A divorce can absolutely ruin your life. It can ruin you financially, physically, mentally and emotionally; it takes no prisoners.
If you are recently divorced, been divorced for a while, or have gone through a series of bad relationships, then this episode is most definitely for you.
Even if you’re as single as ever but have experienced failures and need some really good advice to keep you from screaming your head off, be sure to listen to this episode.
Join me as I talk about the crucial life lessons my divorce taught me. Learn how to move forward in your life after a massive disruption and the number one reason your divorce is not the end of your story.
Full Transcript Below
In this episode, I want to get a bit more personal, and share with you some of the most important life lessons I have learned, and that you can learn also from going through a divorce.
I’d also like to talk about the stigma that sometimes surrounds this topic, the struggles that so many divorcees, including myself have gone through, and give you some of my own thoughts on the topic.
Divorces, breakups or any breakdown in a relationship is never easy. When we think about divorce among celebrities and famous people, it’s often almost expected that celebrities will get divorced, because in Hollywood, the whole perception is that marriage isn’t something that is taken very seriously.
It isn’t a til death do us part kind of promise, It’s more like until I get tired of you and I want somebody else kind of promise. But when it comes to us regular folks, the people who are working our nine to fives, the people who are building businesses, and going to school, the whole perception of divorce is definitely different.
Due to people either being sensitive about it, afraid of the word, or it just being a huge source of embarrassment for many, divorce isn’t a topic that most people want to talk about. It isn’t a topic that a lot of people who have never experienced one really understand and I didn’t even really understand it until after I went through one.
If I were to ask you like on a whim, how many women get divorced on a yearly basis, what kind of figure would pop into your head? For many of us, we might think that only 20,000 30,000 women get divorced each year. But the truth is a lot worse.
Approximately 2.6 million divorces happen every single year in the US alone. And I can’t even begin to fathom what the worldwide figure is. For anyone from a small island country like myself, with only about 4.6 million people (though I might be wrong), that number is a massive
These figures when I think about them, they make me kind of sad, because they kind of bring to light the fact that many people married people they were not supposed to marry or many people marry people at the wrong stage in their lives.
And If I’m being honest, if I had the power of thanks and the infinity gauntlet, I would snap the high rate of divorce out of existence. In all fairness Thanos wanted half the population gone but I just want this high level of unhappiness, this high level of divorces to be gone.
Of course, I would snap it out of existence after I snapped sickness, crime, evil and world hunger out of existence.
I’m giving you these figures, though, to help other women out there who have been in toxic, harmful relationships, physically abusive, mentally abusive, emotionally abusive marriages, to understand that they are not alone. They aren’t abnormal. And by no means are they unforgivable.
This is something I wish I had learned earlier on. This is a truth that I wish somebody had told me because when I was going through my own struggles when I was going through my own divorce, I felt like I was committing the greatest sin. I thought that I would be cast out of heaven forever and that I would be forever unforgivable.
But in spite of the divorce, in spite of what you might be feeling right now, there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with you, and you are not an absolute failure just because this unfortunate event happened for you.
And even though it might sound really weird, I do say that your divorce happened for you because many of us, no matter how much we are suffering, how abusive the relationship is, how much we are dying inside, are too afraid to leave the situation because we don’t want to be dragged through the mud, we don’t want to be seen as less than.
So the fact that you had the courage to leave your situation, in spite of all those fears, that is huge to me. That makes you incredibly brave.
Looking back over the past couple of years, I can vividly remember when I first contemplated divorce, and it was hard. There were so many thoughts going wildly through my brain that it became almost impossible for me to focus on anything else. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I cried all the time. And it was just an incredibly isolating experience.
When everyone else was thinking about wedding anniversaries, wedding plans, wedding showers, I was contemplating getting the best attorney I could afford. When people were celebrating newborns and new jobs and new locations for their business, I had to find a new place to live with no money, no furniture, and no hope.
It wasn’t just hard. It was beyond embarrassing. And It didn’t feel like anyone around me truly understood what I was going through. The whole situation also messed with my mental and emotional health and I found myself thinking, doing and saying some really questionable things that I never imagined possible, that I never thought I would do say or think. But that’s a story for a whole other episode.
In my mind, the day I said I do, was a forever thing. That moment would be one of the biggest achievements of my young adult life. It would be one of the biggest things I could ever do as a woman. And I would go on to be a super wife, super spouse, super mom, and super impactful. #mompreneur. #superwoman. #superwife
But like I said, life doesn’t always work out that way. Life doesn’t always work out the way we think it will, or the way we want it to. And I have come to learn that that is actually okay.
In this episode, though, at first, I kind of wanted to go on and on about everything that happened, and be like woah was me and how sad I was, and all these different things.
As I’m sitting here thinking though, I don’t think that would be very productive. Instead, I want to really share with you some of the very important life lessons that I have come to learn, and some life lessons that you can also apply to your own life, whether you are single, you are divorced, you are married, or somewhere in between.
