Life Update, I’m Divorced

I want to talk today about something extremely personal and difficult for me to talk about.  I know that I don’t ever owe anyone an explanation about my personal life, but I want to be real with you.  It may seem like I share everything about my personal life thru social media, but I really only share about 20% of my life.  I tend to be a more private person and keep most matters just amongst my family and closest friends.

My hope in sharing on this delicate subject is that it will help others who are going thru a similar situation.

John and I are divorced.  I will admit, I never thought I would ever be saying or writing these words. This has been the hardest decision I have ever made in my entire life.  We started the process of separating in January.  Our divorce just recently became finalized.

What went wrong?  Nothing major, there wasn’t one thing that brought us to divorce.  No one cheated, no drugs, no abuse.  It was more like 1000 small things went wrong.  We got married very young when we were still babies.  As we grew up, we grew apart and out of love.  We became room mates and friends.  That’s how we have lived for a very long time.

John and I mastered how to coexist and run a home and family together as friends.  Not even my family knew I was unhappy.  I’ve always been very good at putting on a happy smile and acting like everything is okay.  But that isn’t a way to live.  Everyone deserves to be happy and in love.  Being married to your room mate is very lonely.  Every woman desires a romantic relationship, full of affection and to be taken care of.

Having children is what made me hold on to the marriage for so much longer than I probably should have.  I put all my feelings aside and neglected my own heart.  I kept thinking that if I try this, or we try that, things will get better.  They have to get better, I have children! I don’t want to raise my kids in a broken home.  But eventually when things get worse year by year I was forced to face reality.  I then thought to myself, what’s worse…  Raising kids in a home where Mom & Dad fight and don’t show any affection or love to each other?  Or raising kids with divorced parents who get along as friends?

It may be easy for someone to say that money has gone to our heads and ruined us.  It is the exact opposite.  John and I have struggled financially most of our marriage.  I would often use financial stress as a reason why our marriage wasn’t working.  “If I work harder and earn more money, our financial stress will go away and we will stop fighting and we will finally be happy”, I would tell myself.  Then we got to a place where we didn’t have financial stress any more, yet we were still fighting and unhappy.  I was forced to face the fact that we had serious marriage problems there were never related to a lack of money.  The root of the problems were in our relationship.

How are Caleb & Sofia? Obviously a divorce with young kids is extremely hard!  There is no way around it.  John and I went to counseling to prepare for how to tell our kids, what to say and what not to say.  They were of course devastated when we first told them.  We talked to them about this a couple months ago while John was still living at home.  Now that he has moved out and has been on his own for a while, the kids are still getting adjusted to it but are doing so much better than they were a few months ago.  They both told me the idea of a divorce was much worse than it actually is.

John and I made a promise we would never talk bad or say anything negative about the other person to our kids.  We are trying to make this process the least painful it can be for them.  A divorce in itself is so hard for children, I don’t want to add to it and make it any worse than it has to be.

How am I? If you had asked me a month ago I would have told you: I have good days and I have bad days.  And some times it goes moment by moment.  One minute I am doing great and very positive about the future, the next I’m bursting into tears.  The loss of a marriage is similar to mourning a death.  At times it has been very difficult to keep myself composed for my children, for my job, or for life.  At other times I feel very motivated to keep moving forward and excited about what my future will bring.

At this current moment, I am feeling great 95% of the time (a month of healing can change a lot!). I feel strong, independent, and excited for my future.  When one door closes another one opens.  I’m stepping into a new chapter of my life full of endless possibilities.  I have kept myself busy with Caleb and Sofia.  I have been working on myself a lot with reading, therapy, church and praying.  When the kids are in bed at night, those couple hours before I go to bed are always the hardest.  Those are the moments I can feel lonely.  I have learned to fill that time with reading or watching a good movie.

