Divorce Makes Us Stronger

My friends call me the "Divorce Poster Child".

At the age of 20 I was married, and by 22 I had our first child. My husband was away at work every weekday, so it was just myself and the baby, from seven in the morning, until five thirty in the evening, every weekday. Eventually, my husband and I found ourselves with three children, and we were now both working in the same industry. We worked for his company, and he was still away at work every day, while I managed to work from home while taking care of the house and the kids.

We worked apart for all of our marriage, and we got to the point where, when we were together, we had very little to talk about besides the kids, and work. Eventually, there was even less to talk about, because it would seem that my ex-husband to be, was getting more and more distant. I sensed the distance, sat him down and said, "If you're feeling like you want to be a single man, don't go behind my back and sneak around because you want to be with someone else. Don't make me do all of the detective work that I see those poor women on T.V. having to do before finding out that their husbands are cheating on them. If that's what you want, then go. Let's cut our losses now, and do it amicably." To which he replied, "I would NEVER do that! I don't want to be single. I love you guys. What would make you say that??"

Apparently, at about that time, my soon to be ex-husband was slowly developing younger woman syndrome, and eventually decided that he would rather be a single man. So, to make a very long story, somewhat shorter, I wasn't about to leave the home that I raised my children in, so he left (That's the Coles' notes version.)

We've been divorced for four and a half years now. I went through many phases. The first was definitely blinding anger, followed closely (actually overlapped) by betrayal, which came before overwhelming sadness and feelings of failure, which were replaced by apprehension. Apprehension stepped aside to welcome self-pity. Major self pity. Self-pity was quickly replaced by revenge. I went on a spending spree, maxxing out his credit card twice. Each stage came with its own set of ups and downs.

I've learned so many things about myself because of my divorce. I have acquaintances who are going through the same things right now, who ask me for advice, and it surprises me to hear them say that they're having the same feelings and thoughts that I had in the various stages of this journey. There were times when I thought that I was going insane. But we all go through these phases. I found that mine were therapeutic, and educational. I learned that I'm much stronger than I thought I was. I learned this when apprehension came to visit me. I learned that I have a lot more patience than I ever thought I could have. I learned that I CAN be the bigger person. I learned that as long as I take care of myself, my children do wonderfully. "The ex" is a regular visitor in our children's lives. We're not best friends, but I'm okay with that. We get along well enough, and once I grasped the lesson that what he did wasn't about me, my life improved dramatically. It was his mess. It was his mental and emotional mess. There was nothing wrong with me.

I'm happy with my life, and with who I am at the end of the divorce process. I'm running my own business, and for the first time in my life I'm in complete control of every aspect of my life. If I want to eat Frosted Flakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I will without having anyone berate me for it. If I want to spend an outrageous amount of money on a pair of amazing shoes, I will (Mr. Visa loves me).

My divorce actually made me stronger. It gave me the strength to be the person that I am supposed to be. All's wonderful in my world. I proudly bear the title "Divorce Poster Child". I think I just might put that on a tee shirt.

Debbie Burgin is a Vancouver handbag designer, and mother of 3, who started and runs the successful handbag line at http://www.debbieburgin.com as a result of her divorce.

In The News:

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Judge declines divorce case, citing gay marriage ruling
Chattanooga Times Free Press
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Gov. Robert Bentley's divorce drama goes national
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Us Magazine

Giada De Laurentiis Finalizes Divorce, Has to Give Ex Todd Thompson 50 Percent ...
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Giada De Laurentiis is going to have to pay up to her ex-husband, Todd Thompson. According to TMZ, the Food Network star has finalized her divorce with Thompson, but they didn't have a prenup, meaning he will benefit thanks to Laurentiis' empire.
Giada De Laurentiis Is Officially DivorcedPeople Magazine
Giada De Laurentiis Officially Divorced ... And it Was ExpensiveTMZ.com
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Why are divorce ads targeting local military?
WTSP 10 News
Imagine leaving work every day only to see a billboard suggesting your spouse may be cheating on you and targeting your specific profession for divorce. Well, drive out of MacDill Air Force Base and the first thing you see is an advertisement for ...

Washington Post

On the viral rise of divorce selfies (and the death of traditional marriage)
Washington Post
In late August, Shannon Neuman and her husband Chris went to the municipal court in Calgary, Alberta, to get a divorce. They had already filled out the forms and taken the requisite seminars. They navigated the 24-story Courts Centre and dropped their ...
Couple's smiling 'divorce selfie' goes viralUSA TODAY
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The News-Press

The viral rise of the divorce selfie
The News-Press
A few weeks ago, my friend Melissa Morris posted an Instagram photo of her and her then-ex outside a courthouse moments after divorcing: “#divorceselfie ha ha…This is how you stay friends thru the drama.” Unbeknownst to them at the time, divorce ...

3 Tips for Getting Over Your Divorce Faster
Huffington Post
Yet however much we want to deny it, getting a divorce (or ending a long-term cohabitation) can be an extremely stressful, painful time in anyone's life. Mishandling it can cause more damage to you, your family, your bank account and your kids (if you ...

People Magazine

Stacy Peterson's Sister Begged Her to Divorce Drew Peterson Two Days Before ...
People Magazine
“Stacy looked at me and she goes, 'So how do you feel about me getting a divorce from Drew?'" Stacy's sister, Cassandra Cales, says on Saturday's episode of Murder Made Me Famous on the Reelz Channel. "Her face turned pale white," recalls Cales.

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Entertainment Tonight

Alyssa Milano Says 'Divorce Is Not an Option' in Her Marriage
Entertainment Tonight
Alyssa Milano is not about to take part in what's become known as the 'Summer of Splits.' Married to her talent agent husband David Bugliari for the last six years, the star tells ET that divorce is "not an option." "[Marriage is] work, and there's no ...

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The Week Magazine

Amanda Peet Is Probably Divorcing Her Husband Over Jon Snow's Fate
“I'm in the process of getting divorced,” she told Kimmel. While Kimmel was surprised by the lengths that Benioff would go to maintain a separation between Game of Thrones and marriage, even turning his computer away from her to watch the dailies ...
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