The Pain of Divorce & The Agony of Dating

It was January of 2017 and I had loaded up my car with some of my belongings. I sat there for a moment looking up at the lights on in my home that I would never live in again. There would be no more daily good morning kisses and wakes up. No more sitting on the edge of the bed for talks to delay bedtime. The marriage was over, and I began to cry with such deep sorrow and sadness I thought I would either wake up from the nightmare or die.

Advice for The Divorce

I would have a lot of advice for that broken man if I could go back in time and sit down in the passenger’s seat. Maybe I would tell him to go back inside and fight harder for his marriage, but I would definitely dish out the following:

  • Don’t even think about dating for a year
  • FaceTime your kids every day that you don’t see them
  • Don’t get a divorce attorney. Just do mediation.
  • Communicate clearly with your ex
  • Your ex is not your enemy and you are not hers


I want to address the statement, “Kid are resilient.” Everyone loves to tell their self that when getting a divorce. Well, kids are resilient, but don’t let that ease your mind, because divorce is very difficult for children. And a lot of the pain they’ll endure is up to you. If you make your divorce messy then expect messed up kids. However, it is an opportunity to teach them how to handle conflict with dignity and grace.

What should You take from The Marriage

In my opinion, you should leave the marriage with what is fairly yours regardless of who files. I have watched too many people leave a marriage and ask for nothing due to guilt, and others who ask for it all. Just be fair, and trust me…you’ll regret not taking your fair share one day unless you are making big money. I’ve met women who could barely pay their bills while the cheating ex lived like a king. I’ve also met women living like a queen while their ex could barely afford rent. Just be fair even if you don’t want the divorce.

The Ex

Now, let me talk to those of you who were told, “I want a divorce.” For most, those are devastating words that are usually followed with, “I don’t love you anymore” or “I’ll always love you, but I’m not IN love with you.” When someone says that they should just stab you in the heart and get it over with, but nearly all say it on their way out the door. I have a very unique way at looking at the person who is leaving.

You and I only get one life here on earth, and if someone doesn’t love me then I want them to set me free! Yes, it is painful, but you should thank them! Life is way too short to live with someone who doesn’t love you, and is just tolerating you. And in fairness, if they aren’t happy in the relationship then they need to move on as well. However, remember that where ever you go…there you are, and we tend to repeat our mistakes. So before you think its “them” go to therapy for you.

Dating After Divorce

Let me end by telling you that I love marriage. I think it is the most beautiful thing on the planet when done right, but you have to heal before you can be the partner others need. And you must heal before you are able to choose correctly. You don’t want to continue to choose men or women who are addicts, narcissistic, abusive, cheaters, or neglectful. Remember, history will tend to repeat itself if you don’t do the work.

Personal Reflection

My greatest desire is to find a partner for life, but due to some unresolved issues that has become difficult. When I begin to truly love someone I get anxious that they’ll leave, and it has become somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy. The relationship starts out amazing until I begin to fall for them, and then I go from the entertaining, funny, and lovable Tony to Mr. Anxious. And people won’t stick around long enough for the anxiety to settle. This is why I encourage you not to date for at least a year after your divorce, and to get intensive therapy. I believe I have lost a couple of amazing women, because of the fears and issues I’ve carried into the relationship. It has caused me intense pain over the last few years.

You have to become whole, and realize that no one can complete you. TD Jakes says, “You can not be a fraction of a person looking for another fraction.” You must be whole and realize your value, or anxiety and insecurity can cause you to lose out on some very special people. I’ve only fallen hard a couple of times in the last few years and both of those women told me I was the “sweetest” man they’d ever met. One continually said I was a “good man.” However, they left because the anxiety I caused by being insecure.

It is not easy for me to admit that on such a public forum, but I hope it’ll help you to do the work before you try to step into a relationship. People want to be needed, loved, and wanted, but they don’t want to feel like your happiness depends on them. Very few people want that pressure. Sadly, they don’t always understand that we realize they aren’t the source of our happiness, and that they are simply the one we have been waiting on for a very long time.

The major issue with dating in our 40s and beyond is that many of us are scared, and may run away too soon. The one who is a little anxious may be the one who’ll one day be your rock. And the one who is slow to warm up to you may be the one who’ll stick with you forever. Be patient. We must get healthy so we stop hurting each other.

May God bless you as your heart heals. May his face shine upon you and grant you peace. And may He bless you with discernment as you search and find a love that lasts a life time.

I love you,


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18 responses to “The Pain of Divorce & The Agony of Dating”

  1. Juanita Patterson

    Well said tony, I feel the exact same way and I feel your pain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a beautiful lady inside and out


  2. tmfelix50gmailcom

    Thank you Tony. We are walking the same path… thank you for being vulnerable.


    1. Praying your path has few turns and potholes 🙂 ❤️


  3. Jennifer Sylstad

    I love this! My experience, just about killed me. My kids and my family were my lifeline. Being strong, calm, and present for my young adult children was the best thing I could do in a very ugly situation.
    Be patient. That is my favorite sentence in your blog… We are all human. We need to be patient with ourselves and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AnnaB

    Amen to all of this. You are so wise and thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wisdom comes from many mistakes :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AnnaB

        Indeed it does!


  5. Tammy

    I just read that and still crying…thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim

    Our divorce was just final in May ’22, but I felt our marriage was over long before that. He had cheated, I was miserable, and I filed. Now, I am learning to love myself, and I am immersing myself in God. I have not been this happy for years. I am leaving it to God to bring someone to compliment the complete me 💜


    1. That’s a great plan!


  7. Bryce

    I don’t know how I ran across your blogs but you are very insightful. Feeling all the things you talk about. Narcissism was something I had never experienced. Thankyou

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Fortunately for us there are fewer female narcissist than men. However, I have found them. Not all narcissist are mean…some just ditch you when they realize they’ve gotten all they need


  8. Michelle

    Healing our own trauma and recognizing different attachment styles, including your own, is necessary for dating after heartbreak. I agree doing the inner work to heal and be whole is imperative, as is taking inventory of yourself and your past relationships acknowledging where you can do better and being clear about your non-negotiables you want for your future can help you avoid hurting others. Fall in love with who you are first and become the person you would want to date. Have faith that God and the universe want you to be fulfilled and when you are ready the right person will find you. The biggest challenge is to not let fear keep us from our destiny. God bless you Tony for your vulnerability!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carrie McCarty

    I get this! Five years post divorce., a lot of healing and finally able to move on as a whole person. Praying for those who have similar situations and for you Tony. Thank you for sharing your

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dawnett

    Thank you, Tony. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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