I wrote a guest post for Offbeat Home after I had my wedding featured on their sister site Offbeat Bride.
Featured article can be found here: http://offbeathome.com/2014/12/lessons-learned-post-divorce
I wrote this post to let people know that life doesn’t always follow the path we have envisioned. It was therapeutic to write and share my story and I was surprised how many people contacted me to say they were going through a similar situation. So here it is in full.
It was such an exciting time in my life, getting engaged, planning my amazing offbeat wedding and enjoying the day. Then I was thrown a curveball a year and 3 months after our wedding date, my husband came home and told me he wanted a divorce. It was completely out of nowhere. We were both unhappy with ourselves and it spilled over into our relationship. So much in life is geared towards these milestones that it felt like the ground had disappeared from underneath me. I was not expecting this.
I have learnt so many valuable lessons from this experience, ones that I would not have had the opportunity to learn if life had not unfolded this way.
I learnt that no relationship is a waste of time. This relationship taught me about what didn’t work and in what areas I needed to grow as a person. I now have a clearer idea of how I want my next relationship to look. When I met my ex it was like a fairy tale, he was my first love. He was my first proper relationship and I was flying blind. I now realise what I deserve and what I will accept in future relationships.
I learnt that I need to love myself first and that you can’t love someone else enough to make up for them not loving themselves. It will never work. I lost my sense of self and I now realise that self-love and self-respect are vital for genuine happiness.
Forgiveness is important to allow yourself to move on. It took a while to come to terms with this, it felt like I was condoning behaviour but I learnt that I needed to let go for myself and to not carry it with me into my future. “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future” – Paul Boese
I believe that everything happens for a reason and I did the best I could at the time with the knowledge I had.
I have been separated now for 11 months and am able to file for divorce in a month, it is a huge chapter of my life that is closing but I look forward to what is to come. It was a roller coaster 8.5 years and we had some wonderful times, I look back on my wedding day fondly and am glad I have those memories. The Offbeat Bride tribe was invaluable to that whole process and I remember posting a journal entry the day he left, the support and advice I got from the tribesmaids was spot on, even though at the time I was overcome with emotions.
I had an absolutely amazing wedding photographer, Angelica Peady but I no longer had the same affinity with my images so we organised to do another photo shoot a few months ago. My horse, who has been in my life for over 16 years and is my best friend, featured in my engagement shoot and I was always going to have some photos done with my horse in my wedding dress as he couldn’t be at the wedding. I got a new bird and cage tattoo to celebrate the fact I found myself again and was ready to fly once again. So these photos are a celebration of some of the things that bring me happiness.
Flickr album can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/85751456@N03/sets/72157648026830100/