5 Sad-But-True Things To Expect When Your Marriage Ends

Just know: It gets better. It really does.

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The end of a relationship is such a fragile, frightening place. And I’ll admit, at first, you’re simply spinning, tethered to immense fear and anxiety searching for answers to something you’ve no idea how to figure out.

News flash: you’re going to freak out for some time before you’re ready to see the big picture. So this particular moment is the beginning of your rite of passage.

If you've come to accept that your marriage is over, there are five things to expect.

1. You will feel responsible ... or feel like the victim.

You’ve been the fish in the fishbowl, unaware of what your life really has been for a long time. Tolerance and your rose-colored glasses make you feel like it’s all you, that the person to blame is you, that you’re responsible for the breakdown... or it's the opposite, that you're 100 percent the victim.


But the truth is, as couples therapist Amelia Perri, RP says in a TikTok video, the blame is never on one person.



What you don’t get is just how fragmented the agreement has been for a really long time. Having a spouse in your bed, a mortgage, vacations or even family celebrations doesn’t equal partnership, fidelity, or respect. This is when you begin to grasp the person who’s been your spouse and take stock of your life. Balancing this new understanding while freaking out and having compassion is difficult.


RELATED: 19 Truths About Divorce That Will Make You Feel Better

2. You will want to blame someone.

In the freak-out, it feels as if your reality, your marriage the thing you believed in and did every day never really existed. You feel like you’ve been living a fantasy in a house of cards. You feel duped, used, so unbelievably naive, foolish, stupid, angry, fed-up, and frightened to your core.

You grapple with looking for a reality check because you will go over and over and over the details of your marriage —  every nuance, every conversation, every moment, every voice message, every email, everything —  until you figure out the lies, catalog the disrespect, the lack of love all in order to become steady on your feet. 

You’re searching for blame.


3. You will feel pain.

You don't want to feel the hurt, the anger, loss, panic, and the tears, but you will. You really can’t deal with being this wobbly and you’re not in any shape to face the future, never mind being positive and tethered to optimism or experiencing joy.

Knowing this, you’re going to feel weak, unable to get out of bed in the morning, or even the opposite, determined to hold it together with a framework of work and family duties. You might waffle between the two while throwing in a few dates.



Remember that you are not alone.


RELATED: The 10 Emotional Stages Of Divorce (So You Can Know When You're Finally Done)

4. You will feel guarded.

Your armor will get thick and you stop trusting everyone. You’ll look around for spies, start using cash, worry that your email is being hacked, that there’s a PI behind you, or that your friends are no longer your friends. You’ll assume every professional, from an attorney to your doctor to your kids’ teachers, knew something you didn’t. You’ll assume everyone is lying (including me).

This is the worst part of this part of separation. It’s a very lonely place because, in your pain and shame, you’re pulling in, hiding from others who you think are judging, judging, judging. Here too, you’re simply creating a lie in order to piece the future together. But, all that’s going on is that your marriage is over.

Know that you will be able to trust again, but the first person you must re-learn to trust is yourself.




"At the end of the day, the only thing you have control over is you," Mazur says in a TikTok video. "You need to be confident in you so that no matter what anybody else does, you know you'll be OK."

RELATED: 7 Little Things That Stopped Me From Moving On After My Divorce

5. You will recover.

Find safe ground. There’s nothing wrong with you. You may have work to do, a lot of work. You may have to parent, you may have to learn a few skills, change some habits, get some help, but you… your passage for your life is just beginning.


In fear and resentment, this is incredibly hard to hear but try to believe that you’re definitely not the only one whose life has been a mirage. That’s why I’m optimistic and bold and I champion your courage.

This is simply a period of time and you need it. 

When you're despondent, you need to take the necessary steps in order to make the torment and the panic go away. In doing so, the aching goes away and you can begin to get better and grow. 

Heartache, dread, and awareness have to come first. It’s part of what’s going on. You have to see the truth. Figuring out as much as you can about the lies you’ve been living gives you purpose to get out of bed in the morning.

It also means using the fuel of anger and self-righteousness to propel you into accepting, changing and evolving into who you’re supposed to be.


RELATED: 5 Brutally Harsh Lessons Only A Divorce Can Teach You

Laura Bonarrigo is a divorce coach who helps clients build trust, inspire confidence and calm and instill long-term vision and objectives through separation.