Stories of Divorce Survival From Real People
Editor’s Note: This year, Modern Law began offering a scholarship to people who have survived divorce. We asked applicants to tell us in an essay how divorce had made them better or stronger. This series is the result of the stories we received. We’ve changed names and locations when appropriate.
Divorce changed my world. I was married to my now ex-husband for 7 years. We had a beautiful home we had worked on, and I was a stay-at-home mom with our three beautiful children. We both had active roles in the church and were living the American dream. Or so I thought.
Turns out my husband had a double life that included other women. This rocked my world and I knew I had to take a stand and show my daughter that it wasn’t okay. I knew if I stayed it would send the message that it was okay and we forgive and move on.
I knew it wasn’t what I wanted for her or myself, so after a couple days I told my husband goodbye. He moved out and I moved on.
I took a test at the local school district and became a para-educator. I enrolled at a college and went on to get my associate’s degree and another certification, this time to be a substitute teacher for all grades.
I didn’t stop there and now I am enrolled in my bachelor’s program to become a full-time math teacher. After this degree, I plan on getting my master’s.
My divorce was the hardest moment in my life. I still look at my ex sometimes and wonder why he threw it all away. I feel so blessed today though because my daughter, who is now 12, is becoming a strong young woman. I know my leaving her father was the right thing to do. I know she sees me up late at night working on my homework for college. I know she sees me tired at work and when I come home, but I also know that those moments are building her character too.
She knows she has a mother who will go to bat for her and what’s right. And she knows that a man should never take you for granted, and that with some hard work you can go anywhere you want to go in life.
Once I have my bachelor’s degree, I will get a pay raise. Once I have my master’s, I can work at a university level and get a bigger pay raise. The house and cars we will be able to afford will only get better from here on out and it’s all because of that day I got my divorce finalized.
I always thought we were a team but in reality, he was holding me back from my true potential. I was so caught up in what he wanted from a perfect wife, that I lost myself. I lost my hopes, dreams, and goals. Now that I am free, those dreams have taken root and grown.
I have stumbled along the way, but deep inside, I know I am continuing up those steps to something better. A better life for myself and my children. I look forward to what the future brings now.
My future is now filled with hope. I’m not ruled by someone else’s expectations of me. I alone make the decisions for my future and those of my children. My kids look up to me and believe in me. That’s a pretty special feeling. I know I won’t let them down.