Divorced At 23? Really?

I was fifteen-years-old when I met the man I was going to marry. Did I know it at the time? No, of course not. But as the years passed by, and our relationship grew; marriage was more and more a part of our future. We had survived so many things, it seemed like we were destined to be together. He was two years ahead of me in high school, so when he graduated and went off to college people expected our relationship to end, but we survived that. I graduated and went off to college and he dropped out to work full time retail. We survived that. He moved four hours south to accept a management job and I didn't move with him. Yet another relationship destroyer, and we survived that. Finally he moved back home and a year later, we were engaged.

I was so excited and felt so lucky to marrying my high school sweetheart. We had such a strong, loving relationship. We never fought, enjoyed doing the same things, had a great group of mutual friends. Planning the wedding was a breeze and we never had a second thought about what we were about to embark upon. Even our marriage counselor didn't see any red flags and gave us his blessing. Life was good.

The day of the wedding came and everything went perfectly. He cried when he said his vows. Our honeymoon was spent on a week-long cruise and we had an amazing time. 

We are now eight years into our relationship and things couldn't be better. I finally found a job teaching, and he got a promotion at his job. I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about the job - it involved travel every week and we didn't get to see one another as much as I liked. But he was happy, and the money was good, so I accepted it and made the most of the time we had together. This went on for about eight months, and then my world came crashing down around me.

I came home from teaching one day, and plopped myself down in front of our computer to check my e-mail. To my surprise, my husband's e-mail was up and a message shown on the screen. I didn't intentionally read it, but the line "I miss you and can't wait until we can be together" stuck out like it was written in 26 pt. font and blinking red. The words swirled around in my head as I desperately tried to put a face with the name "Kristen" signed at the bottom of the e-mail. At this same moment, my husband came rushing over to the computer and tried to close out the e-mail. I turned in my chair and asked him who she was. All he could say was that she was a "really good friend".

I literally didn't know what to do with myself. Blindisded is an understatement. We never fought, we were never unhappy, things were good. Where did this come from? We had been together for almost nine years, he couldn't tell me if something was wrong? If he was unhappy? I did the only thing I could, and I ran. I went to a firend's house and tried to talk everything out with him, tried to make sense of it all. It didn't work. I decided that we needed counseling, that our relationship needed to be saved. That it could be saved.

He agreed and we went to counseling for about a month. During this time, I moved out and lived with a friend. We agreed that he wouldn't speak to Kristen, and that he would give the counseling and our relationship a chance. The thing that's hard to understand about counseling is that sometimes you find the opposite of what you want.

Counseling did not go well. To be honest, I don't even remember the conversation we had. All I remember is crying, and not being able to understand how and when he fell out of love with me. It didn't hit me that it was really over until one day, I decided to go back to our old apartment (in which he as still living) to pick up some clothes I had left there. At this point, I was tired of being in limbo. Tired of wondering what he was thinking, and if he was serious about trying to love me again. I just wanted a straight answer. Little did I know that the answer would be staring me in the face when I walked into the apartment.

As I walked into the livingrooom, a journal was sitting on top of the coffee table. I guess he didn't expect me to drop by while he wasn't there, and left the journal out without thinking. My curiosity got the best of me and I picked up the journal and began reading. To my surprise, he was not writing for himslef, but writing love letters to Kristen. While I read the letters, I discovered that he was still talking to her, and really had no intentions of ending their affair. He was excited to have her come meet his family, to take her to the places that were "ours", to have her be a part of his life. I don't know - maybe he left it there on purpose. It was at that moment that I knew there was nothing to save.

Two months later, we were divorced. I couldn't believe I was only 23, and I had a divorce on my resume. I didn't know how to cope. I didn't know how I was supposed to go on. When he left, he took my identity with him. Who was I without him?

This went on for about three months. I refused to go out, to do anything. I stayed home. I cried. I didn't eat. I mourned.

My friend Kira, finally convinced me to start going out with her and her friends. It was really hard at first, but finally I started letting myself have fun. The kind of fun I missed out on by being in a relationship throughout high school and college. I started to find myself, and to be okay with who I found. 

There was a period where I just wanted to be back in a realtionship, and I tried to force things that weren't there. But eventually I was able to let that go, and made a concious decision to just be singe. As soon as I decided that, you can guess what happened.

It was a Friday night, and Kira and I had decided to go to a party at one of her friend's houses. It was just another party, and I was actually excited to meet some new people. We parked on the street and made our way to the garage where a rousing game of beer pong was going on. We didn't make it to the garage when Kira was greeted by Jon, the guy hosting the party. Jon was followed closely by one of his friends whom Kira hadn't seen in a long time. After jumping on him like a crazy person, and giving him a huge hug, she introduced him to me and told me his name was Matt.

