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I ran into a friend who recently divorced.
The smile on her face – well, it was the stuff dental commercials are made of – bright and blinding.
She was happy.
Divorce is harsh. It is filled with heartache, worry, stress and unbearable loss.
Anyone who has trolled this overhaul of a life change would agree there was a day, joy seemed evasive even improbable.
They will also attest to the fierce resistance we all have to be one of ‘them.’
You know the divorced people marrieds whisper about…
Well you know she/he is divorced.
I wonder why?
What happened was it him or her?
The poor kids.
Well, you know their parents are divorced.
And just like that, we are on opposite sides of those we once craved to remain with. The group we never wanted to leave behind – all the marrieds we built our lives around. The ones who had it all. Who had somehow mastered life and figured out how to do it all right.
Who witnessed our fall from grace.
And a long fall it was. Painful excursions through school halls, the grocery store, cocktail parties and more. Steps which felt more like an outsider than the new kid at school.
I speak with divorcing individuals all the time.
Ones who have experienced cheating, drinking, lying and more yet they stayed. They stayed for years believing it was better to remain on the side of the marrieds. Their children would do better if they did and the family would remain intact.
After all, our family is everything in this life.
Divorce is no doubt what couples fear most. The ultimate demise to the fairy tale. Even if Cinderella and Prince Charming are verbally throwing glass slippers at one another. They hold on. No one wants to walk away from what once seemed idyllic and charmed.
Worse, youth is where we are most likely to find another Cinderella and Prince Charming.
How will we fare? Out there in the new kingdom alone?
But we do.
And eventually, it does get better. It seems we can be happy again. There is a day we don’t miss that old life we invested years in building.
We excitedly look to new doors opening rather than slamming the old one again and again – as we did while we fought to salvage what had evaporated years before.
And the marrieds we once envied?
Sure, there are still some we do.
Those who got it right not because they are perfect but because they love one another perfectly.
We no longer feel like the outsider or the new kid at school.
Instead, we realize we were subject to redistricting.
Transferred unwillingly but necessarily.
And eventually, we find embrace our new environment and fit back into life again.
Even happier than before.
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