When I got married I thought it would be forever.  Last month was my 15 year wedding anniversary.  When I was newly wed I had so many dreams and goals of what we would be doing, where we would be in 15 years.  Only a couple months into marriage I had already started planning a trip for where we would go to celebrate 15 years.  I never imagined on that day I would be getting a divorce and starting over.  One of the hardest parts in losing my marriage is accepting the loss of a dream.

There have been many moments of extreme loneliness.  After being in a relationship for 15 years, I’m not used to doing anything alone.  The first night I was home alone was very scary, and sad.  I have to admit I drank an entire bottle of wine, watched chick flicks and cried.  I have had to relearn how to be on my own (still learning).  How to do everything myself and be completely independent.  All while taking care of my children and my home. Props to all the single Moms out there, it’s hard work!!!

What now? John and I have remained friends (I know that sounds cliche but it’s true).  We still do things together with our kids.  I think this has helped Caleb & Sofia tremendously with this adjustment.  They get to see us as Mom & Dad who are friends, even though we aren’t married.  We both attend family birthday parties, we will take the kids to the movies or have a meal together with our kids.  We plan on spending holidays together with Caleb & Sofia and family.

Now that we aren’t married there isn’t anything to fight about.  All of our problems were in our marriage, in all of the husband and wife stuff.  Take the marriage away, and we get to be just friends.  We have children together, which means we will be in each others lives forever whether we like it or not.  We may as well make the best of it and get along and be friends.  Any time I get frustrated, I picture Caleb and Sofia’s faces in my mind; this always helps me take the high road and do the right thing.

Next steps… It has been an adjustment for me to be single.  I haven’t been single since I was 19.  I went from being single living with my parents, to being married and living with John.  I have never lived on my own.  It’s been very strange (and uncomfortable) going places and showing up to events alone.  I’m told I will eventually get used to it and even enjoy being single.  I really hope that is true!

Right now I am focusing on getting myself into a healthy mindset, going to therapy and getting healing, attending church and bible study.  And putting most of my attention on Caleb & Sofia.  I want to build back up a new life, a new normal for the 3 of us.  My love for my kids is my driving force every day to get out of bed and keep moving forward!  I want to show them that their Mom is a strong, independent woman!

I want to thank all of you for your continued love and support for me and my family.  I can’t put into words how much it means to me.  I think about all the DM’s, emails and comments I’ve received from caring people asking if everything is okay. I have seen them all and they have helped me get thru this process.  Thank you so much!  And I’ll see you next blog post :)

XO, Rachel

new start

34 thoughts on “Life Update, I’m Divorced

  1. You are amazing, and brave and so unbelievably strong! Wishing you all the best things in life. I can’t wait to see how the next chapter unfolds! Good for you Rachel <3

  2. This post has touched my heart. As an adult going through therapy to figure out sooo much, a huge part of my problems is the fact my parents didn’t divorce. I was that kid whose mom wouldn’t leave and make a “broken” home. I’m now a chipped adult who has to relearn a lot because of what their failed marriage added to me. Your kids will learn so many positive things by the both of you choosing the right thing over grinning and bearing pain. It is surely hard work, and I hope it pays off. Best of luck in your journey.

  3. I have honestly been thinking this for awhile as you went from posts with your husband to nothing. I think it’s amazing that you have the courage to let people into your life when we really don’t have any reason to be. It’s great you and your sister have each other to lean on through these tough times and I will be praying for you and your family.

  4. Thank you so much for your openness! You’re an incredibly strong woman and amazing mother! You’ll take this next chapter of your life by storm! I know your story will help so many other women in similar situations. God bless your family! 💗

  5. This has brought such tears to my eyes, marriage is such a fragile commitment and divorce is shattering for me to imagine. Thank you for sharing, I told my husband how you mentioned it wasn’t cheating or drugs, it was those small little things adding up over time that break each other down. This was an eye opening statement and will help me to keep an open heart and do better with my own marriage because it can truly happen to anyone.

