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Moving On After Divorce - Woman's Guide to Surviving Divorce

Updated on January 1, 2016

Divorce isn't easy

Everyone knows divorce isn't easy. Not only the process itself, but the emotions that surround the event. Whether the divorce is mutual or one-sided, it's never an enjoyable experience. Add some children to the mix and it's even harder to recover. Just because marriage is meant to be forever doesn't mean the aftermath of a divorce has to be. I'm writing from experience and not from any knowledge of divorce law, custody battles or the psychological effects of divorce. This is just my story and my opinion of how to make it through what will be a tough time in your life. I hope my experience can help other women recover more quickly.

What happened?

When someone finds out you're getting a divorce, their first thought or comment is, "What happened?" Most of the time people won't have a clue that anything was wrong with your marriage. Don't feel that you have to give them the personal details of "what happened." It's much easier to use a general statement like, "we grew apart" or "it just didn't work out."

What happened in my marriage? I fell out of love. It's that simple. We got married too soon and had a baby too soon after that. We didn't have the time to get to know each other and spend time together as a married couple before the excitement of having a baby loomed ahead. We were both scared, but excited at the same time.

In a way, I'm glad things happened as they did. If I hadn't gotten pregnant so quickly, I may not have come to realize that he wasn't the right one for me. I didn't feel that he showed me the emotional support I needed during my pregnancy and childbirth. Maybe it was because he wasn't ready to be a father. Whatever the reason, this time in our loves allowed me to realize that it wasn't meant to be.

Soon after the baby was born I felt alone. I suffered from postpartum depression. I would sit in the rocking chair with a crying baby the entire night while he sat in another room of the apartment playing video games and chatting with friends on the computer. The resentment I felt for him during those tough few months led me to eventually fall out of love with him. I didn't want to be around him. He didn't make me laugh or make feel loved. It just wasn't working.

Near the end of our marriage, I was threatening to leave. I guess he thought I was bluffing because he would occasionally throw a "when are you moving out?" into the mix of an argument. So, one day while he was at work, my mother and I moved all of my and the baby's belongings out of the apartment and into her house. When he arrived home he called me, obviously upset. I had left something of the baby's at the apartment and had to go back. When I pulled in the driveway that night, I could see him standing in the now empty living room through the window. He was crying. I felt horrible. Sometimes it takes a person exiting our lives to realize just how much we care for them. The sad part is, by this time it's too late.

Moving on

Moving on was hard for me. Since I was a teenager, I'd always been in a relationship. I had never lived on my own. I was either living with my parents or living with a boyfriend. After a few months at my mother's house, I started to feel like a burden. I knew it was hard for her and my stepfather to have a crying baby in the house. They had just bought a house together and probably wanted to live their lives child free. Here I was, taking up their basement and providing some nightly wailing to keep them awake. I decided it was time I moved out on my own. The apartment search began.

I finally found a place of my own and moved out of my parents house. I was alone and scared, but determined to make it work. My mother was a big help and over time, I began to feel more and more independent and happy to be alone. I learned how to appreciate having my own place where I could do what I want, decorate it the way I want to and not have anyone complain about the noise or whether I was staying up too late on a work night. Life was finally getting better!

The neighbors on the second floor were amazing. A young married couple that loved cats. Since I've always worked at a veterinary hospital, conversations about their cats came easily and helped us become friends. I always felt more alone at night after the baby was in bed. Luckily, this was the time that they would sit on the back deck, have a drink and talk. I'd take the baby monitor out with me and spend time with my new friends. Ahhhh.. life was good.

Once I had enough money to file for divorce, I did it. I didn't ask for alimoney or any of his belongings. "How could I do that when I'm the one that left him?" If he had left me, I'd feel more like I had a right to some of his money and things we purchased together. I didn't feel right asking for anything and I wanted it to be over with as quickly as possible. And it was. He didn't fight it. We agreed on child support together and he played an active role in his child's life. There was a little bit of drama when I first started dating again because he was still in love with me. Once he got over the hurt and realized that I was really gone, he gave up.

To this day, he takes his daughter every weekend and helps out by giving me a little extra money if I need it. We are what I would consider good friends and I'm thankful for that. So many people have nasty divorces with a lot of name calling and mudslinging. I'm very grateful that my divorce went so smoothly.

You can recover from divorce! Don't try dating immediately afterward. Live alone and find yourself again. Learn to love yourself again and get to know the real "you." I think this is the most important step in the recovery process. When you're married you lose "you" and become "us." It takes time to get back to being "you" again. Once you get there, you can invite someone else into your life again. Take as much time as you need to get back on your feet and start to feel happy again. It's not easy, but you can do it!


