Divorce is not something one typically plans for. When people imagine a life for themselves or draft their vision boards, divorce usually isn’t on the menu — especially before 30. However, things happen and if there’s one thing adulting teaches you, it’s that life doesn’t always go according to plan. The reality is that 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States will end in divorce. We don’t quote that statistic to discourage but to shed light on this reality as well as to remove some of the stigmas and shame young divorcées sometimes secretly carry. We had the honor of catching up with three dynamic women who made the decision to end their marriages before their thirtieth birthdays and were transparent enough to share their stories.
For Kierra, divorcing at age twenty-eight meant coming to terms with red flags that she says she had previously ignored.
“I actually got divorced when I was pregnant and twenty-eight,” the business strategist told MadameNoire. “My ex-husband has never met our son and I currently have a restraining order against him.”
After meeting online and tying the knot four months later, Kierra says that her ex-husband began to abuse her.
“He was abusive and is currently on the run from a prison sentence in New York. We met online back in 2015 and moved waaaaaay too fast,” she recalled. “We ended up getting married like 4 months later. I completely ignored all red flags.”
Thankfully, life does not end at thirty as some have led us to believe. At thirty-one, Kierra is in a healthy relationship and is not living with regrets.
“I’m 31 now and in an amazing relationship,” she said. “I don’t regret my marriage because it taught me a lot about life and people in general. I love that I now have the knowledge to help pass on to girls younger than me so they can avoid the heartache I went through.”
Parting ways with her ex-husband at twenty-eight years old taught Kierdra that happily ever after is just for storybooks, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t live a great life anyway.
“I got married at 23 separated at 26 and divorced by 28. This experience taught me so much. Life isn’t a fairytale for one,” said Kiedra, who works as a television producer. “You don’t just meet someone, fall madly in love, and live happily ever after. It takes a lot of work to make a marriage work. You have to have people that are truly committed to making it work for it to work.”
Kiedra is set to remarry this October and does not regret her first marriage.
Divorcing before thirty taught Nneka not to define herself by labels, which is a valuable lesson because we’re often trained to root out worth in our marital and motherhood statuses.
“The experience of being divorced by 30 has taught me that even though I have this label I am more than my divorce,” Nneka told MN. “I think it has attached to it a strong stigma still to this day.”
Nneka, who is now 31 and an entrepreneur does not live with regrets and views her past experiences as lessons learned.
“I do not regret any of my marriages,” said Nneka. “I see each of them as lessons and journeys in life. I do not feel the experience of marriage has hindered me in any way. I feel that we often limit ourselves way before the marriage comes into effect, honestly.”
What lessons did your divorce teach you? Let us know in the comments below.