How Divorce Changes a Woman

I lost not only a person but years of my life

Colleen Sheehy Orme
3 min readMay 26, 2021

There will always be a before and after in my life.

The one where I created this beautiful family and the place where it broke apart. An untimely divide. A shift where I felt forced to cling to the new while I lost my grip on the old.

My before and after.

I couldn’t look back where pain lived.

Nor could I gaze forward where uncertainty called me.

I hear from people who tell me of their own beginning and end. That they didn’t lose just a person but that divorce devoured an entire chunk of their lives.

People experience endings.

They move, change jobs, friendships falter, — ordinary change. These can still be unwanted but can also be building blocks. You don’t have to abandon yourself and decades of your life.

You take yourself with you.

But there are more catastrophic events that halt one period in our lives, not in the direction of a shift but a complete redirection.

Where you must disregard huge lumps of the life you thought you were creating.

Because it no longer exists.

The idealized version of my world would be left behind, exactly where life interrupted it.

Until now, every period in my life had traveled with me.

My childhood followed me to college and college to my first job. My first job to my second job and so on. A continuum that gained momentum with every original face, new face, new job, new location, and new home.

I was building me.

The good, the bad, the happy, the unhappy, and the unwanted.

But divorce was different.

It was a severe halt.

I could only take a part of myself with me.

It didn’t feel like the familiar ‘building’ of me but rather the ‘shedding’ of me.



Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Journalist & Former Business Columnist. I cover love, life, & relationships— #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com