  6. WOW!!! POWERFUL!!! Thank you for sharing! Sometimes people hearing stories from others……Really can be helpful, beneficial, valuable, and eye opening! I cried the whole time I was reading your blog. God Bless!

  7. As an adult with divorced parents, I have to tell you how much I wished my parents had divorced long before things got ugly. Their relationship wasn’t well soon after having us, and yet they didn’t divorce or make anything public to us (kids) until we were right out of high school. I know it was a protective thing and thought to be in our benefit (my sister and I), but it only ended up hurting us. No one wants to have a “broken family” but no one is perfect and unfortunately in life, things happen… and that’s ok! I wish I didn’t have to see such an unhealthy relationship, verbal abuse and resentment in a time I was trying to form into an adult myself.

    I think what you are doing is so brave!! It’s not easy, ESPECIALLY in the public eye. But going to therapy, focusing on strength, and making the efforts to make the best life for you and your kids is the best thing you can be doing and they will thank you (maybe not right this instant) but someday.
    Thank you so much for being vulnerable and using your platform to share with others. Too many people in this world feel alone and may be going through something similar. Wishing the absolute best for you and your (adorable) kids, you deserve to have the life and love you have dreamt of!!
    Until then: focus on YOU, stay busy and a little wine never hurt anyone! 😏

    Xoxo

    Andrea

  8. Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry! I had noticed you weren’t on SC as much, but didn’t think a lot into it. I admire you for being able to open up to us like this! On social media everything seems like unicorn and rainbows from our side, but at the end of the day y’all are real people…with real problems and real feelings❤️ Sending you lots of love & prays from Texas!

    Amanda

  9. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I admire your strength in opening up to everyone and sharing your story. I have divorced parents that waited until I was older to separate; they thought waiting would make it better, and it didn’t. I hope you can finally be happy!! Love your blog!! ❤️❤️

  10. Wow Rachel I am so sorry! I kind of suspected that this was happening due to your lack of ring wearing and social media presence but of course I hoped otherwise! I hope you are doing okay and that you take time discover who you are and grow as a woman. You deserve so much happiness and I’m sure this is just the beginning. Love you!

  11. I pretty well knew but sure that going through this the same time as your sister helped as well. Nurturing a marriage is hard and what you described many women go through. I’m sorry for you & your family that you are going through. I have no doubt you will find an amazing partner who makes you a priority. Thank u for sharing

  12. While I am not a fan of divorce, I am sure you tried everything from therapy to prayer before you filed. Be sure to protect yourself legally. What happens if your ex wants to move back to Illinois? What if he marries someone you don’t want your children to be around? Put in as many safeguards as you can with an attorney. You never know. I hope you can stay single long enough to stabilize your children. New step-parents too soon would be hard on them. Living “in sin” would go against their Christian upbringing.

    Also remember that every word you post, and every picture, will be around forever. Your sister’s sexual twerks are something you should not engage in if there is a camera rolling.

    I wish you much good luck in your new journey. Just curious, how old were you when your parents divorced?

    1. She already has a mother, therapist and attorney so I am sure she is covered in the advice section. You should be ashamed of yourself for your passive aggressive comments about her children’s Christian upbringing and adding step parents too soon. I am a Christian and I have a relationship with Jesus and it is HE that died on the cross and HE that can judge. Not you. Your responsibility is to love others like he did. Since you’re so smart, I am sure that you can do the research on how old she was when her parents divorced.

      And Rachel, you and your sister TWERK ON!

  13. Rachel, I too married young and divorced 11 years later with two small children. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I had no idea how I would make ends meet but I knew I couldn’t live in a suffocating environment any longer. That was 8 years ago, I have remarried and, while no marriage is perfect, it was the best decision of my life. One step at a time, you will get through the loneliness…that was the hardest part for me..the fear of dying old and alone with no one to share my life. I prayed often for the Lord’s guidance. Some days that prayer was whispered through frustration and tears. Other days it was prayed in earnest for His direction. Cling to your family and close friends…He will guide you through this. Much love and prayers.

