3 things that got better after my divorce

Finding the silver lining

Shefali O'Hara
5 min readFeb 22, 2020


Photo by guy stevens on Unsplash

My divorce was kinda tough. First, my marriage had actually been getting better prior to the divorce. My ex is an alcoholic. I hadn’t realized this when we got married because he was highly functioning at the time. He was seldom drunk, he had a good job and he was very responsible and caring.

A few years before our divorce, though, he spiraled out of control. His life was chaotic and our marriage was in tatters. T1hen things changed. He started going to AA everyday. It doesn’t help everyone but it helped him. As he got sober, the man I married started to re-emerge and our marriage got better.

Given things were on an up-trend, I didn’t expect him to leave, particularly as I was still getting over surgery.

He did, however, and I had to move on. It was really tough because, as I said, I was still getting over surgery. Plus, he was the primary breadwinner. All of a sudden, I had to figure out how to make things work.

There have been some challenges, but there have also been some really positive things that have emerged from the tough times. In no particular order, here are three things I’m grateful for that would never have happened if my ex hadn’t left.

1. My friendships have gotten stronger

I’d always had good friends, but when I was married I didn’t have the time or the motivation to really cultivate them the way I did once I was single again. My life was tied up so much with my husband, partly because he’s an alcoholic. Alcoholics are exhausting to deal with sometimes.

All of a sudden, after he left, there was an emotional vacuum in my life. I began to reach out more to friends. Surprisingly, they were there for me. In fact, I was deeply touched how supportive my friends were.

I learned, after my husband left, just how much my friends cared for me. They listened to me when I needed to vent, provided a shoulder to cry on, and took me out for drinks. Perhaps it’s ironic, given that my ex is an alcoholic, that wine was used as part of my own therapy, but it did help. My friends commiserated with me over a bottle of red and various cheese plates.



Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.