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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

How Conquering Divorce Gives You Confidence


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Whenever you successfully complete something that you thought you could not do, you gain confidence. Whenever you have to reframe your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, you fuel belief in yourself. Whenever you face your fears and survive, you acquire strength. And whenever you come through a struggle bruised and battered yet without giving up, you build trust in your abilities.


Divorce gives you plenty of practice in all of these. The end of a marriage is rife with authentic opportunities to build your confidence: 


Whenever we accept too much assistance, we sacrifice our self-confidence. But divorce gives plenty of practice in self-reliance. Because at the end of the day, you have to do it yourself.  You can accept help in everything from paperwork to counseling, but the talks with the lawyers, the tears in the night and the conviction to move forward are yours and your alone.

Divorce seems never-ending. The mountain seems insurmountable between the emotional process and the legal one. One step forward is often followed with a mudslide back. It’s a powerful feeling when you look back and realize how far you’ve come. Baby steps add up to marathons.

In many marriages, you grow to depend upon your partner as your go-to when you’re stressed or upset. But in divorce, that is the one person who cannot offer you the comfort you crave or the helping hand you desire. You have to do it all without the support of the person that you had always depended upon. 

Divorce is scary. It requires cojones just to face each day. You never know what may lie in wait around each corner and what demons you may be asked to slay. And if you have kids, it takes even greater courage to be the strong one for them.

When a marriage ends, it leaves no surface untouched. It affects every area of your life from finances to future. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe. It’s not easy living in a land of uncertainty with no firm footholds.

When you are partnered, you see yourself as your spouse sees you. You may accept his or her perceived weakness as truth and you may lose faith in your ability to conquer challenges. As you separate, you are forced to revise your self-image. And you will discover that you are stronger and more resilient than you ever imaged.

Made it through divorce? Here’s your trophy. You deserve it!


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16 thoughts on “How Conquering Divorce Gives You Confidence

  1. There’s a lot of good and a lot of truth in what you say in this article. Just curious though, as to what your criteria would be for having “made it through” divorce?

    1. Depends. It could mean once the decree is in hand. It could be the day you realize the worst is behind you. It could be the moment that the divorce no longer defines you or holds you back. It’s what “over” means to you and that may change as time goes on.

  2. Yes, agreed, it changes with time, and as you suggest, varies from person to person. Just thought you might have some criteria in mind on which you based the article. If not, that might be a thought for a future article (if not already covered elsewhere on site). 🙂

  3. This is so timely. I just got my divorced finalized yesterday and altho the last 2 years have been Hell making it through some of the BS that came along with hurt feelings, moving out..etc. I have to admit that I feel more confident now than EVER.

  4. This article expresses exactly how I feel. It’s spot on! I had been married for 33 years and had no idea we were headed for a divorce. It hasn’t even been a year yet. I am learning how to read define myself every day. I also have embraced my singleness wholeheartedly! There is a light at the end of the path.

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