Editor’s Note: This is another installment in our “Single and…” series where we interview singles from all walks of life. It is our hope that you are encouraged by the stories of people who have a similar journey as you, who share the same dreams you have, who face the same hurdles you do, and who can remind you that you are not alone.
Many singles cannot wait to get married. But what happens when you finally get the marriage you’ve always wanted only to see it dissolve painfully?
Greg knows this pain all too well. His marriage ended rather suddenly due to his wife’s infidelity and, he admits, his own lack of appreciation that made it tempting for her. They were originally “that couple” no one thought would ever get divorced. “Pride goes before a fall,” he notes.
We recently caught up with Greg to hear some of his story. Here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been divorced? What’s your personal journey been like since the divorce?
Greg: I’ve been divorced for 4 years now. Since that time I’ve had my ups and downs—moments of enjoying the chance to rediscover myself, but other times of loneliness and regret for things lost. But I think that overall I accept my new status more every year.
What has been the most unexpectedly difficult part of moving forward after your divorce?
Greg: Seeing old friends who don’t know I’m divorced and cheerily ask how my wife is doing. That discussion is never easy or fun. Also, there are lots of unexpected “triggers” – an old song, a certain phrase, a photo or note that falls out of a book – that can instantly flood you with intense emotions.
How have you found joy in the midst of the pain?
Greg: My faith has played a huge role in keeping me going and giving me hope for the future. I’ve definitely come to rely on God more than ever. So I find joy in my faith that God still has a good plan for my life and also in my children, friendships, and little things like a great sunset or a perfect glass of mango iced tea.
Have you re-entered the dating scene since your divorce? What has that been like for you?
Greg: I’ve dated since my divorce. At first I actually felt guilty about it, but I got over that fairly quickly when my ex remarried. I’ve met a number of wonderful women and actually remained friends with a few even after dating. It is weird dating in middle age and makes you feel like a college kid again in some ways. Things have changed a lot since then, though, plus it’s much trickier trying to build a relationship with someone when you both have existing lives, children, separate plans, exes, and potential baggage from the past. At first dating seemed exciting – it’s definitely not something you can do as a married man – but retelling “my story” over and over grew old after a while, and eventually you find yourself just craving that comfortable intimacy with someone again.
What is your hope for your future? How are you seeing the Lord giving you contentment in that area, or is it a struggle for you?
Greg: My hope is to eventually find love again, but only if I can do so without compromising my principles or negatively affecting my kids. I would rather remain single than to ever go through another divorce. Beyond that, though, my hope is to grow closer to God in hopes that He can somehow use this experience to teach me and change me for the better. On some days I feel extremely content – almost lucky, even – being single! There are definitely some perks to it that a few of my married friends envy a little. But on other days (usually the weekends, it seems) I know that life is just better and more fun when it’s shared, so I long for that again. The old saying “You don’t know what you’ve lost ’til it’s gone” is certainly true, and I know that if I find it again, I’ll be more grateful for each moment this time around.
If you know someone who is divorced, will you email them this post to encourage them?