It was the fairy tale ending to a magical beginning.
Or so I thought.
We were two people who met in college. We grew into a friendship, which then grew into a romance...
and then decided to get married.
With marriage comes struggle, and with struggle comes a choice.
Work together or fall apart.
There are many, many stories out there of wonderfully married couples, with children and a house of their own. They tackle their troubles together and come out stronger than ever.
There are stories of couples who almost fell apart but then were saved by doing, enter helpful things here, and they also came out stronger with a better vision for what they need to do moving forward.
I wish I could tell you that all the stories end with happily ever after....but instead, there is one story that many don't talk about, or think about, or only decide to share with a select few people.
Yes, it may be a common enough thing these days, which is unfortunate, but it is NOT an easy thing to process or journey through no matter what actually happened.
The worst part of my story was that divorce came into the picture when I was 25 years old...after only 2 years of marriage.
We had our differences, I was going through graduate school, he was working 12 hour shifts as an RN and...well, communication failed, things became issues that weren't real issues, and he cheated.
I'm not going to say it was his fault, we both had our problems and tried to get outside help to begin moving forward, but that didn't happen and the divorce papers did.
Still being in graduate school and not having any idea of how to move forward after that, I was out on my own with more questions than answers. I was living by myself, trying to figure out how to be a single adult and survive this new reality I never thought I would find myself in.
So, what's the moral of this story? What am I trying to say?
You are not alone.
There may be many stories of people getting divorced when they are older, after years of marriage. They share what helped them get through and move forward, co-parent, separate their life from the person they were with.
What there are not many of, stories of young people getting divorced and wondering what to do or how to deal with it.
If you are a divorced and newly single 20 something, here is some small advice from another divorced and single 20 something:
One, take the time you need to heal from the loss. It will come in different ways than you think. It may be physical, definitely emotional, or some combination of both. Do what you need to do. Take the time you need to eat all the things, cry all the tears, and be angry (or any other emotion you need to express).
Two, let it all go. You have felt the emotions, expressed them in whatever way you needed, now it's time to let them go and start moving forward. However long it takes to get from 1 to 2 is OKAY! This isn't a simple process.
Three, live. Live YOUR life how you want to live it. Dream big and then bigger. Embrace being single and all the perks it comes with. Also know that there are some cons and those are okay to embrace as well. It's okay to feel lonely at times, reach out to a friend. IF you feel up to it, start dating again. IF you want to stay single for a while...or forever...that's okay too!
You now have enormous possibilities and opportunities in front of you. Find the hope in being where you are and dream about where you want to go. Your past does not control your future.