Life and Love After Divorce

Today I was outed by my niece as a bad blogger.

Those weren’t her exact words, per se, but when she told me she had been doing some research on me (those were her exact words) online, she mentioned that she saw I had posted something about William’s birthday.

“Hmmm, William’s birthday,” I thought. “That was in September.” Mind pause. “That wasn’t the last time I posted something, was it!?”

Indeed, it was. A quick glimpse at my blog on my iPhone (OMG, how could I not have blogged about getting an iPhone for Christmas!?) confirmed that my last post was September 25… and that moving to NYC had clearly had a negative effect on my blogging upkeep.

(Oh, yes, besides the iPhone thing, that too: I’ve moved to NYC.)

Regular readers of my blog (when, you know, I actually kept up with it), might be shrugging their shoulders and saying, “What of it? It’s not like you blogged a heck of a lot last year anyway, before this hiatus.” (Or something to that effect. Not verbatim, perhaps.)

Well, all I can say is this: 2009 was a transition year. Not that I really intended for it to be. Well, that’s not the exact truth. Early on last year I knew I would probably be going through a lot of changes. It was just around this time last year that my ex-husband and I separated, in fact. So, you know, that’s a pretty big thing in itself. But I certainly didn’t know what was in store.

And it did end up becoming a banner year for CHANGE with a capital C (and HANGE, apparently).

After getting separated, I moved out of my house and back in with my parents. I chopped off about 9 inches of my hair. I completed not one (which was my first), but two marathons (qualifying for the Boston Marathon both times!). I completed not one, but two Ironman 70.3 distance triathlons. I made a great group of running/triathlon friends. I made the decision to move to NYC after a few fun visits there over the summer. I sent out my resume, interviewed and got a job. And I moved. I signed a divorce decree, testified in court – in a real courtroom – and got a divorce. I went back to my maiden name. I reconnected with old friends. I let yet another doggy into my heart. I cried a lot. I laughed a lot. I had my heart broken. And, oh yes, I fell in love.

Now, love is a tricky subject to tackle on a blog. Believe me, I know. It’s out there for the world to see and very hard to take back. Declaring your love for someone online can be like the equivolent of getting voted Cutest Couple in the yearbook (because, yeah, those are notorious for making it in the long haul).

And while I’m not one to divulge intimate details of my life on my blog, I will say this: I did meet someone just a few weeks before I moved to NYC. We became friends. We went on a few dates. I found out quickly that he had just about every quality I looked for in a man. I resisted. I told him just about every thing that was wrong with starting a relationship with me. He didn’t flinch at all. I found that each time I was with him, I liked him more and more. I still moved away because I knew that if I didn’t I would regret it forever. I have found that absence, indeed, makes the heart grow fonder (but I see him just about every weekend because, honestly? Absence also sucks).

All I know is that 8 months of living with my parents showed me exactly what I was looking for in a relationship. Yes, I had seen their relationship firsthand before, throughout my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood when I was living at home.

But it wasn’t until I was on the other side of a marriage, with the knowledge it brought me… when I could identify and pinpoint the things that they had in their marriage – that I had longed to have – but that were missing from mine… that I really saw, for the first time, what made theirs work. The love, the support, the openness, the laughter, the friendship, the understanding, the forgiveness, the connectedness that is a part of their marriage each and every day. I wanted that. I longed for that. I knew I wouldn’t settle for anything less. But I seriously wondered if I would ever find it.

I was able to talk to my parents a lot – A LOT – about marriage and relationships in general during those 8 months I lived at home. (I also may or may not have watched He’s Just Not That Into You with my Dad and cried my eyes out as he hugged me and assured me everything would be all right. But I digress.)

One conversation has always stood out in my mind, though. We were talking about relationships and in passing I said, “I mean, I know that all relationships take hard work…” and before I could finish, I noticed them kind of looking at each other while giving me the side-eye. And then they explained to me that the word “hard” never enters into their line of thinking when it comes to their marriage (OK, now, yes I know where this could go, but let’s not bring it there. Lalalalala I can’t hear you.). To them, it’s not even “work.” It’s about always having each others’ best interest in mind. Their belief is that when you love someone, you want what’s best for them. And you want to give him or her the very best of you. It’s about making each other, and each others’ happiness, a priority because you want to.

So, I thought, maybe my idea of what went into a relationship was a little off. Maybe finding the person you want all that for, and who wants all that for you, too, was the hard part, not the relationship itself.

But what I have happily discovered with Brian is that neither finding that person nor wanting the best for the person you love is all that hard. And feeling the same from him in return is just absolutely wonderful.

I do not know what the future will bring, but I am so very happy right now. It took one hell of a year to get to this point, but I don’t think I would appreciate all I have now if I hadn’t gone through some rough times.

I’m glad I’m on this end and I can blog about life – and love – after divorce.

Even if it took getting outed by my niece to get me here.

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 1.17.10

    I am so happy for you – for your new job, new love, new life. Sometimes things have to get really bad before they can change into something really really good. You didn’t just make it through your divorce- you blossomed, you made your life amazing. You are an amazing woman, and your niece is so lucky to have you as an example 🙂 Love you and hope to see you soon.

