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What my divorce taught me

Joanne Michelle

Divorce is a major life transition; while it marks the end of one part of your life, it is also the beginning of another.

Divorce is an opportunity to grow. You have a chance to live a life you want for yourself. Sure it takes time and that is ok. Take this time to learn from your break-up. If you take the lessons learned of this chapter in your life, you will find yourself moving on a lot sooner. Don’t be afraid to feel divorce and embrace everything that comes with it. Feeling isolated and alone after a divorce will not serve you, it will only prolong your healing.

Divorce taught me many things…

Divorce taught me to feel a rollercoaster of emotions

We live in a world that encourages us to put on a happy face and to deny that we feel emotions when going through a break-up. When we acknowledge our uncomfortable feelings, life is manageable. It may not always be fun or easy, but when we deny and avoid what we are feeling, your mental health suffers.

The pain from a break-up is real – you’ve lost someone close to you, and it leaves a gap in your life. The loneliness can feel unbearable at times. This pain is like a death and the pain needs your compassionate attention in order to move forward. Feel your emotions and don’t push them away.

Divorce taught me to accept my own company

Being comfortable with your own company can be unnatural or unfamiliar to some. You were in a relationship where you were a wife, a husband or a partner. If you have children, a parent too. Coming to the realisation you are no longer in a relationship with another can be painful, however, being in a relationship with yourself is something everyone should have. Now is the perfect time to accept who you are and start hanging out with yourself – and liking it!

By allowing yourself to ‘be’ and spending time alone is the greatest gift you can give yourself right now. By knowing who you are and allowing time to heal as you hang out with yourself, you will be ready to move on, and moving on once you have accepted your own company allows you to live a beautiful life.

Divorce taught me to explore new things

As I’ve mentioned before, divorce is an opportunity to grow. An opportunity to do things you may wished to have explored but never had the chance to. Exploring new things in your life at whatever age is part of being human.

What scares you, but you want to try it? What is something you really want to do in your life and you haven’t had the opportunity to do?

Divorce taught me to learn who I am

Just like accepting my own company, divorce taught me to learn who I am. Being in a marriage, we tend to blend as one. That is not always a negative thing, but once you go through a divorce, you have a chance to find out who you really are. You, just you. Realising no one defines who you are except you.

It’s great to ask yourself the following: ‘What did I loose from the relationship? What did I gain from the relationship? Who was I when I was in the relationship? Who am I right now? What makes me happy? What do I love to do that I haven’t done for a while? If I could do anything, anything at all what would it be and could I do it now?’

Divorce taught me to open my heart

Going through a divorce, we can become bitter about relationships in general and others in relationships. Open your heart. Open your heart to the possibility of love again. If you have children, open your heart to your children.

Embrace the world we live in. Open your heart to other people. No one knows what is going on with the next person in line at the grocery store. Be open to the possibilities in this lifetime.

By opening your heart, you will allow only good things. You will allow love into your life. Love in any form in your life will give you peace.

Divorce taught me to live fearlessly, to be brave

Living in fear can hold you back. Most of us do it. We have a belief of the sort of person we are, the belief we cannot do something. Once you start to understand who you are and accept your own company, you start to believe in yourself and live fearlessly, and be brave.

When you confront fear and acknowledge it for what it is, you will be able to have an honest conversation with fear.

We tend to have a list of ‘shoulds’, they normally stay on that list and amount to nothing. When we believe in ourselves and change the ‘shoulds’ to MUSTS, you begin to be braver. You begin to live FEARLESSLY. You stop holding back and begin to live the life you desire.

Are you holding yourself back? What do you say I should do and haven’t?

No one likes to go through divorce, but if you find yourself going through a divorce and not sure what to do next, remember what divorce can teach you.


Joanne Michelle

Joanne is Founder of Joanne Michelle and is a certified Health Coach and Divorcee who has set up Canberra’s first one-on-one break-up coaching program; offering health and wellness advice and practical techniques to help provide much needed support to women after their break-up or divorce. Joanne’s mission is to support and EMPOWER women to rediscover their identity after their break-up or divorce. With lack of support during her own personal experience, Joanne wanted to ensure women have the much needed support on offer. Going through a break-up or divorce can often be a mentally and emotionally devastating time, not to mention stressful. With this in mind, Joanne is now providing a coaching service to support women after their break-up. Joanne is caring and approachable, and knows first-hand, life doesn’t end once you divorce. For more information, please visit or email [email protected] More about the Author

  • Jus

    I got divorced when I was 30 and I was the only person my age in my circle who was divorced. There were no great articles or forums about it. The whole process was hard. However, leaving my marriage was the best thing I ever did and it turned out that I inspired a few women to take back their lives as well. I applaud you for dealing with this issue in such a sensible way. I hope that people read your article and understand that they don’t have to be scared or feel trapped anymore.