‘I filed for divorce after only 7 months of marriage. I was humiliated. People would talk in our small town.’: Woman made drastic decision to better herself, ‘I knew I had to do something’

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“Very quietly, my life changed drastically about 6 months ago. The last few months have been the most eye opening and fulfilling months of my life …. and it has been a time for major, major growth and change. I have been feeling a certain way lately and felt compelled to share my story. The people who struggle the most and have some of the most dysfunction in their lives, I’ve found, are the ones that seem to have it all together. The couples who post constantly on Facebook or any social media platform MAY be trying to convince the world that everything is perfect when in reality, it is not (OR, maybe they ARE really happy. Who knows! Only they do) Maybe they are trying to convince THEMSELVES they are happy. I used to be one of those people.

Courtesy Katharine Wagner

6 months ago, I made a tough decision that would change the direction of my life and lead me down a whole new path. I filed for divorce after only 7 months of marriage. I was embarrassed, slightly humiliated and knew people would talk in our small town. We had dated off and on for 6 years; I was always the one to reach out to him after being apart. He was familiar, he was my partner in crime and he always took me back. He loved me but it took me getting married to realize that the feelings I SHOULD have for my husband simply were not there. I was not in love… at all. It was a very, very immature relationship. I began to resent him and knew I had to do something. Leaving was not easy. But I was willing to take that chance to better my life. I would rather be alone than be in a relationship that makes me feel alone… or sad, unhappy, etc. I wanted more for myself. I wanted to be a better woman, a healthier person, a happy person … a better mom, a better employee, a better student, a better daughter, a better person.

Courtesy Katharine Wagner

Take a look at your life and if you aren’t happy with it, consider who you associate with and who you are closest to … do they bring you down, do they drain you of your energy? Are they bad influences? What is their social circle like … are they leaders, are they followers? Are they talkers or do-ers? Most importantly, do their goals and what they want in life align with yours or are you on two completely different levels? What are YOU doing with your free time? Are the activities conducive to a healthy lifestyle and will the repetitive actions of what you’re doing lead you to what you want in life? Are you being productive? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you kind to others? Are you kind to yourself? Are you proud of the person you are with or who you are? Food for thought.

Last night I went out with my girlfriends and I can say that my girlfriends are some of the most loyal, honest, FUN and supportive girlfriends any woman could have. The only word to describe how I feel is blessed… I feel blessed, even during the worst of times. And even going through a divorce the last few months I have felt blessed. My life is completely different, and I could not be happier. I am no longer being held hostage by myself in my own life… the decision was mine to change certain things and it only happened when I truly was ready. I am no longer on the hamster wheel of wanting to change something, sticking to it for a few days and failing. Anything from fad diets, eating healthier, doing my school reading for an hour a day, sticking to a specific regimen during the week, cutting out alcohol, being a better person … I have never been one to stick with something and anytime whatever I was doing failed, I labeled myself as a failure. It was a horrible, horrible feeling. You truly never know what someone is dealing with deep down inside. People viewed me as happy but in reality, I was depressed. My life needed to REALLY change, and I was the only one who could do it.

Courtesy Katharine Wagner

Going out once in a blue moon is ten times better than going out on a regular basis. Going out the other night and seeing the same scene I knew all too well a few months ago was confirmation for me that I made the right decision. There is usually some sort of sign or confirmation for me on a regular basis and my counselor who I visit with regularly told me a few weeks ago after I shared a story with him, ‘See, this is one of those things that lead you to your decision that nobody on the outside knows about.’ My soon to be ex-husband and I would go out regularly and part of me knew deep down that I was simply just trying to keep the spark alive. We would go back to the same place where we had our first date which was a spot downtown… alcohol helped to make me like him more, to make me love him, to make me affectionate, to make me feel like I actually was happy when in reality, it made me feel worse. The decisions I made were solely my decisions; this is not a deflection of my behavior onto my ex. Our nights out were fun and the next day reality would hit. I was not happy with who I was when I was with him. My work and school never really suffered but deep down inside, I did. My heart ached. I am not a bad person for having experienced any of this and I certainly won’t get down on myself about it. It was a brief period in my life and to say I am glad it is over is an understatement. My night out the other night was fun, but I’m good for a while. This entire overhaul of my life wasn’t because of just alcohol and going out – it was many, many things that caused me to take a leap of faith and implement serious changes. Many nights I would lay in bed awake praying and asking for God to give me some sort of sign …. Some sort of guidance because I didn’t know how I would get the strength to leave. I did not want to hurt him but knew I had to take care of myself. I finally got that sign in May 2019.

I now have someone very special in my life who supports me, encourages me to spend time with my girlfriends while he spends time with his friends. His goals align with mine. He is driven, motivated, kind, honest and one of my biggest cheerleaders. He is a man of his word. He is a role model for others. He is a role model for my son and that to me is very important. My son deserves to see what a true loving relationship is like and what a balanced life looks like. Our story is an interesting one, but I am 150% convinced God knew EXACTLY what he was doing when our paths crossed. I thank God every single day for him and for this awesome life I have been given the honor to live. I kept my relationship quiet from others for a while because we DID begin dating shortly after my separation. People like to give their opinions when they are often unsolicited and tell you what you should be doing with your life. Only I knew how I felt deep down and how I had grieved the loss of my marriage while I was actually still married. People told me:

‘Stay single for a while.’
‘Go out of the area to date.’
‘You need to date an older man.’

I heard a lot of what others thought I should do. I ended up doing the total opposite and did what I WANTED TO DO.

With this new person in my life, there is no jealousy; no questioning. If you don’t trust someone, you should not be with them …. End of story. There is such a thing as a mature relationship and an immature relationship. Choose wisely.

More than ever, it is clear that there IS a plan for my life, and I understand that some people are only meant for certain chapters in your life and to simply trust your heart AND gut if something doesn’t feel right. People may judge you, disagree with you and brutally tear you apart for making certain decisions but nobody knows how you feel deep down … and nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. After my separation became known to our close group of mutual friends, I had two people specifically reach out to me via text and completely rip me apart for making the decision I had made. One person told me that I needed to focus on honoring my vows. You know what? It took two people to get to the point where we were at and both of us said those vows. The other person told me they didn’t agree with my decision and that it basically was the wrong decision. Uhhh … OK?

Those closest to you will support you, stick by you and will take time to learn/understand.

The woman I have always dreamed of being is who I feel I am today. She is motivated, driven, proud, unstoppable. She is an honest woman. She is a good woman. … if you want something badly enough, it IS attainable. If you are not happy with your life, you have the ability to change it … it’s YOUR life. Once in a sales training class, I heard the saying … ‘Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.’ That is most definitely true. I feel very lucky but there has been a lot of hard work put into my life by MYSELF the last few months and I am certainly reaping the rewards of that hard work. The man above works in mysterious ways. Things align now, the hard work is put in day in and day out … for the first time ever in my life, I feel proud of myself. The life that I am living now is the life the I always wanted to live … but certain things needed to change, certain people needed to be removed and I had to get out of my comfort zone. Making those changes has led me to the most beautiful & fulfilled life. Life is too damn short to live it unhappy.

Long story short, if you aren’t happy with your life, do something. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Courtesy Katharine Wagner

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katharine Wagner, 33, of Pennsylvania. Follow her journey on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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