Life After Divorce: Friendships, Failings, and Finding Love Again (Hope Series) – with Daniel Herrold
As a marriage coach, I am humbled to have divorced people reach out to me for advice. Many want to know what life after divorce can look like and wonder if they will ever find love again. Today’s guest, Daniel Harrold, shares very openly about his journey of life after divorce. Co-founding a community of friends called Divorced Over 40, Daniel discusses how his marriage fell apart, the mistakes he made and lessons he learned, as well as how he rebounded to overcome the stigma of divorce and build a life he’s proud of.
Daniel’s story isn’t unlike many marriages: he and his wife were college sweethearts and got married right after they graduated. He wasn’t the typical college guy who dated all the freshman girls. Just the opposite, as a matter of fact. His wife was basically his first real relationship. A couple of years into the marriage they had their first child: a daughter, followed shortly by two more daughters. Throughout the course of Daniel’s marriage, he and his wife sought marriage counseling. Sadly, they continued to drift apart. As they both realized the marriage was coming to an end, Daniel and his wife decided to forgo counseling and choose divorce.
The Healing Process
Divorce is often likened to death. The stages of grief are similar: anger, denial, sorrow, blame, loneliness, etc. It’s a deep loss that is often compounded by a lack of closure. Daniel went through an 18-month healing process where he had to be honest about what he did right and what he did wrong. He also learned some new lessons about love and relationships as a whole. Far too often, people begin dating after divorce before first completing the healing process. This is a big mistake and oftentimes leads to yet another broken relationship and a bitter and broken heart.
One of the catalysts in Daniel’s healing process was a close group of friends that he developed after his divorce. Realizing he needed close friendships, he co-founded Divorced Over 40 with two female friends to help divorced people heal and find connections.
Divorced Over 40
Being divorced can often lead to being stigmatized. Daniel and his two friends wanted to chronicle their lives as divorcees and create a community where those who walked the difficult road of divorce could find hope and healing. They do this by creating relevant content, support, and events for people to meet and develop friendships. This community has been a lifeline to Daniel as he’s found a new life after divorce.
Hope for the Divorced
Throughout this hope series, it is my hope (pun intended) that you will find a safe place of healing if you’ve been through a divorce. You may or may not have been the initiator of your divorce, but you are nonetheless dealing with it now. If you have kids, be intentional about being amicable with your ex. This makes all the difference in a child’s life. Your kids do not need to be put in the middle of your relationship problems. Daniel and his ex-wife have actually grown closer as friends and have a great platonic relationship today.
Focus on self-discovery and finding the lessons God wants to show you through the process. If you need to forgive, do so. It’s imperative. If you need to repent, do so. Your soul depends on it. If you need therapy or coaching, get some! Take your time, and allow yourself to go through the process. No shortcuts. You will win if you contend.
A final word, sometimes, those in the church don’t know how to deal with people who are divorced. They may say the wrong thing or they may say nothing. They may distance themselves or worse, gossip about you. Don’t allow people’s incorrect response to damage your heart. Daniel shares very vulnerably around the 24-minute mark as to his experience with how his faith was rattled after his divorce and how’s he’s on his way back to a deeper faith in spite of it.
Links Mentioned in this Episode
Follow Dan on Instagram @thedivorceddad
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