The Other Side of Divorce: Five Years Later

The Other Side of Divorce: Five Years Later

Peaceful After Divorce

One of the most unexpected surprises about relocating my 53 year old self to Chicago has been the random acts of kindness. Those acts include the new girlfriend fix up (you know… “Oh, you’ve moved to Chicago? You have to meet my friend so-and-so.”)  Sure, I have been set up on many blind dates, but also many dates with women —my age—my story—divorced—newly alone with an empty home—newly rediscovering—-newly 50.

I was recently out to dinner with one such new girlfriend fix-up, and this friend of a friend was in need of a friend, having only recently separated after 25 years of marriage.

Maybe I am the “poster child” for divorce survival or maybe it was just an “Ah-Hah” moment—- but hearing her talk about where she was at that moment had me exhausted, but also thinking about my observations on divorce—five years later— and what it means to get to the other side!

So here it is…


  1. Anger. Every conversation (with anyone who would listen) started and ended with the word “Asshole.”
  2. I had to be my children’s best friend—it helped make up for the guilt I felt inside of me.
  3. I cared what I looked like—if you look good you feel good. (Ridiculous.)
  4. I cared deeply what everybody said about me.
  5. Sleep deprived—I panicked when I couldn’t refill the Ambien prescription.
  6. I could not eat dinner (or lunch) alone in a restaurant…not even with an iPad.
  7. I could not sleep in the middle of the bed—I still curled up on the left side of the bed. I slept so close to the edge that the nightstand was my pillow.
  8. I have failed.
  9. I am a failure.
  10. I will be alone forever…


  1. Let the anger go. It is making me look older —and bitter is so unattractive. Divorce is sad. Leave it at that.
  2. To my children—like me for who I am. You are adults now. You can make your own decisions and allow me to make mine.
  3. I am far “choosier” in who I trust and who I tell—gossiping friends are no longer attractive.
  4. Confidence—I like my adult self.
  5. Eating alone is actually quite nice. Leave the iPad at home. I don’t always have to look busy.
  6. I can’t fix everything for everyone… and it’s OK. I have finally adopted my human self and lost my fictional “super powers.”
  7. The middle of the bed is amazing.
  8. Download a meditation app on your phone. (Is that an oxymoron…a “meditation app”?) Sounds silly—but that daily mantra is better than Ambien.
  9. I am not a failure—actually quite far from it.
  10. My heart is open to love and adventure—and I will likely not be alone forever! I will choose differently.

My friends—new and old alike— I am living breathing proof that life goes on after divorce. I am living breathing proof that there is a calmer and gentler side where forgiveness and self-love will live on to see us through the next chapter. I don’t know my new girlfriend well enough—but I want to promise her you get to the other side. If you choose —you actually come out stronger, healthier and more genuinely you.

Believe in yourself and choose to go there with the “Stuff of your Life.”

How are you feeling, post-divorce?


Unapologetically You Post-50. Reinvention, Lifestyle, Relationships.

  • Veronica
    Posted at 12:00h, 13 November Reply

    Thank you for posting this! It is very encouraging, and describes a lot of what I’m experiencing right now! My husband of 20 years walked out on us.. My 19 year old daughter will soon be leaving home… So much transition.. Looking for employment and new friends.. Glad to hear a testimony of hope!!

    Posted at 12:29h, 01 December Reply

    Thank you. I know it will get better. But i also know that the holidays are especially rough. Try to be kind to yourself–and try to keep moving forward. Lauren

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