When You’re Divorced In Your Twenties…

divorced

Divorce isn’t rare. But being divorced in your twenties is. I was 22. A couple years have gone by, and I’m far enough away from it now that I can write the things I wished I could have read then.  Here is what’s true when you’re divorced in your twenties…

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may get lots of support.

I did. My family was incredible. My *real* friends were incredible. They never made me feel like I had failed. They laughed and cried with me. You realize very quickly who is in your “tribe.” These are the people who liked you when it appeared to be all good; these are the people who still like you once you’re a serious mess. They are your people. Hold on to them for dear life.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may get lots of attacks.

I did. The emails, dear Lord above, the emails. I promise this: you will get through it. Feel free to defend yourself, or ignore it, but always keep your class. The truth is some people are just plain rude and don’t know boundaries. They don’t realize they have no right to comment on something they know nothing about. Their judgement is actually a reflection of their own insecurities. Cry if you want to, then dry your tears and keep being your lovely self.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may worry that nobody wants “used goods.”

I felt that way for a while. Even after dating my sweet boyfriend for months, I didn’t want to talk about my divorce or remind him that he’s getting “leftovers.” I learned to knock that off pretty quickly. You may find somebody who has a problem with your past – DON’T DATE THEM.  Move on to greener and more open-minded pastures. To my boyfriend, I am nothing but a strong woman who kicks butt; there really are decent people out there. So cut the negative self-talk.  You’re not “used-up.” You’re reinvented, sexy, smarter, and freaking awesome.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may feel lonely.

You look around at your peers and realize you’ve said both “I do” and “I don’t” more quickly than it took them to get into a first serious relationship. It’s hard to find friends your age that can relate. That’s okay. It helped talking to older people who had gone through a divorce, and it helped talking to my peers who had gone through difficult relationship splits. Or just talking. Just talk to people – their situations may be different, but nobody goes through life without some serious shitstorms. Reading is an incredible way to feel less alone too. (Here are 10 books to help you through your divorce.)

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may feel embarrassed.

Look, it’s true. All those people came to your wedding and bought you presents and probably wondered at some point if you were too young. That all happened. And you may feel embarrassed that you couldn’t make it work. Nobody does life perfectly. The only thing that makes you different than anybody else is a divorce is a public announcement that your life isn’t perfect. You know what?! Thank God. It takes the pressure off!

When you’re divorced in your twenties, life goes on.

It does, I promise you. We 20-somethings have age on our sides.  We can start over sooner.  Find the things you love to do and do them. You’ll start meeting people who love those things too.  Eventually you’ll be so busy with awesome things, you will suddenly realize that your heart isn’t broken anymore and you don’t feel like an emotional wreck. Life keeps moving on. So keep moving right along with it.

You got this.

(Click here for the 10 Books To Help You Through Your Divorce)

When You're Divorced in Your Twenties

65 thoughts on “When You’re Divorced In Your Twenties…

  • August 17, 2015 at 7:22 am
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    I have several friends who have now divorced and are still in their 20’s, and I agree with all of them that it was for the best, in each unique situation. I’m sorry that people were so judgmental towards you over your divorce. You really just can’t fully understand until you’re in that situation.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 8:34 am
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      Yes, I have a few friends who also divorced in their 20s. It always feels a bit messy because people still don’t expect it to happen at that age. It’s nice to hear that you’ve supported your friends through that hard time! I’m sure they really appreciated it :)

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 8:39 am
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    It sounds like you are a strong woman, and I’m glad that you were able to make the right choices for you, no matter how hard they were. I hate how much other people judge – it’s not their place, and especially not to send you emails about it!

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    • August 17, 2015 at 9:30 am
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      Thanks, Becky! I hate it too!

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  • August 17, 2015 at 9:16 am
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    It never fails that when you go through something this big you do find your *real* friends. Those are the people you have to keep close for a long time because they will never judge you or make you feel bad. It is sad when people are so quick to judge when they have never walked a mile in your shoes.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 9:30 am
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      Yes, that is always the blessing that comes out of it. You figure out who will stick it out with you and who won’t!

