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!

    • Jennifer Garrison says:

      Wow throwing stones, God is the only one who can judge her or me. Did it really sound like she wanted this for herself or her SIX kids? I want to day thank you for being honest! I am losing the one true love of my life and i don’t even know how I’m breathing. But when things get so bad that you feel like your killing some one that you have cherished for 10 years, just by existing, what can you do. Stone thrower do you advocate suicide or even murder? Some times love can be so intense that it rips out your very soul when it all goes wrong. There’s no way of getting thru this with out God. And i pray for his love to be with me and my children and even my husband. Thanks again for the few words that i will read over and over again on top of the 4 times I’ve already read them. I pray for you too, just for things to get even easier. God Bless

      • Bless you and your children, Jennifer. Life doesn’t always turn out like we plan, but we can make the best of it by showing others we will choose to follow Him in our trials. I’m sorry you are going through this.

        And I leave those ugly comments, so others can witness the ugliness that is out there and just might encourage them to reach out to someone who is hurting.

        • I wasn’t legally married to my partner but I have been with him for about 10 years we have been together since high school we have lived together about 5 years we have two daughters together 4 year old and 1 year old October 2015 he decided to walk away from our lives this has been very hard on me and for my four year old but I could tell you this is help me to become closer to God then I have ever been reading this story has brought tears to my eyes but it also gives me strength to know that im not alone that im not the only woman going thru such a hard time, i just have to leave everything in God’s hands and have faith that he did this for a reason. Thank you for sharing you make a difference in someone’s life just by reading this. God bless!

          • Judy,

            You are beautiful and loved. And don’t think for one minute you are alone. God will get your through this. Stay in His word daily. Cling to Him, cry to Him, and know He has a plan for you, sweet one.


          • Tabitha Teeter says:

            I know this comment is a year old, but if you have lived with someone that long you may be common law married. Often there are requirements like filing taxes together, but this probably varies by state.

  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.

    • Melissa, I just found this blog and read your comment. I am praying for you tonight. I don’t know if you made it out safe or not, but God knows everything about not only your life but you. Father in Heaven I lift up Melissa to You tonight. I ask for Your hand of protection on her physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Father I ask for her to know her worth and how much she is loved. In Jesus’ Most Precious Name, Amen

  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.

  6. I just found your blog, so I’m late in this comment but still wanted to write it: My divorce was a long time ago but I regret it to this day because…..1) It took five years-yes!-of my life and forced me to go to work with 4 young children to care for – & I had NO family or friends for support. (2)-My “ex” had lots of money, bought homes & vacations, indulged the children on visits with NO rules & offered his home as a virtual Disneyland if they wanted to run away to no rules, no discipline, not even bedtimes–(3)Because of that they loved him more, thought he was one step below God, and once grown went to see him several times a year while only talking to me on the phone–seems they never “had time” to travel 500 miles to me, but no problem going 2000 miles multiple times a year. They suffered emotionally, even to this day, and they are in their 30’s and 40’s. Short of physical abuse I would NEVER divorce once there are children because instead of a big happy family in my ‘golden years’ I am lonely sad regretful, and mostly alone. Each person has to do what seems right for them, this is only my personal experience, but I would give my life–to not have done it!

    • I would have stayed if my husband wasn’t dishonest and there wasn’t physical and verbal abuse between him and one of my children. I have no regrets. It was unhealthy for everybody. Trust me, my decision wasn’t about me loving him or not, like I said, it was about making a healthy decision for the whole family. And he still refuses to pay child support, so it’s just confirmation that I did the right thing.

      However, many people don’t know my whole story. And that’s ok, I’m not one who will bash my ex on Facebook, etc. He’s not worth it to me.

