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How I Dealt with my Divorce and Moved Forward

How I Dealt with my Divorce
JeanMarie Catanzano
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Well, my divorce was quite unusual. My husband and I fought a lot and just did not see eye-to-eye on certain things. When we had our two children who we fought about whether they needed to brush their teeth, go to sleep at a certain time, or what they should or shouldn’t eat.  We eventually grew apart more and more as time went on.

We didn’t just grow apart emotionally, but physically and mentally as well. We first tried an open marriage for a year (where we see other people and are not intimate with each other), but that didn’t work. Finally, after a fight one day, I said “why don’t we just do it, and get divorced?” and then I said “we can do it amicably, I promise”. My reasoning was that neither one of us was happy, we were not in love, and we both deserve to be happy!

My dad passed away at the young age of 51 and I know just how short life is. I refused to let either one of us die while being stuck in an unhappy marriage. My husband wanted to wait until the kids were in middle school, I did not agree (shocker!). Our kids were 7 and 9 at this time, and though they were young, they were young enough to not be too affected by this change. They were not dealing with hormones yet, peer pressure, school pressure or transitions of middle school or high school.

Fast forward several months, we went to see a therapist. This therapist wasn’t going to help us with our marriage, she was going to help guide us to find the right way to tell the kids. We told the kids that “mommy and daddy don’t love each other anymore, but our love for you won’t ever die”. Both kids had a few sessions with the therapist after we broke the news to make sure they were doing okay with the news. We promised them that things won’t change too much, but we would have two homes. My son took it hard, but my daughter was totally trusting and okay with the news.

Once the divorce process started, he moved out, we started mediation, and I made a plan. I did not want to keep the house, I wanted to move to a smaller house, that was less expensive, but in the same school district for the kids.

I figured out who my real friends were during this process.

People were very judgmental and they were scared. No one knows how to act around you when you are going through a divorce, and they have their own insecurities about their own marriages. It is easier to just not be around someone going through a divorce so people tend to run. When you have friends who are couples that makes it hard as well because they don’t know who to side with.

This was probably the most difficult part of my divorce. It was a very difficult transition for me and I felt very alone. There were no more summer barbecue invites, no more holiday party invites, and no weekend dinner plans. It was very isolating. I did find a new friend in town who was going through a divorce and her kids were the same ages of mine. We got very close and so did our kids. We understood what the other was going through. We helped each other, and we were there for each other. I actually enjoy spending time alone now and I don’t feel a need for superficial relationships in my life. I finally got to the root of what I want and need because I had so much time alone to reflect.

Being divorced is very empowering. I personally don’t think it is possible for the majority of twenty somethings to know who they are and what they want, and that was how old I was when I got married. I am very pleased with the way my ex-husband and I handled the divorce process and how well we co-parent. The kids are truly benefiting from it and they are so well adjusted because of it.

I joined new groups and branched out allowing me to meet a lot of new people. I have become very independent and I am not afraid of anything. I know I can and will accomplish whatever I truly desire. I am a VERY different person than I was when I was married, my ex knows it and my kids do too! We are all much happier now!

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I am learning to accept that my stepmom who raised me has moved on with her life and doesn’t want me or my kids to be in it.  Since my dad passed away 16 years ago she has pulled away and stopped reaching out to me and my two kids.  She never comes to see them play sports anymore and never makes an effort to see us.  She was my only real family.  I am trying to not take it as rejection but it is hard not to.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I am learning to appreciate that though I am not perfect I still have many redeeming qualities that make me a good person 🙂 

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

One of my most recent rewarding achievements in life is my weight loss goals.  I vowed to change my life and change my habits in February 2015 to lose 60 lbs.  I did not know how but I knew I was going to make it happen once and for all.  I wanted to be a healthy mom for my two kids and I wanted to set a good example for them.  I am still working on my health and fitness goals because I think we are always looking to improve ourselves.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?


My not-so-perfect ways include: I can be impatient and I can have high expectations.  I am a good communicator though and I am understanding so I think that balances my imperfect ways.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love the person I am becoming on my journey through life.  I have been through a lot in my life and I have taken the last couple of years to really dig deep and fix what I didn’t love about myself.  I love that I was so willing to change and took the time to make it happen.  I am much more understanding, calm, and fun than I used to be.

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About the author

JeanMarie Catanzano

JeanMarie Catanzano

I am a divorced single mom with a passion for health and wellness. I have 2 amazing kids who are watching me as I turn my passion into a purpose by helping others!! I have had my own struggles and my own transformation. My goal is to help others who are where I was and show them the way with the use of tools and knowledge.