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 9:28 am
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    This reminds me of something that happened to my brother. First, he was divorced before one year of marriage was done. He has too much wanderlust to be married. But here’s what I want to share… When he was 52, he needed a hip replacement. My brother loved to hike, bike, and do other activities that he could no longer do. His doctor said, “well, you can get it replaced now and recover quickly while you are yet young, or you can suffer in pain for 10 years and then have it replaced. He chose to do it while relatively young. He healed fast and has been hiking and biking ever since. He’s now 64. If he had waited, there would have been too much damage to enjoy activities he does today.

    Likewise, my guess is that if you had waited, you too would have had to endure more pain and wouldn’t have healed very quickly. I’m glad you found “the boyfriend”.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 9:31 am
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      Thanks for that Lori. That’s an amazing metaphor. I really appreciate your words. *hugs*

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    • January 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm
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      Oh my gosh. This just made me feel so amazing. I’m 21 and go through a divorce. And I really can’t decide if it’s the right choice or not. But this just gave me so much hope. Thank you.

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      • January 4, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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        I remember feeling like I was crazy wondering if I was doing the right thing or not. Once it was finalized, I never again questioned myself!

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  • August 17, 2015 at 10:00 am
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    When you are divorced in your 20’s, be grateful you aren’t divorced in your 40’s 😉 All those things are so true for any age you get divorced. It’s such a hard thing to go through… you can’t even imagine the depth of difficulty as you are going through it. Just knowing that others feel the same way… lonely, left over, etc, is always helpful. Beautiful post

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    • August 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm
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      I’m sure these feelings extend to any age. I agree – just knowing that others have been there makes a world of difference!

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  • August 17, 2015 at 10:00 am
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    Thanks for writing so honestly and openly about your experiences. I’d imagine divorce is so difficult at any age (I watched my parents go through a horrible one when I was already an adult), but being divorced in your 20s definitely has its own set of unique heartaches and challenges. I’m sure your words will be a balm to many hurting hearts.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm
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      Thanks so much! Divorce is hard for anybody; it’s not something I’d wish on an enemy. I never went through it with my parents so it was a brand new experience for me.

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    I was divorced in my twenties and the things you pointed out were true. Life does go on and for me a good life it has been.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm
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      Yes! My life has been beautiful. There were moments where I thought it would stay sucky, but it simply isn’t true!

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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    Taylor, I found myself nodding along to this entire post! I was divorced at 26 and I definitely went through a lot of the same feelings over the years. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience :)

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    • August 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm
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      I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in those feelings! I know divorce is so hard at every age, but nobody expects you to be divorced so young.

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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    Great post. These are good reminders that you are worth it and worth more.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm
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      Yes!! We are worth it!

      Reply
  • August 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm
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    I love your honesty here. I have some friends in their 20s/early 30s who are divorced too, and I know it’s been so hard for them to heal and move forward when so many people are just plain rude. I love your encouragement to remember that you are awesome and strong, no matter what anyone says!

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    • August 17, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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      Thanks Lauren. It is amazing how rude people can be! I’m sure they appreciated having a supportive friend like you!

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  • August 17, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    That’s great that you have a support system. I have never been married, but any break up is hard.

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    • August 17, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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      Yes, breakups are so incredibly hard!!

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    • August 17, 2015 at 7:57 pm
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      I didn’t realized we shared that part of our stories. We are strong!!

      Reply
  • August 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm
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    Great tips, thanks for sharing! Not enough bloggers are talking about things like this, so I really appreciate it.

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    • August 21, 2015 at 9:56 am
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      Thank you SO much for the encouragement! It’s sometimes scary to write about things that aren’t super pretty and lovely. But I know that I wanted to read stuff like this, so I might as well write it for someone else. (It’s TOTALLY therapeutic for me too!!)

      Reply
  • August 19, 2015 at 6:12 am
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    Your words are so honest and truthful. You’re such a strong woman and it sounds like your struggles have only made you braver. I can’t wait to read more from you! (Great post on Ember Grey today, too!)

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    • August 21, 2015 at 9:56 am
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      You are so kind!! I appreciate your words more than you know!