  14. Your story is so similar to mine, you are NOT alone! I am going through a divorce after 14 years of marriage, it has only been 3 months and we are in the final stages. My kids are teenagers and of course I stayed for them. Telling them was one of the hardest days of my life! BUT we do deserve to be happy as individuals! When I looked ahead at the next 14 years of my life I thought “no, you cannot keep doing this”. Being happy with yourself makes you a better mom, sister, daughter, friend and person. I want to be the best I can be in this life God has given me. All those emotions you mentioned and instances where you are up and down and sortof mourning a loss is so true and real. I would be sad and lonely and be so confused as to why because I was sad and lonely for years in my marriage! Best of luck to you Rachel in your journey and for anyone else going through this difficult time! Time does heal, enjoying life especially with our precious children also heals! 😘

  15. You are so strong and I fully support you in this! At the end of the day your happiness should always come before people’s expectations of you! ❤️ Prayers for your strength during this difficult time!🙏🏻

  16. Thanks for opening yourself up to us! My prayers are with you and your family! Take it one step at a time or even one minute at a time. God Bless!

  17. Thank you so much for this post. I’m currently going through a divorce. Waiting for him to sign the papers. We have been married 5 years but together 11. Someone yesterday told me they don’t understand why I’m still crying about my marriage being over and that if their husband decided he wanted to pursue other things they wouldn’t ever cry. It made me so angry! Everyone handles things differently. I cry, I watch movies, I sleep a lot. Trying to get through it all and get past depression. Your post gave me so much hope. I love that you spoke about going to church and praying. That is pretty much what keeps me sane. Thank you so much for sharing your story. If anything you helped give me a little bit of peace. Thank you.

  18. Sending love positivity and prayers your way! You are an incredibly strong beautiful woman. Thank you for all of your help and honesty . Xoxo

  19. Your kids are so lucky to have you. I am a child of divorce and it was so hard on us, but I had such a strong mom who worked so hard to make a great life for us and i couldn’t be more grateful.
    You are such a bright light! I’m praying for your family!

  20. Hey Rachel,
    I just want to to know, as your sister in Christ you’re doing a great job at being a mother! God has a plan! It is bigger and better than you can dream of!

  21. Reading your story has put me in tears. I got married young also. When my husband went to high school together after we graduated we started dating. August 29th We just celebrated not together our 21st wedding anniversary. He came home one day in May and told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore. My heart was broken because we also have kids I have a nine-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son that never wanted us to divorce. We have had many ups and downs throughout our marriage. Many times I should have left. But like you I didn’t want to divorce because of the kids. Our lease was up July 27 and he moved in to his step mom’s house with my kids. And I had nowhere to go. He had decided he wanted to be separated. I went to Michigan where all My family is. Then I was blessed To have a family take me in and let me stay with them for a month. I’m having to go back to Michigan for another month until I get my apartment Georgia and be closer to my kids. I’ve got to enjoy taking my daughter to cheer to days a week and I also get to see my son. They have had many adjustments Living with my mother-in-law. I don’t know what the future holds but I am trying to stay positive that they will want to say we come visit me. He has a lot of anger towards me for no reason. We are unable to communicate and then makes it worse. We were best friends and I never imagined you done being separated some of the things he said and that Has got him angry. We need to find money to contact A lawyer and possibly do a mediation It would basically be custody of the kids because we have nothing else. I have a medical Illness that keeps me from working and I am on Social Security disability. I am hoping to get to the point of being friends because we were so close. I’ve lost my husband my best friend and my kids. When I get back in October I will be working on what I can do to repair relationships. I do go to church and I have faith
    I wish my story was like yours to even have joint custody right now we have not done anything legally. I am focusing on myself because if I am not doing well I will not be well for my kids.
    Divorces is a sad thing I wish you the best.
    I would love to talk to someone strong like you That maybe couldn’t educate me. I shared your story with him. I hope he reads it and takes away something. When he’s not angry he will say he cares about me and loves me. He’s just not in love with me no more not even as a best friend.
    Thank you for sharing your story Cheryl