A divorce can literally drag you through the mud. It can drag you through the mud, physically, emotionally and psychologically. But one very important lesson I had to learn was that putting yourself first sometimes is not selfish. The whole process of getting divorced was hard. And it was frustrating. And I honestly wished I never had to go through it.
For so long I kind of tried to look after everyone else’s needs and what they wanted and I didn’t put myself first at all. But looking back, that wasn’t healthy for me. That wasn’t good.
Because all that did was bottle up all of my emotions, all of my pain and put so much pressure inside that one day, I would eventually snap at the wrong person. I would eventually say the wrong thing to the wrong person and potentially ruin that relationship.
Whenever I was trying to project an air of happiness, it was exhausting, both physically and mentally. And It really was one of the reasons that drove me to do things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.
I had to learn way too late that self-care actually meant investing time in me, investing time in my education, investing time in in my diet, exercise, kind of trying to understand who I was as a person.
Trust that the emotional toll a divorce can have on you is not a light one. You will have pent up anger. You will have pent up resentment and you will need somebody to support you through that.
Learning to put ourselves first is an important lesson that I believe that we should all learn at some point. It is even more important during times like these, during hardships, during rough patches, that you need to take some time for yourself to heal.
Had I not given myself some time to heal, I would never have discovered that I enjoy helping others. I would never have discovered that I really love giving people advice and helping them to change their lives.
When you put yourself first, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others, it just means that you are smart enough to help yourself first because you understand that if you don’t help yourself first, you cannot help other people. If you are broken, you cannot hope to heal others in your broken state.
The next thing I had to learn was that sometimes a divorce, going through all these different things, and failing and not being at your best, and experiencing temporary setbacks is not the end of the world. Failure is not the end of your story. It might be a redirection. It might even be the end of a chapter in your life. But it is by no means the end.
This is a recurring theme that you’ll probably hear me talk about a million and one times. But I talk about it because it’s an important piece of advice that needs to be said. It not only needs to be said, but it also needs to stick in your head.
For about four years of my life, this sort of dark cloud of failure hovered over me. It felt like a cloak. It was heavy and thick, and really hard to walk around with. It also affected everything I tried to do and every decision I tried to make.
It took two years of solitude, one massive deliverance, and many people entering and leaving my life, teaching me about their own pasts, their own failures and their own regrets, and tons of prayer and encouragement for me to realize that failure isn’t the end of my road.
Failure is not the end of the journey. It is only the end if you decide to stop going in that moment. It is only the end if you don’t do anything after you failed.
Think about it like this.
When you were a baby, you had to learn how to crawl, you had to learn how to walk, and you had to do many different things for the very first time. Even though the first time you started walking, you failed a few times, you never gave up. You stood up. You fell down. You stood up again. And you fell down again. And each time you did that, it did hurt. And you did cry.
But You didn’t give up at the end of each of these temporary setbacks. Was it the end of the story? No, it wasn’t. You pulled up your big girl diapers, and you tried again. You kept going, You kept practising. You kept failing until you got better and better.
And look at you now. You are walking around and doing all sorts of amazing things. Some of us can even run even when our life is not in imminent danger, unlike me who does not run unless Barney or Michael Myers is chasing me.
So my point is that, yeah, in the beginning, I did feel like a failure. I kind of held my own pity party and felt like my chances of doing anything good with my life was over, kaput, done. But it wasn’t.
My own failures were simply God redirecting me and giving me chances to start over again. And God might be doing the very same thing for you.
My failures taught me resilience, gave me strength when I needed it, and taught me how to see my life beyond the massive mess, the disaster zone that it currently was.
And that brings me to the next point that sometimes a divorce, or things not working out in your favour, is for the best. This might sound like a very strange life lesson but It proved very true for me and I know that it will prove true for you as well.
Throughout the past couple of years, I had to understand and accept that sometimes, or a lot of the time, things don’t work out. And that is such a good thing.
There’s a song that I love by Travis Greene. It is called intentional. And in his song, Travis Greene tells us that all things are working for our good because God is intentional in every aspect of our lives. God knows what he’s doing.
Before we were even born, He knew how many hairs would be on our head. He knew what our purpose would be. He knew what our final destination would be. And so in every aspect of our lives, no matter how small or mundane, God is intentional.
Have you ever stopped to think about the possibility, the possibility, just throwing it out there, that you actually married the wrong person? Or that you might have married the right person but at the wrong time in your life? One of the scenarios most definitely applied to me.
Even though I have been divorced for a while now, I’m actually happy that things didn’t work out the way I intended them to work out, because I understand that they just weren’t meant to.
Sometimes we get so caught up in an idea that we kind of spend our lives living in this nightmare reality that wasn’t really meant for us in the first place. But because we have grown to love the idea, we just can’t let go of it.
