When you become a divorcee, many things change. Most of those things you expect. The ones that are less anticipated have to do with the role perception plays in one’s newly single life. I have found that there is a sort of accepted and preconceived notion about love after divorce and that divorce hardens people.

Divorce Isn’t a Love Death Sentence

People often assume that divorcees are no longer able to believe in or celebrate love. While I’m certain that divorce affects each individual differently, this was not the case for me. It’s true that divorce is difficult. How could it not be? You endure a painstakingly long process to end a life with someone you thought you’d be with forever. To say that you go through a bit of a transformative phase is an understatement. We can all understand how many men and women could have a tough time thinking of love after divorce in the same way they thought about it pre-divorce, but to paint all of us with such a broad stroke is unfair.

I adore love, and I always have. In my mind’s eye I’d always pictured my life full of love. I knew it would derive from several places, each at different points in my development. My wonderful parents made sure I always felt loved. I became a mom and experienced a type of love unlike any other before. I even knew I would find love in the form of a marriage one day. And while I have always had friends, I think you never truly understand how impactful your friendships and “Philos love” become as you enter and navigate adulthood.

Love In A European Castle

In June, I traveled to Europe for work and a vacation that would prove to be one of the best I’ve taken. My friend Desi and her husband were celebrating their fifteen years of marriage.  My boys and I were invited to partake in the festivities along with them. I watched as loved ones gave speeches, champagne flowed and jovial conversations transpired all around me.

We danced and toasted, and in the middle of all the fun, I found myself taking in the entire scene. All of these people were gathered together to celebrate Desi and Jeff and their anniversary, but not as a formality. We were honoring the love and adoration they have for one another. It was so genuine that it felt palpable.

Divorcees will never be able to escape judgment of some kind. It’s pretty inevitable, and I’ve made my peace with that. I find solace in knowing that for some, my life may be the example that changes their opinion of the likelihood of love after divorce. My marriage wasn’t meant to last forever, but I have never faltered in my belief that many actually do. Love is as beautiful to me today as it was when I said my vows years ago. The difference is, I place an even bigger importance on love being abundant in my life and its source being plural.

Love By Example

It is because of this that my gratitude overflows for Desi and Jeff. I’m thankful that my two sons will be able to see an example of what a lasting marriage looks like in their union. While I haven’t given either of my boys that yet, I am careful to ensure that love is plentiful in their lives, and that it is clearly seen and experienced in a variety of ways. It is this choice that can teach us a priceless lesson: while the love we presently have may be different than that of our peers, it is no less special or beautiful. I can’t imagine anything being more valuable than that.

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