7 Things to Expect During a Divorce

Life changes.

And it’s not always the way we would have chosen.

Sometimes we must make difficult choices that affect little minds. Oh, how hard it is to do, my friend.

I survived a divorce after 18 years of marriage, and so can you.

It sucks! I’m not going to sugar coat it.

Six children’s lives and mine were forever changed when I filed for divorce last November. It was the hardest decision I have had to make. In fact, I didn’t want to make that decision. I pleaded with God for a very long time.

I distinctly remember that somber day when I screamed at God on my knees.  Tears flooded down my stained cheeks as I cried out, “I can’t do this anymore. I need your help!”

I knew what had to be done. I had the confimation I needed to go through with my decision. 

Was I scared?

Heck yes! 

But I wasn’t alone.

I made a vow to God that if He would get me through this difficult time, I would use my tribulations to minister to others. He took me at my word. He is using my broken marriage, my heartache, and my mistakes to help carry other women going through a divorce. 

I’m now thriving financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I completely give all the glory to God. I still have some sad days where I’m feeling blue, but I definitely have more good days than bad.

And so will you.

I wanted to share with you the things you need to expect during a divorce. I had the support of many friends and family, but I didn’t have anyone close to me that had actually been through a divorce themselves. 

Before I share with you, I want you to know you are loved, and you will come out a stronger woman than you ever imagined. You might not see the light at the end of the tunnel now, but, sweet one, mark my word, you will survive this storm. 

Trust me! You will amaze yourself.

7 Expectations of a Divorce

  1. Expect to be on an emotional rollercoaster. I’m not a big crier, but I wept more than I ever have this last year. Some days more than others. Expect to have emotional outbursts for no good reasons. In other words, invest in waterproof mascara because you are going to need it. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but I really lost control of my emotions. I would cry every time my children would go on visitations, or when I would look at pictures. It does get easier, but please know you will have many ups and downs. It’s part of the healing process.
  2. Expect people to judge you. This is a fact. You will be judged. I’m not one to blast my ex’s dirty laundry on Facebook, so many people were surprised I was actually getting a divorce. People will say things to you that will make you cringe, and you will want to unfriend them on Facebook. I can’t tell you how many people informed me that divorce is so difficult for children. Really? You will know who your true friends are during your divorce.  And who’s not, for that matter.
  3. Expect the courts to move at a snail’s pace. You will learn to become an expert at the waiting game. The courts definitely don’t care about your time agenda. They are on their own time clock. My divorce took 6 months, but it seemed like it was 6 years. I have a friend whose divorce took 19 months. So, don’t be in a hurry. You want your attorney to do their job well.
  4. Expect to make mistakes. Unless you are Jesus, you will screw up. The important thing is to learn from your mistake and move on. Don’t dwell on them. I never cussed until my divorce. There have been some words that have come out of my mouth that would make my mother squirm. I have even said them in front of my kids. I know I need to be careful with my words. Trust me, I’ve made plenty of worse mistakes, too.
  5. Expect your kids to be curious. My children were constantly asking me questions. They inquired about remarriage, holidays, birthdays, and so much more. A lot of the time, I didn’t know the answer, and that was sufficient for them. Your children just need to know you love them at this time and are willing to listen to their concerns.
  6. Expect your kids to be resilient. I was amazed at how easily my children adapted to our new lifestyle once we got on a schedule. It’s like we have always done it this way. They don’t seem to carry a grudge like adults. My younger children have adapted very well; better so than the older ones. 
  7. Expect to be weepy the day your divorce is final. I was so ready for closure and to start a new season, but the day I went to court for the final time was a hard day. I was sad for what I envisioned my family was supposed to be like. I was sad because our lives were changed forever. It was just an emotional day for me. Thankfully, I was blessed to have two friends by my side.

I absolutely have no regrets about filing for divorce. It needed to be done. My family is happier, and we have much more peace in our lives. 

I don’t adovocate divorce.

In fact, I hate it!

But sometimes life doesn’t happen like we planned. 

I pray that you will surrender your divorce to the Lord.

He has this! You are not alone, sister!

Do you have anything to add to the 7 expectations during a divorce?


  1. Russell McDade says:

    The name ‘Blessed beyond a doubt’ implies a strong faith in God, but divorcing your husband is an epic betrayal of family and faith. Your boys will figure if out when they grow up and explain to each other.

    • Donna Lines says:

      Russell McDade— because Jill did not illuminate the reason for her divorce, you have no idea if it is biblical or not. There are a few reasons that even the bible says are grounds for divorce, and you don’t know if one of them applied here. Luckily, our smart author has listed “judgement” as one of the expectations for divorce, clearly it was a good call to have it on the list! …and FYI? Sometimes and “epic betrayal” is what a husband is doing to his wife to put her in the position where she needs to divorce him. Getting a divorce doesn’t mean throwing away your faith, or that it no longer applies to you.

      • Very true Donna! No person has to show proof of their hard time in a marriage. No one knows what all goes on in a marriage unless they’re living in it. My husband has been having an affair, and I have grown Closer to God through the pain. You better believe I filed for a divorce Mr.McDade. I did not deserve to be ignored in my marriage for 10 of the 20 years, and its his epic betrayal!

  2. Gina Owen says:

    You will cry about alot of things and it can go on for years especially if you weren’t wanting the divorce. We all go through the same emotions and thought processes. We are not alone even if we think we are. Talk to your friends, family and God. You are strong and resilient and will get through this. Don’t expect it to be short because there’s always memories and they’re forever.

  3. I have never posted a comment on any blog. However, as a woman now experiencing a divorce, your list is very accurate. I would like to add two more to your list:

    1) You will second guess your decisions and feel guilty for what is happening in ways you can’t anticipate. It may be guilt over the breakdown of your marriage but it also may be guilt from feeling relief it is ending. It’s natural, as you said, you are an emotional roller coaster. I felt guilty for not recognizing the problems earlier and working harder in our marriage. I had watched friends go through divorce and grew up in it. I was prepared for the anger, loss or sadness. But I was not ready for the sense of relief or anticipation of happiness. I did not expect to feel relief about my marriage ending because I didn’t want the divorce. My husband was the one who had the affair and wanted out. It was very hard to accept that, in some ways, I felt a weight had been lifted. That has been very hard to reconcile with myself.

    2) If you grew up as a child of divorce, childhood sadness or fears may resurface. As we told our children, my heart ached. When I spoke the words, “Mommy and Daddy are divorcing”, I suddenly remembered the day I found out my parents were divorcing. Between the pain of telling my children this terrible news and suddenly remembering hearing the news as a child myself, I cannot express the devastating sense of loss and sadness I felt. I was not prepared to re-feel my parent’s divorce again on top of all the other emotions.

    What has kept me going is remembering God helps me and holds me in the most unexpected ways, at the most unexpected times and from the most unexpected sources.

    Thank you again for your post. It was very comforting and reassuring.

  4. I am glad I have somewhere to go to get peace and comfort. I am juggling the idea of divorce and getting use to the idea of putting my 5 year old son, who has heart condition through this along with myself! I won’t put my dirty laundry out there but to let you know a little bit of info…I have to make a “safe exit” when I do go.

  5. Be mindful that Not everyone can afford a lawyer. Imagine going through the beginning stages of this event and not having a legal rep, legal aid takes no new cases and you are an emotional mess as well due to the ending of a relationship w/someone you love or loved.

    Getting through it will show you strengths you did not think you had or lost along the way. Best to all who have to make this tough decision.

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