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I'm happy to celebrate with my friends when they get divorced

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Galina defected to New York City at age 4 with her family in the 1979 wave of Russian-Jewish immigration. This dramatic transition has apparently left her with an eternal quest for a sense of belonging and a perpet...

Welcome to divorce, we're happy to have you

Welcome to the Divorce Club, where half the population knows what you've been through.

Everything about divorce is difficult and if that's not enough, there still exists an unspoken tarnished image, an invisible “Scarlet D” branded across your Life file forever. It seems that divorce is more forever than marriage because you will never get un-divorced.

When I was getting divorced, no one told me, “Congratulations!” or “Good job!” Instead, they frowned, rubbed my shoulders and wanted to cry. Only, I was euphoric! I was liberated from my controlling husband.

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A happily divorced person is like a newly married person, wanting to recruit others into their club. After I was divorced, the euphoria of the freedom was overwhelming and I wanted others to feel it. I wanted my other friends, trapped in controlling marriages, to understand what it’s like to hear their own thoughts, knowing their voice is the one that rules their life rather than their partner’s.

Divorce takes a toll on the psyche. After my divorce, with a three-year-old in tow, even with a co-parenting plan in place, I felt like damaged goods. I came with heavier baggage. I didn’t feel like I deserved a good man. It’s hard to believe you can make a good decision if you clearly got it wrong the first time. How will I know if the second time really is different? How would I ever trust my instincts?

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Instead, I found a top-tier caliber man. Never married, he completely adores me and has said so daily for a decade. He’s a children’s entertainer to boot. When my mother and grandmother met him, they practically kissed his hands for taking me on AND my kid. “Oh how good he is to him, it’s like he’s his own!” they said. I see other mothers watch him perform with a longing look in their eyes, wishing they could have him. I can tell they’re thinking, “I’d give my left leg to have this man be my kid’s step-dad.” 

Divorce is not the end of something that was right; it’s the end of something broken. Ten years later, my modern family has granted me more of a happily ever after than a traditional family ever did.

More: It took four months of marriage to end our four-year relationship

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