stressed woman holding head over credit card and bills

Number One Hardest Thing About Divorce

2 min read

By Laura Lifshitz
May 15, 2020

Let's face it. Financial stress can be a key factor in delaying divorce.

People are afraid to split due to financial woes. People delay divorce because someone doesn't want to sign the papers over a low alimony number. Whatever the case may be, finances are indeed a real hardship when it comes to divorce. But the reality is: it's not the hardest thing about divorce.


Trust me, I know. I did not walk away from my marriage financially comfortable. I hustle. I work hard. I've been through some incredibly tense times when I haven't been able to sleep as a result of worrying about money. But even still, the hardest thing about divorce is not dividing the property, paying off debts, and starting up on your own again.

The hardest thing is having faith that you will be okay again, that you will rebuild, that you will find love.

This is something I struggled with greatly during my separation from my former husband. I wondered if all the "newness" and uncertainty would be worth it. I wondered if, one day, this struggle—both emotionally and financially—would pay off. I wondered if I would be "okay" again.

So many people sit in bad marriages and situations because the devil they know is easier to deal with than the devil they don't—will I be ok? Will I move on? Will I find love again? It's what my friend Sid calls "sitting in sh*t." 

It's that question that lingers in the backs of our minds as we move forward and untangle our lives from our former partners that can stall us from either calling it quits completely, or from truly moving on and embracing a new life after divorce.

It's that doubt and that silent nagging voice that makes us wonder, even when we know full well that there is NO way in hell we could have stayed married to our former spouses if we wanted to truly be okay.


The reality is no one can guarantee you that.

When I was making the choice in my own heart and head to divorce, I asked a friend what she thought. She told me, "Don't divorce to find someone else. You may go out there and find no one. Divorce because you just cannot be with your spouse anymore. Divorce because being alone and happy is better than being married to this person."

She was 100% right. You cannot divorce thinking there is someone else better out there. You must divorce because you simply cannot be with the person you are with. What lies ahead of you is another story.

But will you be okay? Yes—as long as you choose to be. You can sit in the sh*t post-divorce and fret over being alone, being broke and starting over, or you can get up, clean yourself off and start to make choices that decisively, bring you happiness.

There are people I cannot change and situations that I have no control over; but when it comes to the things I can control since my divorce, I have hacked away at the thorns in order to clear a path for beautiful roses. I do everything in my power to create the happiness and life I want.


So yes, if you choose to create the happiness and life you want, you will be okay. And as hard as it is to believe that, especially during the rough patches, you must hold onto that hope—that small beam of light—and cherish it, only allowing people into your life who will let that light grow.

The stronger your desire and focus to be happy, the more powerful your light and life will be—and one day, that nagging voice will be silent. You won't wonder anymore if you're okay. You'll just know that, yes, you are fine.

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Written by Laura Lifshitz

Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women's issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women's Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is

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