray of hope. I feel validated and stronger.
    Yes it is a daily struggle and I’m in this for the long run. But I thank you for being the catalyst in my journey after the end of a marriage.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that you are in the midst of your own tsunami. It is such a shock when you learn that what you thought was real, isn’t. It is absolutely crazy making, and you find yourself endlessly questioning everything. Be patient with yourself – it takes time to let go of the past. But also know that you can let go. You can be okay again. You can learn to trust again. And you can love again. Unlike the sanitizers, I won’t sugarcoat it – it’s a difficult and nonlinear road. But it is also a road that can lead to a better life than you can even imagine. I’m glad you’re here. Give those precious girls of yours a hug for me:)

      1. Thank you so much. It is still going to be a huge journey, but I’m thankful to have found this blog. Cheers to a happier and healthier year. Congratulations on your wedding πŸ™‚ And yes, I gave my oh so yummy girls a huge hug on your behalf πŸ˜‰

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