  2. 1.17.10
    Dad said:

    Can’t remember the last time I found myself reading with tears running down my face.
    I love you sweetheart and I’m proud of you.

  3. 1.17.10
    Audrey said:

    Welcome back Janie Girl… Welcome Back! Writing is something you do so well and so effortlessly… I loved reading this. And I loved being on this journey with you. I knew the guy who came over to cook you breakfast would eventually win your heart. You’ve come a long way… and I am so proud of you. I love you tons!

  4. 1.17.10
    Tina said:

    YAY! You’re back 🙂

    I’m glad you’re happy!

  5. 1.17.10
    Sarah said:

    That was worth saving up for! What a great post. I am glad things are going well. You deserve it!

  6. 1.17.10
    KathyCash said:

    I absolutely LOVED reading your story – so glad I got to meet you this year!

  7. 1.17.10

    well that was worth the wait! bravo. Oh, and I still think brian is delish.

  8. 1.17.10

    Huge hugs to you Jane — with love, admiration, and definitely a few tears! xoxo Christine

  9. 1.17.10
    Heather said:

    Jane, I am so glad you’re back to blogging! I love reading what you write as you write straight from the heart. So happy for you that you’ve found real love. You deserve it! I’ve never seen smiles as bright as the ones you wear when you are in pictures with your honey!

  10. 1.17.10
    Erin said:

    I think I love your parents!

    Congrats to you. How awesome and exciting!

  11. 1.17.10
    Crystal said:

    Jane, you make the rest of us have real hope to find something as great as what your parents have!! Thank you. 🙂

    Also, glad to know you’re so happy with the new life you’ve created. Thanks for sharing! :]

  12. 1.18.10
    Amy M. said:

    I’m so happy you wrote this! I think about you often and I feel like we’ve lost touch over the past year. Well, I’ve lost touch with everyone, really…but you became a special friend and I miss you!

    I’m so glad that you’re happy. 🙂 I hope we cross paths again soon. I may have a trip to NYC at some point this year and I’ll be sure to keep you posted! xo

  13. 1.18.10

    Your parents are an inspiration for couples everywhere and we need more people like them! This post deserves an award. YOU deserve an award for having been through all you’ve gone through and coming out on the positive side…with a new love and a new life! Congratulations! Having been through a divorce…I can relate to what you said. Wishing you all the best!

  14. 1.18.10
    Jen said:

    so happy for you. i remember the day i saw you outside the Y & you told me you were heading to NYC. you seemed so happy & confident. thank you for sharing your journey.

  15. 1.18.10
    Tessa said:

    You and your family are such an inspiration Jane! I’m so happy for you and look forward to continued updates on your exciting lives 🙂 I know we’ve been trying to catch up for a while but hopefully we can really do it at some point soon!!!

  16. 1.18.10
    Karen said:

    So happy to see you blogging again!!!!

  17. 1.18.10
    C said:

    Yay! I’m so very happy for you! I’m also thrilled that you are blogging again! I have to admit that I have been back here every now and then to see if you have written anything new 🙂

    It’s been a time of many changes in your life and you are doing such a fantastic job. Oh, and you have got the most amazing parents ever!!! What a wonderful family you’ve got.

  18. 1.18.10
    Savor said:

    Jane-So glad to see you back and so happy!!! Excellent points about ‘love’ and plenty to chew on

  19. 1.18.10
    Jennie B. said:

    I agree with you 100%. So happy you have had the courage to do what you have done. You deserve every happiness and your new love is a very lucky guy.

  20. 1.18.10
    niri said:

    This was certainly worth the wait. I know your parents much less than you do but it is clear that they clearly exhibit the ideals of a relationship.

    Very happy for you.

  21. 1.18.10
    Poppy said:

    I am clapping my hands, standing ovation style, cheering for you.

    I adore your parents from this distance. I knew the moment I met them how incredible they were, and are. And they gave you the gift of knowing that true love isn’t a minute-by-minute struggle like it always seemed to be in that first marriage… 🙂

    I am so happy for you and for Brian. I hope the future lets you both live in the same place together with the doggies.


  22. 1.19.10
    Kelly said:

    I love what you wrote, so I’m glad it stayed bottled up until you could write this amazing post.

    My favorite part was when you talked about “hard” work and relationships. That part made me tear up because it is exactly how I feel about my husband. It isn’t hard, what’s hard is all the other stuff that gets in the way, but I know that’s fleeting as well.

    To happiness, no matter how hard and long of a road it takes for us to find it!

  23. 1.19.10

    You need to blog more… you write so well. I’m so stoked and happy for you Jane! You got this girlfriend WTG 🙂

  24. 1.19.10

    Oh, Jane, I am SO happy for you!!! This post made me cry too. That song, “God Bless the Broken Road” comes to mind when I think of you and Brian. You deserve all the happiness in the world. I love you and pray that you only have happy times ahead of you now!

  25. 1.21.10
    Jillian said:

    I have been following your blog since the Pinks and Blue days… happy that your life has been in an upswing..Glad your back to blogging 🙂

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