Marrying in my early twenties seemed like the natural progression for me. As a young mother I was already so much more mature than my years (or so I thought) and just wanted to settle down. I craved stability.
As far as taboo subjects go this may not be one you have really put much thought into but divorce in your twenties comes with more baggage than you would ever realise. Not only did I have to deal with my marriage breaking down and my own personal thoughts and feelings associated with that but also everyone else’s opinions. Believe me, there were plenty of those!
On paper we were married for over five years, in reality it was barely eighteen months. The shame and disappointment in myself was overwhelming. It was suffocating at times and if I’m honest that was harder to deal with than the breakup itself. I wanted to hide and heal. Divorce wasn’t something that happened to people my age, was it? It felt like a dirty word, sour in my mouth. My social media was full of photographs and memories. Even now many years later I’m still reminded of things I’d usually rather forget.
Whilst my family were amazing for the most part I won’t pretend that there wasn’t an element of ‘I told you so’ in the air. Attitudes like that can be so damaging to a persons mental health at such a vulnerable time. The experience has really taught me more than I ever realised about how important it is to be considerate and kind. Not to judge and that gossip really is the devil.
The fear of giving into failure can ultimately be the thing that keeps you in an unsuccessful marriage and if I could give anyone in my position some advice it would be to never, ever feel ashamed of choosing the path that’ll make you happy in the long run. The short term may seem daunting, even terrifying but before you know it you’ll look back with nothing but relief.
Our experiences are never entirely negative. You can learn so much from what you perceive as a waste of time. I came away from my marriage knowing more about myself and who I wanted to be in the future. I’m stronger, wiser and more grounded than I ever was. My thirties may have started with an ending, but that made way for some beautiful new beginnings and for that I will be forever grateful.