When Divorce Collapses Your World

Tips on how to recognize the warning signs of divorce
When Divorce Collapses Your World

It may not happen to you. I hope it doesn't. But it might. In fact, there's about a 50/50 chance that it will.

In January 1997, the divorce that I filed for—the divorce I never wanted to happen—was signed, sealed, and approved by the State of Oklahoma. It is an event in my life that I'm not proud of. I'm a results-oriented individual. I was taught—and I truly believed—I could do anything.

Valedictorian of my Oregon State University graduating class of 4,000.

MBA from Harvard.

My parents have been married for 54 years. I had been taught that marriage is for life.

Divorce just didn't happen to people like me.

If filing those papers that would end our marriage was devastating, receiving them back as final, official proof that our marriage was over only put an exclamation mark on a horrible feeling: I had failed!

How could I be so successful in other areas up until age 37, yet fail at one of the most important things in life?

Suddenly I was a single mom with a five-year-old, a seven-year-old, and a demanding job. I hated the fact that my kids would join the 37 percent of American children who would grow up in a home without their biological father. I was angry that I hadn't seen some of the danger signals that my friends later told me were evident to them. Mostly, I was hurt. The man I fell in love with and enjoyed being with, who made me laugh and was such a good father, the man to whom I had given myself and planned to spend the rest of my life with had shown by his dishonest actions that he clearly no longer wanted to be with me.

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Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of 4wordwomen.org, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

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