Almost thirty years and four children into her marriage, Carolyn Gray* was blindsided by her husband. Out of the blue he told her he wanted a divorce, but he would not elaborate on why he wanted to leave.
For some time after the divorce Carolyn found it hard to even get out of bed. Her adult children, the youngest of which was 18 at the time, became concerned about her wellbeing, and while Carolyn acknowledges that concern now she says her difficulty functioning was all part of the healing process.
“I came to realise that I was so much more than just that relationship, and life had to go on,” Carolyn says. “It got better.”
While coping with a divorce can be a difficult challenge for those facing it, surviving it is possible and there are some unexpectedly wonderful things that come into your life after a divorce.
“Going through the divorce became a huge confidence booster for me,” Carolyn says. “I found being able to handle that gave me the power to handle other challenges coming my way.”
She says another wonderful thing about divorce was that the tendency to walk on eggshells had been completely removed.
“I make a decision and I act on it now,” Carolyn says. “It has had a positive effect on the relationships I have built with my friends and family, and if I choose to get into a romantic liaison in the future I have the confidence to have meaningful discussions and hold my ground on those things that matter to me.”
Carolyn says that during her marriage she had never considered how the tensions between her and her ex-husband had impacted their children as well as herself.
“My ex and I would be curt with each other and there was this cloud that hovered over us, weighing us down,” she says. “The children didn’t want to be around us, and I can understand why that would have been the case now.”
She says that the divorce gave her and her ex-husband the opportunity to become better parents, and she is thankful for the close relationships she has developed with her children, especially as they have got married and started families of their own.
Additionally, Carolyn says that by not being together anymore she and her ex-husband also enjoy an improved relationship.
“My ex and I realised we were both good people, but we just didn’t work together,” Carolyn says.
From the divorce Carolyn says she has rediscovered who she is as a person and has learnt to pursue her dreams.
“I wanted to work with flowers, but I didn’t have the support to do that when I was married. Since I’ve been divorced I’ve learned to back myself and I now run my own small business,” she says.
“I love the way I have been able to motivate myself and take care of myself.
“I’m constantly building on the person I am and it’s a part of myself I really like.”