I do. I did. I doubt.


There are a lot of things to hate about divorce: hurt feelings, divided families, changed names, lost possessions, strained friendships, financial questions and legal complications- the list goes on. Things as minor as an iTunes account may be affected by the change in your relationship status. The worst thing about divorce, though, is that it introduces Doubt into every corner of your life. This needling presence of uncertainty is the greatest curse of the whole experience; it lingers long after the papers are signed.

Marriage is an act of confidence and divorce is a retraction of that former assuredness. To undo something that you once did with certainty sets a dangerous precedent: what do you think you know now that will later prove to be wrong?

Ending a marriage is like losing God, the thing you once knew was there, that permanent presence, is gone. A divorcee is worse off than an agnostic, who never claimed to know in the first place. For those that were once sure and later change their minds, it is very hard to ever feel sure about anything again.

In this new world, past, present, and future are wrenched open under the deep suspicion of doubt. Friendships at all levels are subject to questioning: “If I was wrong about most important relationship in my life, how can I trust anyone else?” Minor decisions feel overwhelming “20 beers on tap? How could I possibly chose?” Ever little feeling comes under scrutiny: “Can I trust this emotion or is it a lie?” And chances are you’re not even positive what you want right now: “If I’m 90% sure 50% of the time, how sure am I?” Life plagued with persistent doubt is relentless torture.

The truth is you never know anything for sure and even if you have felt certain, you never really knew what the future would bring. The difference is only between those who think they know and those who know better. We live our lives making the best decisions we can with the information we have at the moment. The only thing to do after seceding from the union is to make peace with your new grey world where nothing is fully clear. But when there is no one right answer, happiness does not require certainty, only acceptance.

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