08/18/2014 04:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Here's What It's Like


I get a lot of "So, what's it like being divorced?" from different people in my life. They usually fall into one of three categories:

  1. Those genuinely interested in what happened to my marriage. These are typically my closest friends and select family members. The "A" list. Those who saw us struggle but rooted for us anyway. Those who knew what was going on, even when we were looking mighty good on Facebook photos.
  2. Those in the process of going through something similar. These are often new people in my life, former acquaintances, moms and dads from school, work buddies, or friends of friends with whom I now share a common bond.
  3. Those who so badly want to make that leap, but for some reason haven't or can't. These people typically fall in to the "Oh my god my world will collapse and everyone will hate me forever if I get divorced" kind of category. In other words: scared. Or wimps. You decide which one. I don't judge.

But whatever category they fall into, they still want to know what it's like to be divorced after 10, 12, 15 years of marriage, typically with kids. So, I figured it's time to let them know. Good thing I have a blog.

  1. It's the most turbulent flight you'll ever take in your entire life. But eventually you'll land.
  2. It's the loneliest you'll ever feel, but only you can decide which is worse: the physical or the emotional.
  3. It's a place where you'll question every single decision you've ever made, from "Why did I join that sorority?" to "What if I took that job in Chicago?" to "Could I have tried harder?"
  4. It's the most insecure you'll ever feel.
  5. It's a roller coaster of emotions that can change as quickly as the weather in Denver.
  6. It's the most judged you'll ever feel. Right or wrong. Sometimes things just don't work out. But everyone and their sister will want to weigh in and figure out whose fault it was. And because doing so takes the focus off of them and whatever drama is going on in their lives, they like to do this. But after a while they get bored and move on.
  7. It's the most selfish time in the world. This is where you'll find out who your true friends are. Because you're going to need them. More than they need you. It won't be equal. You'll forget about birthdays and anniversaries and their kids' sporting events. Because you'll be so laser focused on your tiny little world, even when there are wars going on.
  8. It's the most uncomfortable you'll ever feel. First Thanksgiving not at your house where you're the "random invited guest." First "plus one" invite to a wedding. First weekend when you don't have your kids. But also FIRST WEEKEND WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR KIDS!!! C'mon, who doesn't want this?
  9. It's the most soul searching you'll ever do. Whether you're guided by god, or Chinese fortune cookies (I seem to have fallen into the latter category), you'll be taking a lot of inventory of yourself to find out where you can improve.
  10. It's a place where nostalgia will sometimes be mistaken for true love.
  11. It's a time when you'll question institutions in general and wonder why there can't be a constitutional amendment to revise "'Til Death Do Us Part" just to take some of the pressure off.
  12. It's a time to get in shape. Because you'll soon be "out there" and if you're not on your "A" game, you won't score.
  13. It's a time to decide what kind of relationship stamp you want to leave on your children.
  14. It's a place where lawyers will turn easygoing people into difficult ones, difficult people into angry ones, and angry people into absolute animals.
  15. It's a reality. It's YOUR reality.
  16. It's a wake up call to get your shit together.
  17. It's a time to take the high road, if not for yourself, for your children.
  18. It's a chance to take a class, take a risk, or just take a break.
  19. It's a time to forgive and to let go. And to realize that you're hopefully two good people who can be friends one day, no matter what they say.
  20. It's an opportunity to live the life you truly were meant to live. Whether that's starting a new career path, moving to a new city (if you can), or being brutally honest with the type of relationship you want and deserve to be in, now's your chance. That flight you swore was going to crash? It just landed. And now you can decide if you're picking up your baggage or leaving it behind.