How was your divorce

The taboo subject of divorce and what happens afterwards

Illustration of @ lara.minerva

Yes, getting married is nice. Hands up, who has been to several dream weddings in their life? I don't mean to say that marriage is inherently bad. It's romantic and beautiful, and sometimes it's a pragmatic, logical decision. But there is also the downside of the glorified marriage and marriage that so many people strive for in their lives: divorce. Of course, when planning a wedding, you don't want to think about divorce. But the taboo subject of divorce is more present in Germany than we want to admit. The Divorce rate in Germany was around 36% in 2019. Mathematically, for every three marriages there was about one divorce. In 2005 the divorce rate was around 52%. What can be summed up is that divorce is a topic that we need to talk about more often. Statistically alone. But also emotionally. Divorce is part of life for many people and therefore urgently needs to be end-stigmatized. Especially because life goes on after a divorce. It might even get better.

Christin's divorce: when it ends shortly after the dream wedding

We met at school when we were ten. At 16 we became a couple. He was my best friend, my solid rock. I never existed without him. Who was I before the relationship? I dont know. I was a kid at the time, and my personality wasn't fully developed at the time. The danger that we could eventually develop apart was of course great. We were also at this point in our relationship. But in the end we always went our way together. After a wonderful proposal in Rome in the summer, we got married almost a year later in June 2019. The day was an absolute dream and perfect for both of us. We were happier than ever. After the wedding we wanted to buy a piece of land and talked about children.

"I felt like he was cheating on me."

Two months after the wedding, I had a bad gut feeling that I couldn't name. He withdrew, was out with friends a lot. I noticed myself slowly sliding down his priority list. That was very hard on me psychologically. I felt like he was cheating on me. Despite my best efforts, he then separated from me. He was exhausted and justified the separation by the confusion of his feelings. He always stressed that I was the "perfect woman" for him. And despite my inquiries, he swore that the breakup had nothing to do with another woman. Until I found out through friends that he had long since replaced me. With a woman I knew. She was even a guest at our wedding.

“A relationship is work. But one alone can neither lead nor save a marriage. "

He became a different person overnight, almost as if a mask had fallen. I knew him so well! Or not? His family bothered me too, and blamed me. I, in turn, sought psychological help. Without my psychologist, my family, my friends and colleagues, I would not have survived this time. That sounds tragic, but I was trapped in the dark. Felt pain that I did not know before. I cried every day for three months. Today I know: a relationship is work. But one alone can neither lead nor save a marriage.

“I am aware of my worth. And I'm incredibly proud of myself. "

I no longer want to be married to someone who lied to and cheated on me. Who cannot recognize my worth. Who treats me disrespectfully. I generally don't want people like that in my life. It took me a long time to get to the point with my feelings. I've learned so much about myself in the past eleven months. I reflected, grew with myself, learned to perceive positive things. I am aware of my worth. And I'm so proud of myself. I'm also grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I've had so much love and encouragement.

Today I am looking forward to my future. Because I can enjoy my life again and take it as it comes. Because now I know that I can do anything.

Pauline's divorce: "It was a divorce, but you can still congratulate."

After the wedding, we moved into a larger apartment together. He worked in a 9-to-5 job and spent most of his evenings at home in front of the TV or at home with pals. I was out and about a lot, got to know new people, sat in other people's shared kitchens until early in the morning and was inspired. Feeling restless, not arriving, I found that I would rather spend my time without a husband. I wanted to develop myself further and felt like I had to apologize for it.

We drifted apart, argued a lot. Until we realized that there was no point in fighting. He moved out of our apartment in March when we made the decision together to separate. That same evening a friend came by and we ate pizza on the balcony. A stone fell from my heart and I felt like I could finally breathe again, even though I was afraid of what was to come.

"I was glad that I had the courage to divorce."

During this time I didn't think for a second about having made the wrong decision because we were married instead of just together. I was all the more astonished when the news of our separation met with incomprehension in my environment: “How? Isn't that possible? You are married. ”“ Have you thought about it carefully, you already know what such a divorce means? ”Others also had pity:“ Mei, you just got married, you poor man ”. So the fact that we were married made the separation much worse for outsiders. At the time, I felt like I was resuscitated and didn't want any pity. I was glad I had the courage to divorce.

The divorce only became final about a year and a half after the separation. The reason for this was the so-called year of divorce. This year is supposed to protect against the fact that the couple might not split up after all and change their minds again. So we had to prove that we hadn't lived together for a year either. The ultimate divorce was straightforward because we weren't married for long, had no children, no assets together, and everything between us was resolved emotionally.

"If you are unhappy in your relationship, you have to make a decision."

I was only 27 and after the breakup and divorce I was very scared of being alone again. But it turned out: after a while, I had the best time of my life. It was so liberating to realize that I could be alone, even though that was my greatest fear a few years ago. After a few months I felt that I had somehow arrived. All alone, without the safety net of a functioning marriage. During this time I have learned that a breakup that results in a divorce is not a failure. But that it takes a lot of courage to express this thought. When you are unhappy in your relationship, you have to make a decision. It makes no difference whether you're married or not. Your feelings do not care about the signature in the registry office.

"I don't regret the wedding either."

I have to admit that I got married rather naively myself. I had no idea about community of property, pension equalization, tax brackets and neither did my ex-husband. And certainly not from divorce - it was one thing above all: expensive. Do I regret the divorce? No. I was brave enough to make this decision to be happy. I'm proud of that now. I don't regret the wedding either. At the time, that decision just felt right.

A year after the divorce, I took my maiden name again. Whether at work or anywhere else, I keep hearing: “How nice, you got married!”, I always smile and reply: “No, it was a divorce, but you can still congratulate”.