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    • Ollasnana profile image

      Ollasnana 7 years ago from Nebraska

      Very nice, Puppyluv. I have been through a divorce, too. I also had children who had to go through the divorce with me. Great advice, and can't wait to read more articles from you.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Ms. Dee - Thank you! I lived with men for so long I never really found the real me until after my divorce! So I'm thankful it happened. :)

      Crochet48 - Yes, success is definitley the best revenge. :)

      Chatkath - Thank you!!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Puppyluv -

      Congratulations on your nomination, well deserved because this hub has the potential to help many others going through the same thing, I went through it years ago, it was terrifying to finally make the decision to leave with a small child and learn to live alone! Bravo!!!

    • profile image

      crochet48 7 years ago

      Very good article and well-written. I had a similar experience with my divorce, only my two boys were in their teens and upper childhood (15 and 8).

      My ex and I are not what you would call friends; in fact, I had to promise him that, if he didn't stop his family from trashing me in front of the boys, I'd yank visitation. He's also been less than honest about money. Ahh, well. Success (mine) is the best revenge.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      "Learn to love yourself again and get to know the real 'you.'" Excellent! The 'nail on the head' :). This is what I've seen a loved one go through who is now doing great. All the best!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 7 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub about your experiences. Hopefully it will help others. Congrats on your nomination.

    • FOREX NINJA profile image

      FOREX NINJA 7 years ago

      A heart felt story which i learnt a lot from.Am really happy at last to know that you actually overcame this difficult situation and moved on with your life,honestly i believe that more goodies is about to come in your way soon.Thanks a lot puppyluv for sharing this.

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 7 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Yes truly there is life after divorce and life abundant. Cudos to you for sharing a very difficult and private part of your life. I hope it added to your continued healing and source of confidence. I facilitated a support for people going through divorce for several years. I know the pain and I have lived through several of my own. Bless you.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, Denise! I honestly appreciate all of the kind comments! I'm very happy to have been nominated. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Welcome to Hubpages and congrats on your nomination for the hubnugget award. Best of luck. Great hub, BTW.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, Pamela!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for telling your story in a very logical way. Congrats on your nomination.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, mojefballa! I'm honestly shocked at how much people enjoyed an article I wrote from my own life's story. :)

    • mojefballa profile image

      Ikeji Chinweuba 7 years ago from Nigeria

      An excellent piece of information which is very educating and interesting.Honestly,i really acquired a lot of knowledge from reading this article of yours which is well packaged.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thanks, Elayne001! It's hard, but you're right: Life goes on!

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      You are right about many things. I have suffered thru a divorce also. It is still hard after many years, but life goes on. May we both find true peace! Congrats on your nomination.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      That's my plan, swb64! Although my main goal is to educate pet owners, I have to sneak in a little therapy hub every now and then. ;)

    • swb64 profile image

      swb64 7 years ago from Addingham, UK.

      Its a bad habit, replace it with the 'Hub' habit!!!

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thanks, swb64! I've learned that lesson a few times. I have a habit of jumping from one relationship to the next.

    • swb64 profile image

      swb64 7 years ago from Addingham, UK.

      You hit it bang on and certainly at the end, most folks do go through the want of a partner and will spend as shorter time as possible alone - and its usually too late by the time they realise jumping from one relationship to another just doesn't work... Very good.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, Marsha!

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 7 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Good hub Puppyluv. Keep on writing. Good luck.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, Cindy2011! I have to agree with you. I didn't even realize how healing it was until I had to re-read it several times to check for grammar and spelling errors. Helped me realize how far I've come.

    • Cindy2011 profile image

      Cindy2011 7 years ago from Canada's West Coast

      Good hub - I agree, working it out on paper helps with the healing process. When you re-read your material your own voice comes back at you as assurance of your choices. Keep writing...

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Reading your story, divorce is never easy but you gave hope, you can indeed move on and forward. Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! This you gotta read and see!

      The Hubnuggets Links:

      Where to read and cast your vote:

      Participate in the Hubnuggets forum:

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thank you, Chatkath and ladyjane1! I'm not a professional, but I try to give the best advice I can. Thanks for reading!

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      Nice hub. As someone who has been through divorce a couple of times It certainly is hard and there is a grieving process that goes along with it. But eventually, the sun will come out again. You gave some good advice. Great job. Cheers.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Hi Puppyluv-

      Good hub, difficult topic but I think it can very healing to write about it! You are through the hard part so hopefully the rest will be easier!

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 7 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Greetings, kashmir56! Love the puppy goggles. Very cute!

      Thanks for the rating, Marcoujor! Much appreciated! Post comments all you like so I can see some more of that sweet doggie face. :)

      Thank you, Dr. Ope! Glad you liked it! It's so much easier for me to write personal stories, although I realize everyone's not interested in my personal life. :)

    • Dr.Ope profile image

      Olive Ellis 7 years ago

      Hi Puppyluv, very good article. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Sharing is therapy. Awesome piece!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Voted UP and AWESOME... Puppyluv... I like your new pic very much and your sharing is most inspirational. Thank you!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Puppyluv. all great information and advice to help anyone going through a divorces .

      Welcome to Hubpages !!!


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