7 things I learned after being blindsided by divorce

Woman and young girl on a sledge in the snow. The girls face is covered with a snowman

I had no idea that my husband was going to ask me for a divorce and when he did I was completely and utterly devastated. My seemingly happy marriage dissolved overnight and I had to navigate the murky waters of separation and divorce. 


But in the wreckage, I found unexpected lessons. Here are seven things I learned after being blindsided by divorce:

  1. Grief is a shapeshifter: Grief comes in waves and it’s not linear. I experienced every emotion imagineable - anger, sadness, confusion, shame, worry and denial. I learned to embrace the messy reality of grief, allowing myself to feel everything without judgment. If I felt like crying, I’d cry, if I was angry, I went to the gym and had a walk to help shake the feeling off. I journaled everyday to help process my emotions and acknowledged the bad days, constantly telling myself that things would get better.
  2. I am stronger than I ever imagined: I discovered strength I never knew I possessed. It wasn't always graceful, but I learned to deal with all the complicated legalities that go alongside divorce, be a working single mum and  stand on my own two feet. Some days I look back at that time in my life and I have no idea how I managed it but I did and I am incredibly proud of myself. 
  3. Forgiveness is a gift (to yourself): Forgiveness isn't condoning actions or erasing hurt. It's about releasing the bitterness and reclaiming your peace. It took time, but eventually, I forgave not just my ex but also myself for the shattered dreams. Forgiveness will make you feel lighter. 
  4. My support system is gold: In the darkest hours, the love and support of friends and family kept me going. I learned the true meaning of a support system and the importance of letting people in. I also learned who to let go of - there were many people who never even bothered to ask me how I was. 
  5. I am enough on my own: For years, I defined myself through my relationship. Divorce forced me to rediscover myself – my passions, my dreams, my resilience. I learned that I am whole and worthy, even on my own.
  6. Boundaries are so important: Healthy boundaries became essential.I learned to say no, prioritise self-care, and create space for what truly mattered.
  7. New beginnings bloom: Divorce felt like the end of my story, but slowly, a new chapter began to unfold. I learned to embrace the unknown, celebrate small victories, and find joy in unexpected places.

The end of a relationship can be messy and stressful, especially when it was unexpected but you can rebuild your life, become stronger and wiser and write  a new chapter filled with love, happiness, and adventure.

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