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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Happiness is Divorce in the Rearview Mirror

happiness divorce

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There is nothing fun about divorce. I can’t ever imagine anyone – even the most devout fan of Fifty Shades of Gray – choosing to go through a divorce for the entertainment factor. Even in the most clearcut of situations where both parties agree that the marriage is terminal, the process of severing two intertwined lives is awful. And when there are complicating factors? It’s awfuler (yeah, when it comes to divorce, that IS a real word. promise).

But once you’re through?

Once the courtroom and the endless requests for documentation are over.

After the decisions have been made and the consequences determined.

When the divorce is in the rearview mirror.

That’s when the happiness comes.

If you know how to look for it.



Worst is Over

The final decree often brings with it a sense of relief. I personally went from never wanting a divorce to wanting a divorce more than anything else. I just wanted it to over. The months or years sandwiched between the decision to divorce (regardless of who makes the call) and the legal dissolution of marriage are horrible. It’s easy to feel lost and confused and attacked from all sides. The decree doesn’t make everything okay, but it sure helps to alleviate some of the unknown. The worst is over and now…

Healing Can Begin

It’s difficult to heal without resolution. After the legal process is over, you know what you have (and what you don’t). It’s a place – even if it’s rock bottom – where you can start to rebuild. Your focus can shift from the separation to yourself. Healing won’t happen immediately; the decree is no magic salve. But it WILL happen in its own time. One of the keys in healing from divorce is to recognize how far you have come. Celebrate your…


You made it. It seemed impossible. But you’re through it and still breathing. At least on most days. That’s something to celebrate. Give yourself credit for your successes, both big and small. See yourself as a survivor and strive to be a thriver. Have gratitude for the blessings you have in your life, including your…

True Friends

Divorce has a way of sifting out the true friends from the mere hangers-on. The ones who remain are special. They have now seen you at your most vulnerable and still seek you out. That’s pretty damn cool. Enjoy the security and comfort provided by the stalwart confidantes, but also don’t be afraid to seek out…

New Beginnings

Just like we experience a surge of energy at the beginning of a new year, a new school term or after a birthday, divorce also clears away the old and leaves room for the new. Anything is possible when nothing is certain. Rather than focus on the loss, choose to see the potential. Because when you’re rebuilding your life from the ground up, you have…


Divorce is a helluva teacher. Don’t let those lessons go to waste.



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25 thoughts on “Happiness is Divorce in the Rearview Mirror

  1. I love your wisdom. I am divorced. I took my wedding vows very seriously. To this day, my ex husband claims our marriage should never have been legal, as he was so high and drunk on our wedding day, he doesn’t remember it. (Never mind the proposal and the year prior to our marriage… I guess he was out of it for years and I just didn’t know.) We made it 10 years; he cheated on me twice, once with my ex best friend who he is now engaged to. I raised our son single handedly. I have moved on; I have found happiness. However, every time he contacts me (via email because his new bride to be won’t allow us to actually speak) he is still placing blame. EVERYTHING is MY fault. Am I guilty of being a bad person? Absolutely. Have I said and done things I regret? Of course! However, he’s coming at me as though I’m still that person. There’s a popular quote… “Don’t judge me by my past…I don’t live there any more.” Well, that’s me. I’m a much better person since our divorce, despite the fact that my only sister took his side and remains his friend while she turned her back on me. I’ve learned a great del about “friends” vs. those hangers-on that you mentioned. It saddens me to know, that even though we have completely severed all ties (my son never wants to hear his name again) that he’s still miserable. Everyone deserves happiness. They are not happy. When my son used to go visit, he’d never make it 24 hours. He had to come home because all they do is scream and yell, and they keep producing children. My heart goes out to those children. They’re going to grow up in a house full of hate and resentment. Well, I was able to save my son, and although I claim to be a better person, after his recent email attack, I no longer wish him happiness. I wish for him, everything he deserves. I’m going to keep moving forward, and he can sit in the past and fester in his own misery. We’re loving life! Awesome post!! And so very true.

    1. “Don’t judge me by my past…”
      LOVE that quote! And it’s so true. Someone’s response to their past is much more telling than the past itself.

      Do you have to read his emails??? Ugh.

      1. Not any more. I save them for the judge, as they’re full of venom and hate and most likely written by his girlfriend as the grammatical errors tell me quite a bit. However, I’m going to go to court next week, and ask the judge for sole custody. He told me IN WRITING that he’s done with our son, and to just move out of state to get away from him. hat’s exactly what I intend to do. However, if I don’t get the judge’s permission, he’d be the first one in line on Monday morning to charge me with kidnapping. I’m just glad to be rid of him!! And the things he said/wrote to my son? HIGHLY inappropriate for an 11 year old. I’m thinking the judge will see all of this and just grant me sole custody (he’s been ordered 3 times to take a parenting class, and instead just keeps having more children) and she’s thoroughly disgusted with him already. However, should we have to meet before a judge, I can’t wait to hear his defense. He mocked the death of my boyfriends son. How in the world are you going to explain THAT to a judge?!

  2. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of receiving the Final Decree dissolving my marriage, and I am happy, relieved, sad, and slightly disappointed that it didn’t work. But, mostly, I feel free to go back to being who I was (as much as possible) before I got married and divorced. I think that is the predominate emotion: freedom.

    1. I also had a very controlling ex husband who was mentally ill. He actually took his own life last November, about a year after the divorce was final. I value freedom more than anything now.

      1. I really hope that nothing like that happens here. Because he is in a deep blue, indigo funk. He is a Chronic depressive and won’t seek help because he believes that none of what happened in our marriage was his fault. It was always mine because I have a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder.

        So, yeah, I value my freedom to be me a lot. I am not trying to be someone that I am not to try to please another person. That’s not what love is.

  3. The process of going through a divorce can be long and tiring as well as emotionally draining. There is often a sense of relief and freedom when the divorce is finalized and this is typically when the healing starts.

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