  7. You asked if there was anything else someone would add to the 7 listed here… I would add be sure when you file that you are ready for the marriage to end. I filed prematurely, we got back together, & it’s still not working. Had I waited until I was truly ready to file I would have saved myself some trouble. I constantly find myself nervous when I need something because if I see it as a need & he doesn’t then I have to go without unless family & friends help me, I’ve been lied to, & despite never doing anything to suggest that I’m not trust worthy my spouse never wants to allow me to truly be his wife. We have done therapy & the therapist even told him that it seems he’s judging me for something I’ve never done & that he seems to be the least trustworthy party in our marriage. He says I keep making bills, but I just like to have what we need in our home. We have fought about me keeping the home stocked with toiletries for us both…he hated when I bought him deodarant & toiletries. He thought that wad was mothering him until I allowed his stuff to run out & then he relented & asked me to stay purchasing again. As his help meet I was just trying to keep our home with necessary items. He’s gone for work quite often. I’d like to help him by keeping our bills paid when he’s gone (using our joint account). He said that feels like I’m trying to control him. He just doesn’t seem to want me. Yet, he seems to not want to leave the marriage. I’m so disappointed. I have done all I can from going to therapy, quitting my career, being prescribed anti-depressants, & anxiety meds.
    I know people will judge, but I’ve given up everything to try & make this marriage work. It’s not working. Still I’m not filing again until I’m ready to lose the marriage, even though it’s not much of a marriage to begin with…

  8. Cherie J Critz says:

    I’ve dealt with emotional, verbal, financial, and some physical abuse. I question it every day whether to leave. This has helped me so much. My children have suffered at his hand. My daughter has said he even told her, “Don’t tell Mom”. I have to go for the peace of my family and my mental health. Thank you for your honesty here. I needed to hear this. May God bless you.

  9. MClawson says:

    I just saw this via Pinterest. Wow! I’m so glad I found this! Thank you for being a blessing and sharing your story.

  10. A couple of things I would add to the list would be:
    a) chose your friends carefully during this time.
    You need loving, supportive, positive people in your life. People who will walk with You in faith through the “mess”. Otherwise “Fun Friends” or party friends can lead you into further self inflicted issues during one of the most volnerable times of your life. You can still love them, maybe just at a distance. When you confide in friends be sure you are seeking advice on how to better yourself mentally, physically or emotionally. Venting is good just don’t get STUCK there. It will create a negative addiction and suck Your joy. I know Because I was stuck there for. While.
    B) expect to be treated differently
    His family will most likely no longer treat you as they have. You are now an outsider and that is their son, regardless of his actions. Do NOT take it personal! They can’t help it.

    You may also be treated differently by Couple Friends that feel they have to pick one side or the other. it might not be your side that they choose. It’s okay! If they pick the other side, see this as God’s blessing. He is weeding them out for you and giving you room to dig your roots in Him and the path he has ahead for you!

  11. We have been married for 11 years. I love my husband, and our daughter (5) is so in love with him. He’s a hard worker, fun, awesome dad, and a great husband (at the surface). 6 years ago I found out he had been having emotional affairs from the time we were dating. Mostly this was via text message and with those he worked with. When I found out I was physically ill and never the same again. I also had no idea I was pregnant at the time. I had no family to go to, and I could not go to my friends. He promised to get help, and with me making little money, I was stuck but determined. I went back to college and earned my bachelor’s. With hopes that my husband would become healthy, we continued to make future plans. I started a new career and all was well until it was not.
    Months ago I asked God to reveal to me anything that should be, and 3 months later he honored my prayer. God prepared me and made me strong. This time I am financially stable, prepped with a plan, and I am able to go without fear of homelessness. God directed me in a way that is allowing me to go “the right way” for my situation. Still I am sad and I love my husband, buy a heavy weight is slowly being lifted from my heart. God already knows what you need. He just wants you to ask him. Thank to him, and thank him for his blessings. He’s bigger than anything. Even heartache and anguish.

  12. Some of these posts seem so judgmental. I have not told anyone the reasons I want a divorce but here they are… my husband was/is sleeping with my now ex-daughter in law. She works for him and after I found out, he said he wanted to be in the marriage, yet refused to let her go in the office. Perhaps his guilt on both sides was too much or perhaps he doesn’t want to let her go. Either way, I can’t have him around my son and grandchildren, even if he acts normal to them. So sometimes there is more than is seen. Please be kind to everyone who posts, as you probably don’t know the whole story.

  13. Did you live my divorce? Haha! This is such an accurate list. But like you said, if we stick with God, it does get better!! So much better. Thanks for this wonderful message of hope to all the hurting women out there! Cheks from thismamaandherkids.com

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