Moving On: I Am a Divorced Woman

by Nancy Wurtzel on February 5, 2013

I’m currently settling into life as a single person with a new home in a new city.  I am also looking to make some new friends.  Thanks to the internet, it’s now fairly easy to connect with people who have similar interests and also live nearby.

After doing a bit of research, I joined a few walking, writing and social groups that, hopefully, will encourage me to get out of the house and away from my computer screen.

Recently, I went to a social mixer of about 40 men and women.

There was wine, good food and 1990s piped-in music.  People were friendly and everyone had one thing in common: We were ending or had ended a marriage.  Since I’ve been divorced about three years, I was sure I’d fit right in.

The first few people I met posed the question, “Are you separated or divorced?”

Quickly, I grasped that divorce was not just a topic for conversation at the mixer.  It was the main topic.  Everyone seemed to have a divorce story, and they felt the burning need to share it.  They talked about their former partners – sometimes with laughter, but more often with anger, bitterness and tears.  Always, their stories were tinged with sadness.

Less than halfway into the event, I realized the “Divorced and Separated Social Group” wasn’t a good match for me after all.

While I am divorced woman, I am not in the midst of a divorce. That terrible chapter of my life is thankfully behind me.

It’s not that I never think about being divorced.  It comes up frequently in conversation or when I check off that little square box on medical forms.  I’m reminded of my marital status when I look at certain family pictures or make plans for holidays.  However, divorce no longer consumes my life.  My 21-year marriage will always be a part of me, but it no longer defines me.

I have moved on.

Moving on is a funny thing.  You can’t will it or move it faster.  It has a path and a pace of its own, and everyone’s journey on that path is different.

For me, moving on took several years.  It evolved slowly but with the passage of time came the healing of wounds.  I learned it was a process of forgiveness, acceptance and finally a willingness to let go and push forward.  Sadly, some people never get to that point.  Indeed, I met one woman at the mixer who had been divorced for six years, but she had never gotten past the pain and hurt.  Listening to her, it sounded as though her divorce had taken place just months before, rather than years before.

I didn’t realize how much I had moved on until I was surrounded by others who had not.

On that dark, snowy evening, it was apparent that divorce is no longer center stage in my life.  Yes, my divorce changed me, and I’ve got some battle scars.  Yet, overall I’m in a good place.

I will always be a divorced woman.  But now it is a part of my history, not my present.

I’ve truly moved on.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy March 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I was a legal secretary for 7 years and I noted that we filed more divorces after 1 year, 7, years and 21 years. When my first marriage made it to 22, I thought I was home free. But when 31 hit, he up and left, and me and the kids were stunned. No sign of a problem. But I too moved on after a great divorce recovery class, met a great Christian man who had never been married, and this year we celebrate our 8th year of marriage in May.
I learned that being bitter and wishing bad things on the ex is like putting out poison for the rat and eating it yourself.

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Allison February 22, 2013 at 8:15 am

As always, Nancy, a wonderful piece. I was also married 21 years and it’s taken me a long long time to put the bitterness behind me. I wore my hurt like a badge…for all the world to see and in doing so, I prolonged the pain for myself and my children. Learning to stop feeding off sympathy was my lesson to learn. It feels good to finally let that go. Thank you for putting into words how it feels to let yourself move past the …..well, the past.
Allison

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SunbonnetSmart.com February 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Whoa, so good to read this, Nancy. I had no idea, but it happens to the best and the no-so-best. Go figure. The main thing, as you have found, is to continue to grow. So happy you sound like you want to move on from hanging out with “all those divorced people,” as nice as they are. It is no longer a priority for you. Yippee! Much Love, Fondly, Robin

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Nancy Wurtzel February 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for your support, Robin!!!

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Susan February 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Nancy,

I know exactly what you mean. I now think of myself as single, not divorced. I was active in a support group as a participant and a counselor for several years, but it became very apparent when it was time to move on.

Susan

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Nancy Wurtzel February 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for coming to read, Susan!

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Denise Danches Fisher February 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Those groups…well…are just not for me either. In a similar situation, and I am learning to enjoy my own company. I tried to date myself out of my new single status, and that didn’t work.

It’s all a rite of passage. The revelations will be wonderful, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

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Nancy Wurtzel February 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Good points, Denise! Thanks for sharing.

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Lee February 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

When you realize you have moved on it is the best feeling isn’t it? Being a former divorce coach…are you ever a former anything?…. this was my specialty, and when that Aha moment came it was satisfying for not only the client but for me as well. Kudos to you for getting there, staying there and being there.

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Nancy Wurtzel February 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

YES! It is the best!

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Susan sweet February 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Good for you!

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Nadine Feldman February 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

What a wonderful realization! Having been through divorce myself, I know how difficult it can be — and that each person heals on his or her own time. When that day comes, though, life is filled with magic and possibility again. Congratulations!

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Nancy Wurtzel February 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Nadine, you are such a great supporter of my writing…thank you SO much (as always), Best, Nancy

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Olya Thompson February 6, 2013 at 11:21 am

What a nice realization. Obviusly, moving on took much courage and personal growth, as reflected in your blog posts!

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Nancy Wurtzel February 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi Olya, Many thanks!

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