      Reply
  • August 19, 2015 at 10:48 pm
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    Amen!! I wish I could put all the hand raise emojis here. I got divorced when I was 22 and felt all those things. When I started dating my boyfriend of now a year and a half I cried on our 3rd date because he was so great and I was “used goods” I look back on that now and laugh. Thank god he didn’t think I was crazy and bolt then!!

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    • August 21, 2015 at 9:59 am
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      Oh girl. Your story brought a tear to my eye because I felt the exact same way! My boyfriend was introduced to me by a friend, s he was already clued in that I had been divorced. I knew this, but it still took me ages to talk about it with him, because it was so painful to know he was so great and I was so “used up.” Now I see how this wasn’t the truth. It sounds like we both have great guys!! *hugs*

      Reply
  • August 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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    Such a great and honest post, Taylor xx Also nobody’s life is perfect but a divorce is just a public announcement of it. I LOVE this. Just this. This this. This. And This. You’ll be embarrassed at first. But it’s great, actually. It takes the pressure off. <3 <3

    Reply
    • August 24, 2015 at 9:09 am
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      Thanks, Sarah! You’re so sweet. Yes – it TOTALLY takes the pressure off :)

      Reply
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  • December 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    We stayed together for an extra year because I was so worried about the opinions of others rather than my own sanity and well-being. My ex and I are still friendly, and it was definitely a hard decision, but definitely the best one I’ve ever made. Great post, I really felt like I was checking off my own experiences reading through this

    Reply
    • December 16, 2015 at 7:05 am
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      Wow – thank you for sharing this comment! I totally can relate to staying in longer than you should due to being worried about the opinions of others. It’s always nice to hear I’m not alone in that journey! xo

      Reply
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  • January 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm
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    This article really helps to read and brought tears to my eyes. You hit the nail on the head with how I feel pretty frequently. I’m 27 and my divorce is about to be finalized. Thank you for your helpful words!

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    • January 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm
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      I’m so glad you were able to resonate with it. Even years later, it is still encouraging me to know other women go through those same difficult things. A “me too” can make all the difference. BIG HUGS!

      Reply
  • January 13, 2016 at 8:43 am
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    Thank you so much for this post!

    Iam 26 about to be 27 and I have 2 children and my husband and I are about to go threw a divorce and it is so heartbreaking thinking u planned on being with this person for the rest of your life. And it has to end this way. But happiness, communication, friendship is the key to a wonderful marriage an it takes 2 a battling couple who will never give up on eachother and keep trying over and over and keep working together. When 1 person keeps doing it and working it won’t work. It’s a team effort.

    Thank you so much for sharing because I feel ashamed I feel like a failure. I’ve learned ppl will judge u no matter what u do in life. Don’t take what they say to heart because they are not in ur shoes and haven’t walked a day in ur life.

    Reply
    • January 18, 2016 at 11:26 am
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      You are not a failure. Not even close!! In fact, I think you’re the opposite – I think you’re SO brave!! Sending hugs and love your way!

      Reply
    • November 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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      At the age of 23 I thought at the time that my whole world had come crashing down on me. I was now solely responsible for 2 kids 90% of the time. I felt like I failed my kids and my parents. Until one day about 3 years ago my ex husband decided he didn’t want to be a dad anymore. I realized that day that I was never the failure he was. You feel as though you’ll never recover from this kind of heartbreak but you do eventually. Just takes time!

      Reply
  • January 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm
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    Hey Taylor…
    Great post. I’m going through the embarrassment part and my mother basically disowning me because I’m “giving up” and have a son. The most empowering thing I have done to get my mind right is by blogging! Just started. I have only a few posts right now and are mostly about divorce and co-parenting. Check it out if you would like!

    Makingmalissa.com
    Take care!!!
    *malissa

    Reply
  • February 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm
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    I am 25 and my husband of 1.5 years told me yesterday that he wants a divorce, after having walked out on me two weeks ago. I am so anxious, overwhelmed and incredibly heartbroken. I am embarrassed and destroyed by the fact that I gave my life to him, and he basically threw it my face. Thank you for your post. I am certainly feeling like things will never be okay at this point – selling our home, dividing up our things, losing my in laws, hoping I can afford a place to live, and losing my best friend. Reading your post gave me hope that things are going to be okay someday.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2016 at 11:53 am
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      Just sent you an email. Hugs.

