Getting a divorce when you’re in your 20s is a humbling, isolating experience ― and the misconceptions others have about your decision don’t make it any easier.
With that in mind, we asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook to share what they wish others understood about divorce in your 20s. See what they had to say below (and to get a deeper sense of what it’s like to be young and divorced, check out our Divorced By 30 blog series).
1. People tend to discount your marriage because you didn’t spend decades together or have kids.
“Most people don’t understand that being divorced when you’re young means that you’re constantly hearing things like ‘at least you didn’t waste your whole life together’ and ‘at least you didn’t have kids together’ and ‘at least you’re still young enough to find someone new.’ As if these reasons make it any easier to lose the person you once thought you would be with forever.” ― Shannon Ferguson
2. It’s no less difficult than divorce at any other age.
“People don’t get that it’s still difficult even if you weren’t married for decades. It’s different because you build a life with someone and you look forward to living your dreams, only to have it all gone so soon. At the same time, you really do learn so much about yourself when you get divorced at a young age.” ― Aly Meredith
3. You didn’t get a divorce simply because you weren’t “mature enough” for marriage.
“Not all things work out. It’s possible that two people just can’t make things work. It’s possible for anyone, at any age, to make this call. When you decide to do it in your 20s, it doesn’t come from a place of immaturity or giving up too soon.” ― Susie Moore
4. It’s rough when everyone around you is getting married and you’re getting divorced.
“You feel like an outsider because while a lot of your friends are just entering marriage, you’re ending it. You feel alone and isolated.” ― Robin Santley
5. You feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you.
“My ex and I married young because he was in the military and we just couldn’t be apart. Thing is, young guys are young. I dropped out of college to be an army wife. Then, I was betrayed. I’m now with the man of my dreams but I have horrible trust issues. When you marry young, you think your life is planned out and then boom ― everything changes.” ― Whitney Wiggs
6. You learn some invaluable lessons.
“There are so many lessons in divorce in your 20s. I feel that going through divorce made me such a new, strong person. It was inspiring to know how resilient I was.” ― Jessica Sprankle
7. People assume you gave up prematurely.
“I didn’t throw in the towel too soon. For me (and many other twenty-something divorcés I know), it was quite the opposite: thanks to endless hours in marital counseling, my ex and I figured out in a few years what many couples take decades to determine: We simply weren’t right for each other and ending our marriage at 29 reflected a heightened awareness of our incompatibility.” ― Nicole Lavery
8. You have to deal with a lot more judgement.
“Divorce, especially in your 20s, comes with an ugly stigma: People think you come with baggage and that there must be something wrong with you. In my experience, there was a lot of judgment and assumptions from future partners, especially because my ex and I had a child. People often feel insecure about being someone’s second partner, potentially being a rebound or dealing with any impending drama if the couple had children together.” ― Kelly Markworth
9. No one sees the positive aspects of divorcing young.
“Getting divorced so young doesn’t mean we’re the fastest at screwing things up. It doesn’t mean we’re the fastest quitters. It means we’re the fastest at taking risks and the fastest at realizing that sometimes, those risks were mistakes.” ― Joni Erdmann
10. People think it’s easier to move on when you divorce early on in life.
“People think you should be able to move on quickly because being in your 20s means you’re young and energetic. I wish they would recognize that a breakup or divorce is hard at any age, regardless of how long you were together.” ― Soumia Aziz
11. You feel a little ostracized by other 20-somethings.
“It’s like suddenly you’re out of one club and part of another. When you’re divorced, people your own age don’t see you as one of them anymore.” ― Carol Schaffer
12. Eyes widen when you announce you’re going to get married again.
“I think the judgment that comes with it is tough. My ex left after seven months of marriage so I got a lot of judgmental looks and comments; we were together almost six years but because the marriage was short, it was like that whole time was discredited. I’m getting married again this year and I get a lot of awkward looks ― it’s like people are questioning my sanity!” ― Jessica Sprankle
13. The divorce will impact you for the rest of your life.
“The short period of time, especially when kids are born into the marriage, will affect the rest of your life.” ― Gineen Madelyn