Self, Heartbreak

What Divorce Really FEELS Like (From A Woman Who's Been There)

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what divorce is like for women

No one walks down the aisle on their wedding day hoping that one day they and their soon-to-be-spouse will divorce. (At least, I hope not. That would be really sad.)

Yet, after years and years of trying to keep our marriage alive, many of us do find ourselves in that position.

Truth is, the fear of what life will look like after divorce keeps many people — men and women — in unhappy, sometimes abusive marriages for far longer that was likely necessary.

While I cannot in anyway predict what anyone else's particular divorce will look like, here is a glimpse into what it was like for me, and for many people I have swapped marriage and divorce tales with over the years.

You tried to save your marriage, but the day arrives when enough has been quite enough.

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decision to divorce

At first, you cry. A lot.

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crying

And then it feels AH-mazing when you suddenly remember how to laugh.

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laughing

You worry A LOT about how the kids will take the news.

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sad kid

But kids are pretty damn smart. They probably saw it coming before you did.

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kids of divorce

There are so many details to figure out.

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divorce is complicated

Between your soon-to-be-ex, your friends opinions and your attorney, it feels impossible to know who to trust anymore.

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trust issues

Your friends try their best to have your back.

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friends and divorce

Well, most of the time ...

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cats and divorce

So you just do your best to keep your shit together (or at least to make it seem like you do).

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keep yourself together

You get down sometimes, but you remain optimistic. This is your time to start fresh!

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stay flawless

One day — like MAGIC — the papers are signed and it’s all over!

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final divorce papers

Ummmm…Now what?

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what now

You're hit by a kind of tired you never knew existed.

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exhaustion after divorce

Someone interesting comes along, and you gather the strength to go on a date. After all, it's just coffee ...

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post-divorce dating

Being single now is nothing like it was back before you got married.

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tinder

Your enthusiasm may get you a wee bit carried away ... but it's all good. You're a grown-ass woman now!

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carried away

Some days your pockets feel so close to empty, you wonder why you even have them.

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empty pockets

It feels like nothing you do — at work, with your kids, with a new man or woman, or even for yourself — is ever quite enough.

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sometimes life sucks

Remember -- you've come a long way, baby. You're flawless.

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flawless

Respect that.

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respect

This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.