I never imagined I would be divorced by 26-years-old. I don’t think anybody really does. But I was. I was married at 25 and divorced by 26 but that’s a whole different story. On top of a divorce, I also had a 14-week-old baby. A baby that had just been released from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where he had spent the first 10 weeks of his life.
I had two options. I could either hide in the corner and play the ‘poor me’ card. Or I could put on my big girl panties and take control of my life.
I chose the latter.
Control isn’t something I had a lot of in my life before – I had sat back and slowly allowed others to make decisions for me. I thought I was a strong person but in reality I was scared. I was scared of making the wrong decisions in life. I was scared of being on my own. I was scared I wasn’t going to do what I thought we were meant to do in life – buy a house, get married and have kids.
I allowed others to make the decisions for me, so I wouldn’t make the wrong ones. Seems ironic now doesn’t it?
When I fell pregnant with my son a lot of things changed that led to my divorce. One of the things that changed about me was the realization that I needed to take control of my life, I needed to make decisions and have a say in what happened. It wasn’t just about me anymore. I was about to have a baby that relied on me completely.
In the process of me taking more control of my life, my marriage fell apart. I wasn’t the same person anymore, I wasn’t submissive, I was becoming strong and independent. I was growing as a person and it meant I was growing apart from my marriage.
The decision to get divorced was mine and it wasn’t entered into lightly. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to be married anymore. I don’t think we fall in love with people immediately, just as I don’t believe we fall out of love immediately.
I understand that this might be difficult for some to understand. Divorce can be quite a heated topic of discussion and many may argue that I would have become a better person if I had worked through my marriage. I don’t talk about my marriage often and there are a whole lot of other elements to it that I won’t even shed light on.
But I can tell you one thing – I am a much better person because of it.
My divorce forced me to reflect upon who I am. I had to evaluate who I had been, because the reality is my marriage failing wasn’t a one sided issue. I had part in it too. And I had to decide on the person I wanted to be – because I never wanted to go through this again.
My divorce forced me to be painfully honest with myself. I know we are all critical of ourselves but to be critical in a way that drives self development is a whole new level.
My divorce taught me that family is the most important thing in the world. Your family will stand by you through all the highs and lows. The love from your family will outlast any bad day and even if they don’t understand, they will support you.
My divorce taught me how to ask for help. I felt the need to do everything on my own – that it was my decision to leave my husband so I had to do it all by myself. That wasn’t the case. I had amazing support, all I had to do was ask for help.
My divorce taught me my worth. It taught me that I had to value myself first before I could expect anyone else to value me. It taught me that I am worthy of being loved and people aren’t ‘doing me a favour’ by being in my life.
My divorce taught me that not everything in life goes to plan. We have dreams of what we want our life to be like, what it should look like, how it should be lived. But we don’t usually think of a plan B, or what happens when things don’t go to plan. I’m learning to adjust my outlook on life and to take action when things aren’t working for me.
Divorce isn’t an option for everyone and I don’t think that just because two people change they should get divorced. But it was the only option for me. And I am so grateful for it. I am a far better person because of my divorce. I am a far happier person. And I am a person who now takes control of her own life.