      Reply
    • March 13, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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      Kaylan, Reading your comment, I feel like I’m reading my story and my feelings.

      Taylor, Over the past couple of weeks, since my husband walked out on me, I have been re-reading this post over and over again. Just to give myself hope for the future.

      Reply
      • March 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm
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        I’m so so glad it has brought you comfort. BIG HUG!

        Reply
  • April 20, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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    Thank you!
    I really needed this, I am going through my divorce and have one child I know there will be many challenges. But I am most certain there will be someone out there for me :)

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    • April 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm
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      There absolutely will be, Nicole. There are going to be rough moments, but I’m 100% sure you are going to not only get to a fabulous place, but be fabulous as you get there!! Hugs.

      Reply
  • April 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm
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    I’m 23, we got married at 21, and I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to last. I’m on my last leg but something is holding me back. I have such mixed feelings that every day feels like a rollercoaster. All of these things you have listed have gone through my mind and I wonder if I can make it through. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
    • April 21, 2016 at 1:39 pm
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      Oh girl, I understand. It’s hard because sometimes staying is the right choice and sometimes leaving is the right choice. I believe that deep down in our guts we know which is right. Trust yourself. Big hugs!!

      Reply
  • May 5, 2016 at 10:38 am
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    Me and my husband will be married for 3 years this July (I’m 21 and he’s 23) and our marriage has been beyond rocky lately. I’m struggling with the choice of divorce. We have two kids under the age of 3 and I’m so unsure of what to do. I find myself thinking about leaving all the time now but I do still love him. I’m so confused… Your writing gives me comfort, knowing that you understand and have the same thoughts and fears.

    Reply
    • May 20, 2016 at 2:26 am
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      I definitely understand the back and forth. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Hang in there, listen to the advice of those you trust and admire, but above all listen to your gut! Hugs!

      Reply
  • May 20, 2016 at 3:50 am
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    I needed to hear this, thank you!

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    • May 24, 2016 at 3:16 am
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      You are so welcome

      Reply
  • August 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm
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    I’m so happy I read this! I’m 23 and I’m going through a divorce right now….it’s crazy hard not to think that I’m all used up and no one else will want me, especially since I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old. But now I think there’s some hope…Thanks for the uplifting words.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 10:19 am
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    This seriously is what I needed to read, thank you! I feel that there isn’t a lot of material on young divorce, so I am grateful to have come across this. I am 21 and it feels like a whirlwind of craziness, but I know it’s the right thing to do.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  • January 11, 2017 at 9:45 am
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    Thank you for your article. I have a marriage counseling appointment tonight where I’ve promised myself and him that I’d give him a definitive “I’m staying” or “I’m leaving” and I’m heavily leaning on leaving. All these things have gone through my mind and while I’m 90% certain I’ll be ending things, I can’t help shake the feeling of guilt because we’ve been together 5 years since I was 21, we have a young child together and have been married less than a year. To say this is awful is an understatement, and it’s very comforting to see others go through the same and see how strong you all are :)

    Reply
  • January 18, 2017 at 3:53 am
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    I got married at 18. We split up a month after when he told me I should be friends with his ex (who was a drug addict and threatened to have her dealer beat me up). He wouldn’t cut her off, so I decided I’d was done. He was to stubborn to file the papers, and I’ve had 3 deaths in my family. It’s been 3&1/2 years and it was so freeing to get the final court date in the mail for Feb 10th.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 2:22 pm
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    thank you! I’m 33 going to be 34, I wasn’t married but I was with my boyfriend for 16 yes and I’m going through a break up. It is one of the hardest things I have gone through. I wish he would of tried to work it out. I really needed to read your post.. THANK YOU!

    Reply
  • September 6, 2017 at 10:36 am
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    Thank you for this message! It is really comforting to know that I am not alone in this aftermath of getting divorced in my 20’s. Thank you.

    Reply

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