  22. What a beautiful, yet sad read. I am finding myself 4 years into marriage feeling like a roommate or worse, a mother to my husband. I am the only one who works right now and I am always leaning toward the idea that if he got a job or if we made enough money, we’d find away to push through or problems, but reading this has truly gave me some clarity. I just want to be happy and I care so much for him and want him to be happy too. Life is so much harder than I ever thought it would be! What I would give to be a kid again! Anyway, much love and support to you guys through this change!

  23. You are woman, hear you roar! 15 yrs of marriage is IMPRESSIVE so dont you ever see it as failure. You are stronger than you know. Mom, daughter, sister, aunt, cook, chauffeur, best friend, maid,etc… Thats alot of hats to wear and you did the damn thing! You rock lady! Enjoy rediscovering who you are as a woman, loving those babies, and finding everything you deserve/want from this life. Its not starting over, you are not the same person you were 15 years ago, its exploring a new trail. And you are gonna kill it…watch out world! Love you Rachel!

  24. From a kid who grew up in a home where my parents stayed together but were CONSTANTLY FIGHTING, you did the right thing! I would have preferred my parents to be happy and fulfilled divorced than together and miserable. You are both doing the right thing for your kids, they may not understand now (or maybe they do) but in the long run, you have made the best decision you could for your family. I am sending good vibes and hugs to you and know life has just begun!

  25. You and I were in the same boat. I divorced as well just shy of 15 years of marriage. My divorce was for very different reasons but I still mourned as you did over the end. I knew it was something I had no other choice for. I was lucky as my daughter (just about your age now) was 11 at the time and actually supported the decision I made as the best for both of us. You are lucky you have a good support family system which helps loads and keeps your children on a positive path and gives them sanctuary when they might feel a little torn and have trouble opening up to you and your ex.

    I applaud you not rushing into another relationship. I had 4 friends divorce and 3 did exactly that and all ended up divorced again within 5-10 years. I have never remarried and may never. I’m ok with that because I’m ok with me and realizing being single isn’t bad or wrong just that’s the path my life has taken and Mr. Right for me may not be there. I have family interests, GOD my puppers and now my own Grandkids that fill any holes. Life will be full, fruitful and will go on.

    Yep me and my ex and friends too. He sadly is still not dealing with some of the issues he had in the past and it’s hard to watch him struggle sometimes with the relationship with his daughter. I’m sure your mom will tell you bitterness and sadness does pass and you will not second guess yourself that the decision you made was the best for everyone. GOD bless both you and your sister and that your lives will be fulfilling, happy in the coming years.

  26. First, I think it’s so brave of you to share this news with your followers. I pray that God will give you the strength to get through this season of your life, and that you and your children adjust to your new normal with relatively few heartaches.

  27. Hey Rachel, I am so sorry my heart goes out to you. If I may give a suggestion these called “When you love someone” by Jame TW it’s an amazing song that just described everything I felt when I went through my divorce I really recommend you listen to it. Wishing you the best!

  28. This post really helped me a lot actually.. I am not going through a divorce, but I am having family issues that have been going on for a long time now and somehow your post has made me get out of my own head and realize that everything is going to be ok.
    I have ALWAYS looked up to you with how incredible of a mother you are and it really helps me get out of my own head when I’m having bad days with my kids.
    You really are an incredible woman and such a wonderful role model for your two angels. I absolutely love and respect the way you’re handling your divorce and think you’re doing it the best way possible. As long as you keep your focus on God, everything will always turn out well in the end.
    Keep it up girl! You’ve got this.

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