36 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Divorce

Hot List 71

broken heartMarriage is this beautiful, amazing, loving, caring union ... until it's not. Sure, some marriages last and last, but some crash and burn leaving behind a huge mess and intense heartbreak -- no matter if you are the one who asked for a divorce or not. They say marriage takes a lot of work, and it does, work that can be really rewarding. But divorce takes even more work, especially when there are kids involved. And that kind of work doesn't come with many rewards. Sometimes when you are in the midst of fighting and deciding you want to get divorced, far too many things and feelings are forgotten about, not considered, because you are in the heat of the moment, the midst of what you feel is a definite finality in your marriage.

Some of those feelings may deceive you. There are so many things I wish someone told me about divorce before I began the whole process.

More from The Stir: 17 Surprising Things You Learn After a Divorce

  1. It's nothing at all like when your husband was away on business and it was nice to have the bed to yourself. That gets old. You get lonely.
  2. He's not going to be there. Ever. Never again in the way that he was. He's gone. For good.
  3. Don't rush things unless you are in an abusive situation.
  4. You may want to hide when you are first going through divorce. You won't want to talk about it with anyone.
  5. You will have to remind yourself that you are not a failure. That the relationship simply ran its course, it had an expiration date.
  6. You may never feel truly sure you made the right decision particularly if you have children together.
  7. There is going to be an in-law situation and you won't know how to carry on your relationship with them.
  8. When your kids are sick, you are the only one home to care for them and he's not there to ask him for help.
  9. When you are sick, he is no longer there to care for you.
  10. You will miss his cooking, even if he isn't a good cook, but simply because there was someone else there to make meals and it isn't all on you. And if he was a good cook, it's going to be even harder.
  11. You still may call him by the pet name you had for him and it slips out when discussing a matter and it hangs there in the air and hurts.
  12. If you thought talking about money with your husband was hard, try talking about money with your ex-husband.
  13. There will be no more "stay here with the kids for an hour so I can run out to do errands."
  14. It may feel natural to reach out to hold onto his arm when you go out for coffee to discuss the kids, but you aren't supposed to hold onto his arm anymore.
  15. You will miss your wedding ring ... feeling it there on your finger and what it represented.
  16. Your wedding album is like a ghost.
  17. You won't know what to do with your wedding dress.
  18. If you knew what you knew now, you wouldn't have spent all that money on that wedding dress. Instead you should have banked it to save for couples' therapy.
  19. You might have to politely ask your parents to take down your wedding photo they still have hanging on the wall in the living room because it hurts too much to see it.
  20. It's not easy. Not even if you are the one who wanted a divorce.
  21. You'll wonder if he's dating someone new and if he's thinking she's better than you.
  22. When he gets serious with another woman, dealing with that woman being around your children is going to be harder than you could ever imagine.
  23. After all the hurt subsides, you remember all the good things and sort of forget the bad and the hurt starts again but in a different way.
  24. What if ... there will be lots of these.
  25. You will look at your kids, that are his kids too, and wonder how in the world are you going to be able to make it through all these holidays for the rest of your lives and still figure out how to be a family that is no longer living together.
  26. You may notice it feels weird to still have the gifts he's given to you over the years even if it's something as mundane as a toaster. And you may start having nostalgia about the toaster.
  27. You might fondle the silverware gifted to you at your bridal shower and feel bad that all your friends and family gave you all these wonderful gifts for a marriage that didn't last.
  28. You may worry some of your friends might be thinking about those gifts they gifted you.
  29. You may lose some friends.
  30. Some of your family may not understand why you are getting divorced and that can be very challenging to deal with on top of dealing with divorce itself.
  31. There will be a bit of pain when you refer to him as "Daddy" to your kids, but that's his name and how he's addressed, so you must deal.
  32. You are going to want to confide in your ex because you are so used to doing so, but you have to learn how to stop doing that.
  33. It may take a long time for you to be 'friends' -- whatever that means. It may never happen.
  34. There will be a time when your kids will wonder how the two of you were ever together in the first place. They may never even remember a time when you were together.
  35. You remember what it was like to fall in love with the man you married and you truly wonder how in the world did it all fall apart. 
  36. The above makes you terrified to ever get married again.

