13 Heartbreaking Things Divorce Really Takes From You

It's more than just your marriage that is over.

Last updated on Aug 19, 2023

woman sadly looking at wedding ring CandyBox Images | Shutterstock

By Christie G.

As my divorce papers are about to be filed these are just some of the things which I have lost so far.

No one warns you about how much divorce takes from you. It feels like I have a whole new identity now.

Here are 13 heartbreaking things divorce really takes from you:

1. My husband and best friend

He was the person who knew me best in the world and the person who I shared everything with. He was the person who, at one time, was my biggest fan; at times he believed in me more than I believed in myself. 


He was the person I knew best in the world and the person who (I thought) shared everything with me. He was the person for whom I was the biggest fan, who I believed more than he believed in himself

He was the man who used to tell me that I was half the man he was.

RELATED: 12 Men Describe Exactly How It Felt When They Officially Divorced Their Wives

2. His family

I didn't have any family when I met him and when we got married. The family that I became a part of for 20 years is now gone. Almost no one reaches out, no one calls, texts, or messages me, not even on Facebook. I feel like I've lost a father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunts, uncles, and cousins. These were the people I thought would always be in my life after years of baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and holidays.


3. My identity as a wife

The ring is gone (long story). I am not a "wife" anymore.  I can't say "My husband..." anymore. When I go into a store, I find myself thinking, "Oh he would like that" or "He said he needs one of those" and then the realization hits — he is not mine to take care of anymore. 

He is not someone I need to buy things for any longer.  I am "single", a word I have always despised.

4. My children's sense of security

My kids grew up hearing "Your mommy and daddy will never get a divorce; you will never have to worry about that because that is not an option." We tried to give them a sense of security and it turns out that we lied to them instead.

My children's personalities are changing and they are not the same people that they were 4 months ago.


5. Possessions

The things that belonged to us are now being distributed. He doesn't really want anything much so far.

The pain also comes in all of the things that he doesn't want. He doesn't want photos, old cards, wedding china, or wedding photos. The things that are left here, I now don't even want.

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

6. Friends

"Our" friends have chosen sides. His friends don't talk to me anymore. Some friends just don't want to be involved, so they have distanced themselves from both of us. Some friends have had advice that I didn't want to follow, so they have walked away. 

Some friends don't like the way I am handling things. My depression is lasting too long for them, I guess, and they just don't want to hear me anymore.


7. Trust

When you can't trust the person you were married to, and you can't trust your own instincts, it can be a confusing time. When people come out of nowhere to tell you the things that they knew long ago but didn't tell you, it makes you question everything and everyone.

8. The future as you had imagined

All of those plans for future vacations, future purchases, and retirement plans are gone. Imagining the two of you together standing over the crib as you look in at our first grandchild one day, gone.

9. A life of romance and love

I no longer enjoy hearing love songs, watching romantic movies, or even seeing people holding hands. I want to scream, "Don't do it!" I cringe when I hear someone talking about a wedding or anniversary.

RELATED: Divorce Lawyer Reveals The Craziest Divorce Case She Ever Experienced


10. A daily father to my children

There is no longer the "good cop" to my "bad cop", or vice versa. There is no one there to vent to or ask advice from or get feedback from. All decisions are now mine and mine alone, right or wrong, and they are now scrutinized and criticized instead.

11. The desire to look back and remember the past

I know, now, that he was cheating and that he was interested in her 6 years ago, so it is painful to wonder how long it was actually going on. All memories of our past now are marred; everything feels like a lie.

When we were together, was he thinking of her? When we were in bed, was he wishing it was her? How long did he stay just wishing he could leave? He said he deserves to be happy, but wasn't he happy with me?


12. Money and any financial security

I am now living on whatever amount he chooses to give me, whenever he chooses to give it to me. We were always a family who lived paycheck-to-paycheck, but now I can't even afford gas and groceries. Trying to find a job after being a stay-at-home parent for 17 years is not easy, and I have a special needs child.

13. Faith in our legal system

I tried for months to find a lawyer but no one would even consider taking me on without at least $5,000 upfront. What do you do when you don't have that amount and have no means to come up with it?! Now he is paying for us to see a mediator and I am left feeling exposed and unprotected. 

How do I know if what I am offered is truly fair to me? I was told by a lawyer to quickly find a job. I was told to get ready to lose the house and find an apartment. It seems to me that only the rich get to be represented by an attorney.

RELATED: The Specific Issue That's The Strongest Indicator Of Divorce, According To Research


Christie G. is a freelance writer and former contributor to BlogHer.