Love, Heartbreak

10 Ways Getting Divorced In Your 20s Changes You Forever

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getting divorced in your 20s

No one wants to get divorced in their 20s, but sometimes it’s the right choice to make for everyone’s well-being.

Trust me, I was not happy about divorcing my first husband in my early 20s and then my second husband in my late 20s. It’s easy to fall into disappointment in yourself and in love, but there are also some pros to getting divorced in your 20s that you can see with a closer look.

Here's how this can change you forever.

1. Failure feels like your middle name.

No one wants to have to tell people that they failed so early on in marriage in life. You may feel like everything you do is wrong and that you can’t trust yourself because you’re just a total failure. But remember this is just one aspect of your life. Yes, your love relationship makes up a huge part of who you are, but it really is just one piece of the fabulous you that you are creating every day.

2. You get more serious about choices.

There’s no way to come through a divorce in your 20s without having a lifelong realization about the importance of serious choices. You may find yourself less secure when it comes to making decisions, and that’s okay. Choices are all about accepting the results and continually tweaking the outcomes. You will not always make the right choices; the best thing to do is learn from your mistakes and move on.

3. Your idea of love and its sustainability is questioned.

Perhaps this early loss of what you thought was going to be lifelong love really threw you for a loop. The beautiful lasting love, your soulmate, turned out to not be so long-term. Does the fairy tale not exist? Is true love even possible? These are questions you may struggle with for a long time, but you will love again. You just may have a more tentative approach in life knowing that what we think is everlasting can change.

4. You mature beyond your years.

The whole messy process of separation and divorce will take a toll on you regardless of how amicable the split is. You will have to face parts of yourself and your soon-to-be-ex that you never knew were there. You are strong enough to get through it, and you will come out stronger and wiser from the experience.

Of course, divorce is never anything you would wish upon anyone, but you will develop a new strength and maturity if you will allow it.

5. Never again will you question why other people end relationships.

Did you always blame others for not trying hard enough in love? Did you think that a marriage should never be ended except under the most extreme cases? Well, you will never again judge others in love.

You realize that things don’t have to be life or death to end a marriage, there just have to be irreconcilable differences, which means the two people have come to a standstill in one or more areas of their relationship that they just can’t negotiate on. This doesn’t mean failure — it means opportunity for growth.

6. You give yourself the chance to start again.

Learning at a young age how important it is to remember that you are always free to begin again after something doesn’t work out is a great lesson, not only in love, but other situations you will find yourself in the future. Perhaps you will need this same resolve to leave when you find yourself in a job that you just can’t be happy in or a friendship becomes toxic.

You will develop a resolve to know that all things in life have beginnings and endings and that they will keep on happening as long as the world goes around.

7. Settling is never an option.

Maybe someone else would have stayed in your relationship and just changed herself to be what she had to be to make it work, but you couldn’t and wouldn’t. You still hold a belief in the possibility of a love that will last a lifetime.

Settling for what is okay holds no place in your book; you know now that you cannot and will not settle in life until you find the ultimate in everything you wish for. You will keep searching and believing in your ability to have everything you want in life.

8. Relying on your resilience becomes natural to you.

You’ve made it through tough stuff before, but nothing like this. Nothing that tested every area of your life and who you are to such an extent. As you move through your life, you will now have an enduring strength and spirit that cannot be shaken. You have developed a toughness that will protect you and guide you through all of life’s challenges.

9. Enjoying your life and having fun become ultra-important.

A simple way getting divorced in your 20s changes you forever is in realizing that life is for living and enjoying. Once you’ve crossed the threshold of ending a marriage early, you realize the importance of grabbing life by the horns and riding it (or a new him) for all it’s worth.

Life is too short to be weighed down by what no longer works. You will savor fun and celebrate the marvel of the simple joys in life.

10. Discussing problems in your relationships sooner than later becomes vital.

You have learned a lesson that will help you in all future relationships: deal with the small issues before they become big ones. You never knew that those small misunderstandings and the things that go unmentioned could build up to bigger issues in the long run.

You now know the importance of maintaining a healthy marriage and that it’s not something to be taken lightly. To have a strong marriage takes a lot of effort right from the start.

So, as you continue on through life into your 30s and 40s, you will always have this little bit of “baggage” that not everyone else carries. There will be times when you feel burdened by the extra weight, but if you also hold the love and wisdom you have received within your heart with great humility and respect, you will find yourself able to flourish and blossom in your romantic life and in all your relationships in the beautiful long life ahead of you.

Check out the video below for tips on what to do (and NOT do) when you're going through a divorce:


Sheila Hageman has appeared on numerous TV shows including Today Show, ABC News, NBC News, and as an expert on Bill Cunningham and Anderson Cooper. She has been featured on Salon, Mamalode, Mom Babble, Say It With A Bang, She Knows and The Huffington Post. Follow her on Facebook or @SheilaMHageman on Twitter.