Which ones do you relate to most? What would you add?


Image via Mio Miranda/Flickr

breakups, divorce, marriage


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Jenna Oberg

# 7 was particularly difficult, because I love his family, and I felt that they loved me, too. 

#12 was a nightmare when reality set in. 

#22 took me getting over myseld and trusting that he wouldn't let anyone hurt our children.

#24 I still do that, sometimes, and I've been remarried for ten years. 

#33 was hard for both of us, initially. 

#34 we are not friends. We will never be friends again.

#35 I know exactly how it feel apart, but I used to wonder why it had to. 


nonmember avatar Ashlie

I am going through a divorce right now.

We still live in the same home out of financial convenience, and also because he is deploying soon and needs to see his children as much as possible before he leaves.

This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. So much anger and heartbreak at once yet the memories that are underlying hurt more than anything else.

junecat junecat

I am going through a divorce now also. I agree with a lot of this list - hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish we had worked on our relationship before it got beyond the point of repair. It is so hard watching your children (mine are teens and drive themselves back and forth) sit and cry because they're sick of packing their stuff up and sick of feeling guilty not spending enough time at Dad's. I bought a house myself so my kids and pets would have a "home" but I sit down at night and kick myself coz it's so overwhelming doing it all alone. Not having someone to talk to about the kids is the worst feeling, though - no one wants to listen to the day to day dribble that goes on except the other parent. I miss that most of all, I think. You feel so alone......

nonmember avatar Angie

These all seem very obvious to me. I'm so sorry that you're hurting, but I guess don't understand at all what you thought ending a marriage would feel like?

Coles... Coles_mom

I think a lot of these are compounded times 1,000 when the guy dumps you. If you're the one making the divorce choice, there may be moments of weakness or confusion, but ultimately it's your choice. And there will probably always be that little voice in the back of your head telling you you can go back to him if you want. When he leaves you (especially for someone else), you don't have that option. You feel completely spun out of control. It doesn't matter how much you beg, plead, and cry - too bad. You call him a pet name or reach out instinctively to grab his arm, he jumps back and tells you to get control of yourself or you'll be back in court for harassment. 

Jenna Oberg

Angie, I guess it's more of the realization that there are a lot of aspects about an ending a marriage that you "knew" about, but until you're dealing with it and going through it, you didn't really understand.

At least that's my take on the author's perspective.

mommy... mommy1928

WOW! Truly eye-opening. I've been thinking about divorce lately, actually my husband and I had that discussion last night. Its not because I don't love him, I do, and he loves me too. Its just that we've grown apart throughout the years, it may be some of the unreliable "grass-is-greener" mentality but this makes me think that we need to try again and harder to make it work. Especially for our kids. Thank you I needed this. I just forwarded it to him too.

nonmember avatar Understand

All of this is very true for me but I was the one who ended it. We did try to see a therapist but he hated it so stopped going. It has been 7 years now and it's a lot easier. I am remarried and he is engaged. I was taking to his girl the other day and he told her that it was his fault our marriage ended because he was aweful to me. He and I have talked about it before and he regrets a lot of things but doesn't blame me for leaving. That's hard to take.

jayha... jayhawk00

Other than abuse, murder, and anything else similar, its on you if you chose to divorce. I don't feel bad for you. What did you think marraige was supposed to be about?  You grew apart? Boo-hoo. Work on it, go to therapy, figure out a way to to grow back together. Especially for your kids, because as bad as you are feeling, they are feeling it a hundred times worse than you. Get over the feeling of "the grass is greener" and find a way to overcome it and put the other person as priority over yourself.  Find a way to put your kids as priority.  You made your bed so figure it out.  Call me judgy, but I've been that kid you're talking about. 

1-10 of 71 comments 12345 Last