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#AtoZChallenge D for Divorce

April 4, 2018

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers to publish a post from A-Z every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. The theme I have chosen for 2018 is The Story Of Me

This isn’t a subject that I’ve ever talked about much. I find discussing it very confronting and shameful. But in telling the Story of Me, it needs to be included.

In 2006, my life changed completely when after 33 years of marriage,  my husband decided to trade me in for another model. After much angst and feelings of despair and guilt, and many months of separation, I found myself, by the end 2007 holding the title of ‘divorcee’. A title that I thought belonged to others I had met along the way. Never, ever did I think that I would be a ‘divorcee’.

Although it was a huge shock to me, I realised that I had to just move on and not wallow in self pity over the loss of my identity, and  life as I’d known it since  our marriage, when I was aged 20. I had never lived alone, and was terrified at the thought. I really wasn’t sure that I was capable of living alone. How would I cope? Who would change the lightbubs? Who would put the spiders out? I had no idea.

I made the decision to leave Shepparton, where I was born, and had lived my entire life, and where all my family, except for my daughter was located. I just felt like I needed a new start, where there was no history or memories, and also where there was no judgement of me.

I chose to move to Bendigo, not knowing anyone there at all. The main reason for Bendigo was it’s central location, about 90 minutes drive from Shepparton, so I could go back and visit my family quite easily. It was also close to Melbourne, where I would be able to catch up with my daughter.

I also was aware that Bendigo  had a reputation as a great cycling city, and I was fairly sure that I could slot myself into one of the many cycling groups, which I did. This was a great way to meet people, and I made many friends through cycling.

Bendigo is a city built in a forest, so I quickly discovered bushwalking.  The outdoors life is a way of life for many here and I absolutely love it.

For the first 18 months, I didn’t work at all. I’d had a shock, and lost all confidence. I needed time out to re-assess and decide if I was happy enough in Bendigo, to make it my permanent home. It didn’t take me long to realise that Bendigo was a fantastic city and I would definitely be staying.

Certain people in my life made it clear to me that if I had been a better wife, I wouldn’t have found myself in this situation. Perhaps they are right. But that I will never know.  I did, and still do find that very hard to cope with, but these days I try not to focus on the negative.

Looking back now, I realise that I married much too young. At the time I felt like I was mature enough to make life changing decisions. Even though our marriage was a huge failure, ending in divorce after 33 years, I really don’t regret it at all. After all, three beautiful children were the product of that marriage, and how could I ever regret that?

Please visit again to see my story unfold

Jennifer

2018 A to Z Challenge

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19 Comments
  1. Incredibly difficult for you ❤️

  2. I don’t see 33 years of marriage as a huge failure Jennifer – I see it as a great legacy. I also don’t think you married too young (I was 21 when I married and it was normal to marry in your early 20’s in our era). I think life brings with it a lot of change and you either grow together or you grow apart – and most of us have faced hurdles that were make or break at some stage in our marriages (I have at least twice). I think you were incredibly brave to strike out on your own and make a new life for yourself – you need to give yourself a lot of credit for what you’ve been through and for what you’ve become.

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    D for Don’t Give Up

  3. Oh Jennifer you can’t say 33 years was a failure! I have been married twice the first time 10 years and now coming up to 20 years. Things happen for a reason and although at the time it must have been devastating for you DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED!!! There would have been good and bad times during the 33 years but also look at what you have achieved on your own! Be proud to talk about it Jennifer because it shows what a strong person you are. xx
    Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    D is for Disconnection – 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

  4. Ann Mason permalink

    I am very glad you made the big move to Bendigo, I probably would not have ever met you otherwise. You inspire me to be a better person and we have common interests, I’m looking forward to where that takes us and what can be achieved.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I really do appreciate your support. Thanks for being good friend.

  5. Same thing happened to me Jennifer, leaving me with 4 girls not yet teenagers. Like you I thought at first it must be me, then I had a talk with myself and realized I liked who I was and it was his loss. It was hard to start back to work again, but I knew I could do anything I wanted to do.
    There was nothing for me in the small town we lived in, so after the oldest three finished high school I moved all the way across the country with my youngest and started over. Best thing I ever did! I learned to fix busted water pipes, change broken electrical cords, and I taught myself carpentry to make a wooden cradle for my first grandchild. I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR! That’s what you should be saying to yourself! ❤

    • Diane I love reading how you faced up to your challenges. Sounds like your life has been enhanced because of what you’ve gone through. Thanks so much for visiting

  6. What?! If you had been a better wife my foot! Chin up sister! People have no couth these days and you know it definitely takes 2. Glad you were able to write about it. A big deal I’m sure! Looking forward to your next post on this A to Z 🙂

  7. I was 19 when I married .., going from daddy’s house to living with my husband. We’ve been married 47 years this year.., hopefully we have more. I think about living alone and it terrifies me, you sound very strong, and that you have planned out your new life. Never listen to the negativity of you weren’t a good wife… it’s a two way street! Keep writing!

  8. I don’t understand how people can think they understand an intimate relationship like marriage and divorce from observing it from the outside.

    http://findingeliza.com/

  9. I am sorry that you had to go through something so difficult but impressed by your resiliency. It takes incredible courage to strike out on your own and start over in a new place. Weekends In Maine

  10. Your story is very interesting Jennifer. To get through 33 years of marriage and produce three children is something very worthwhile! I married young too at 19, and it was a completely different time back then. I’m so pleased you got into cycling in Bendigo and I look forward to more of your story unfolding. Great effort to do the A-Z challenge!!

    • Thanks for your comments Debbie. By the way my sisters name is Debbie Harris so you grab my attention every time

      • Really, how funny!! She must be a lovely person 😊 I’m really enjoying reading your A-Z posts. 😊

  11. I’m tucked up in bed working through all your posts. I’m so impressed with how you were so strong after your divorce. People either grow together or grow apart but I can understand how it shatters your self esteem when a partner looks elsewhere. You just have to think that millions of others have been in the same position so it’s not your fault that this happened. It has given you a chance to stand on your own two feet and know who you really are, instead of being half of a couple. I’m interested to see what else has happened in your life.

    • Thanks for your support Linda. I’m planning on visiting your blog. Now that AtoZ is over there is more time. Will see you there soon

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