Sometimes a man’s purpose in one woman’s life is to help her to become a better person for another person. And that was what I had to learn.
My relationship with my ex was toxic and I spent most of my time crying or contemplating suicide. And even though divorce wasn’t the first option, even though it wasn’t what I wanted, it was what needed to happen.
Had I not gone through my divorce, I wouldn’t have come to Japan, I wouldn’t have started blogging, I wouldn’t have become a master life coach, I wouldn’t have failed, and I wouldn’t have started this podcast.
So all these amazing things happened because my marriage didn’t work out the way I thought it would work out.
And that leads me to another life lesson: You are never too old. You are never too used. You are never too damaged, or too anything to do something with your life.
I am among the last of the 1980s kids, but that also meant I grew up in the 1990s with Power Rangers, Thundercats, and Animaniacs, Ducktales and tons of amazing shows. To be honest, those were the kind of shows that I would jump out of my bed every Saturday morning to sit down all day watching. They were awesome.
Now, when I was a girl, like 6 going on 16, while many girls were dreaming and going on and on about becoming princesses one day and models, I was figuring out what I needed to do, or who I needed to call so I could become a Power Ranger. Like where could I find Rita because things were about to go down.
Those multicoloured superheroes in spandex were my idols and I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. Of course, as I got older, I found out that Power Rangers weren’t real. I found out that the whole thing was a TV show and I was devastated. Just the thought that Tommy and Kimberly weren’t a real couple broke my heart into pieces. Even now, a small part of me still hates it, but I will forever hold onto those images from my childhood.
Now, you’re probably thinking that I gave up on that dream and I turned into a real adult, eating and doing adult stuff. But no, I didn’t; because you obviously don’t understand who you are listening to this entire time. I am just odd.
Anyways, as the years past, and my life took a turn for the worse I did kind of forget about that dream but I don’t think I really forgot or gave up on that dream altogether. Things, people and life just happened to get in the way. And on top of that, I was dealing with a marriage turned divorce. So that really messed with and kind of put me in a bad place for a long time.
But you want to know how I knew that I hadn’t given up? Because many nights when I couldn’t sleep because of the loneliness and the frustration I felt, the one thing I would find myself doing was scrolling through my phone and reading old power rangers comic books, because that was my escape from the reality of what was going on in my life. That was my one chance to be normal.
Fast forward to just under a year ago, I was packing up to move to mainland Japan and a friend of mine insisted that I do a really cute photo shoot to commemorate my time on the island.
Long, amazing story short for an entire day, or almost, I was given the royal treatment. Hair done, makeup done, and a flurry of people fawning over me. Talk about a twilight zone experience.
For the first time in my life, I got to wear a traditional, regal, royal kimono, complete with headpiece and footwear to match. And where most girls only dream of becoming a princess, for one day, I actually got to be one. Me!
Not only that. It gets better. Remember how I dreamed about becoming a Power Ranger? You guessed it, I finally became one sort of. I was asked to voice the yellow Power Ranger in an online Power Rangers spinoff series.
Before I could wrap my head around everything, I was reading scripts, and doing enough “Hiyaah, hiyah” combinations last an entire lifetime. I finally became a Power Ranger. I finally got to live my childhood dream. And by the way, I still am one. Bless God. Can you believe that? How awesome is that?!
So listen up. And I know that you might be thinking that you’re still just not at that place, but I really want you to hear this. I really want you to internalize what I’m about to say.
You might be feeling like you have this hit rock bottom and then some. You might be feeling like your life is over and there is no tomorrow, there is no hope. There is absolutely nothing you can do to change your future.
You might have the feeling that you have made one too many decisions, you married the wrong person. You were in the wrong relationship. You did wrong things. You just made one too many wrong turns to come back from it.
But the truth is, that once you decide to keep going, once you understand that there is still time to change the road you’re on, once you understand that tomorrow does exist, and you can still go on you can never ever be a failure in the end. You can never ever have no hope. You can never be completely in despair.
I know it might be really scary to even think that and to even imagine yourself in a better place. And I know, as someone who has been through it, that you might be nursing some very big gaping wounds from your past that still need healing. I get that you might be broken. I understand that. But at the end of the day, you can heal, things will get better and you can change your life.
As of today, you can choose to step forward into growth, healing, happiness and numerous possibilities. Or you can step backwards. You can stay right where you are, keep nursing those wounds and keep living in that eternity of despair and unhappiness.
But I want to ask you,sister to sister, as someone who has been tempted to jump off that cliff but came back and is stronger now than ever, is being safe, is staying stagnant, is staying in that place of hurt and pain and disappointment, really worth sacrificing the kind of future you could have? Is it really worth not seeing what tomorrow might hold? Is it really worth not giving yourself the chance to be happy again?
The choice is up to you. And only you can decide.
This is Dee And you have been listening to She Is A Mess.