The moment I met Matt, I swear the world faded away and I only saw him. It was the strangest feeling...not love at first sight, not lust at first sight, just something telling me that there was something different here. We chatted most of the night and found out we had several things in common and wound up exchanging numbers. I tried not to think much of it - after all I had made a concious decision to stay single. However, we wound up going to the beach that weekend.

It is now four years later, and I am engaged to Matt. I never thought I would be able to get my life back to this point. I thought it would be hard to trust someone again, and I certainly didn't see myself getting married again. But when I met Matt, it was so natural. I realized that the feelings I had for him were unmatched, and that what I found with Matt was actually missing from my failed relationship. 

I write this story not only because I wanted it to be told - but to give those who may be going through a similar situation hope for their future. At the time, things seem so bleak and dark. That your world is shattered into such tiny pieces that it seems impossible that they will ever fit back together again. It's not impossible, it just takes time.
e0771773 e0771773
15 Responses Jan 4, 2011

Thank you so much for posting this story.. I'm 23, my husband and I got married last year (together for 7 1/2 years) and he just left me about 6 weeks ago.. I am still so scared I'll never meet anyone.. Your story is an inspiration to me.. Thank you so much. I really needed to hear from someone else that finding love again is possible.

thank you so much for giving an ounce of hope...I have been with my ex 7 years...and through it all he was very verbally abusive yet i stayed and treated him like a king...and then he told me he is out of love and threw me out of our house literally. Very hard move on especially after enduring years mental abuse...there are days I wan tto kill myself. Your stiry has probably saved my life

Thank you so much for this! You have definitely given me hope. My heartbreak was so minute to the pain that you must have suffered. Ive only been with him for 2 years.. but almost 8 and Married! You are so strong, and now know that i can be too. :] thank you.

This is honestly the BEST story I have read on this site. I gives me hope for a new beginning and happy ending :) Every time I feel down and depressed I am going to read this! Thank you for posting your story!

After me and my boyfriend of 4 years broke up only weeks ago, I haven't been able to eat or sleep. It literally hurts to breathe, walk, talk. Thank you for posting your story. I hope the pain ends and I find someone who gives me true happiness and love.

This story has inspired me so much. Thank you for sharing it. I recently discovered my boyfriend of 2years was emailing his ex( they were going out 9 months and she broke his heart telling him she already had a boyfriend and left him). I met him 2years later and though I knew something was missing I never imagined they were in touch. I just thought he would take time to heal. I moved countries for him, lived with him, gave him all of me. I saw his messages one day and he was telling her he didn't love me and missed her..That I was second best. I was heartbroken as he was my perfect man or so I thought. I had no idea, he never hid his facebook or emails from me. He was ashamed and broke off contact with her but I ended it and he didn't fight it. 3weeks later I'm trying to piece my life back together and remember who I am. I dont want to become bitter or untrusting. Your story gives me hope that I may find someone who can love me as much as I love but at the moment that is difficult to think of as I feel I will never trust again. I hope in time this will change.

Wow i Love this, me and my girlfriend of 2 years just broke up. i was two years ahead of her in school so when i graduated she was still there. things were hard for her and she left me. ive felt lost, alone, so sad and misserable, i had made her my everything. everything i see reminds me of her. when you said what you said about trust it just clicked that there is hope for the future, everytime im sad im gonna reread this. This gives me hope for the future. in just half the time you were with him you were happy again, i hope a year from now ill be too.

you have given me hope with this story. congratulations and i wish you so much happiness

thank you for sharing your story. it was inspirational!<br />
i just got out of a realtionship that was about to become abusive. we were engaged.<br />
i only hope i can be as happy as you are one day. :)

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR POSTING YOUR STORY. I'm 23 and the divorce will be finalized soon too. I'm soo happy for you and your happiness. Your story just gave me hope for my future and finding that special person one day. I have been betrayed by my husband and he is all I knew. He was my bestfriend, but little did I know that he was lying to me. He never loved me, he never had intentions of growing old with me. He fooled me for the past 4 years. Now I'm trying to get out of this emotional rut I'm in. I haven't left my house in weeks and have lost my self esteem completley. I have no friends and am alone all the time. But i hope one day, just like you, I can come out of this. <br />
<br />
God Bless You.

Thank you :) I broke up with a woman who only ever pushes me away 4 days ago. I was with her for 6 yrs and felt hurt and neglected for most of that time. Even though ive been treated attrociously, I am hurting like crazy and of course my self esteem is very low due to the way ive been treated. Its so nice that you bothered to post your story to remind us that endings bring new beginnings. I wish you all the best with your love :)

wow!!! that was amazing!!! i needed that, i'm 23yrs and in a relationship that's not going too well. thanks!

That was a very inspiring story. I truly wish you good luck for the future.

aw, this is such a strong story! i cried at your divorce and smiled at your newfound love. im so happy for you :)

That was incredible. One of the best stories I've read on here so far. I'm happy everything has worked out for you, you seem like a wonderful person.