The Unbearable Pain Of My Broken Heart Is Making Me Stronger Than Ever Before

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sad woman

My divorce will be final in two weeks, and the truth is I don't know how I feel. Part of me feels completely relieved and free and another part of me feels sad. 

You see, I didn't get married with the intention of ever getting divorced. I come from a divorced family so I had an idea of how difficult marriage can be and how much work it required. 

I was ready for it

She changed my world when I met her. I felt alive and I knew I loved her within hours. I didn't want to spend another minute of my life without her. 

I didn't want to be married to someone or start a family with someone. I wanted to be married to her and have a family with her

I would have done anything for her. 

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We spent a lot of time talking before we got married about how neither of us believed in divorce. We were committed to working on ourselves. But that's often easier to say than it is to do.

I was not without fault. Marriage doesn't come with an instruction book. I wish I could take back some things I did, and especially some of the words I said. I wish she could take back some of her own actions too ... especially her infidelity. 

For months, I tried to win her back while she waffled. 

I should have known that her unwillingness to give up her girlfriend while promising me that, at the same time, she still wanted to be married, was the prototypical writing on the wall. I should have known that someone who runs away rather than putting in the work isn't worthy of being in my life. 

I should have known that after she spoke to all of my friends and heard, truly heard, from them how much she was loved, adored, and cared for by me, yet still chose to go away on a vacation with her girlfriend, that there was no hope.

Most importantly, I should have known that someone who wasn't loyal and wasn't there for me when I needed them most isn't worthy of all I have to give. 

I believed her lies. I believed her telling me I was a terrible person and that I was unlovable. I let her convince me that I was unworthy of a wife or a family or anything good in my life. 

Then I started to understand ... that is what she needed to tell people — most importantly her family — in order to justify her behavior. 

She needed a villain to justify the behavior her family was allegedly so religiously opposed to. Her lies started to unravel and without telling anyone anything, people who had been in her life for years were starting to see the truth.  

I used the pain and sadness all of this heartbreak caused me to become stronger than I have ever been and to finally learn to love myself (admittedly, not without ebbs and flows). 

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I saw through all of the stories. 

I saw her for who and what she really is. 

Moreover, I saw that no matter how many lies she tells or how many people she cuts out of her life, or how many quotes she posts on social media about strength, she has to go to bed every single night of her life knowing the truth of what she did.

So I will walk into the court and tell a judge that our marriage is irretrievably broken. 

I will give her back the simple gold band I was so proud to wear. I am sure that day will be difficult because I have had to radically accept that the person I loved and thought I knew was an illusion. I never imagined I was just a rung on her ladder to “get ahead."

She never loved me. 

If she did, she would have put in some effort instead of running away. 

But because I love myself, I will be strong. I know how incredible I am. What a catch I am. And that I will never ever let someone convince me otherwise ever again.

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Serena Pollack is a corporate attorney and writer. Follow her on Twitter.