AI generated image of a torn wedding photo and divorce papers. The couple's wedding rings sit on top of the papers. This signifies the end of the marriage and healing after divorce.

Healing After Divorce: Ashley’s Journey of Rebuilding Her Life

Written by: Ashley Kinshella

Today, I want to share a deeply personal story with you about finding healing after divorce. This journey through heartbreak, resilience, and recovery has shaped the woman I am today.

This is not just my narrative to write, but a beacon of hope for anyone facing a similar experience and struggle.

The emotional pain and negative emotions a person experiences after the loss of a relationship they thought would last forever is like nothing else. There are many things that most people deal with at the same time they are trying to heal.

There might be feelings of grief, blame, anger, and guilt. There are logistics of reconciling their past existence with this new life.

Where will the kids live? How do we all cope? What will our family members say? Then there is the financial circumstances to think about.

No one wants to talk about or even think about these things! Especially while many are often wondering what happened or if there was a way the story could have ended differently.

The Dream of a Fairytale Love

Growing up, I envisioned a perfect life straight out of a fairytale. Raised in a conservative household, I dreamt of finding my Prince Charming and building a life of everlasting love and happiness, mirroring the beautiful family dynamic I experienced as a child.

However, life had other plans. At the tender age of 24, I faced my first divorce and became an ex-wife. He was the first man to ever tell me he loved me. I had this voice in my head telling me I wasn’t enough or worthy of love.

So, I accepted the first “love” that came around.

As the marriage progressed, it was very clear he did not love me. After three years of control and emotional abuse, I had lost all self-love and respect. He had me believing that this was as good as it could get; no one else would love me.

I had lost all hope in love, family, and connection. When he left on a hunting trip, and I hoped he wouldn’t make it out alive, I decided that divorce was my next step. Somehow, being a widow at 24 seemed better than staying stuck in this marriage.

A photo of the author Ashley Kinshella and a quote from the article.

With the help of my family and friends, I started the divorce process in hopes of regaining my life and happiness. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of what would be a tumultuous path filled with challenges and personal growth.

Facing My Fears and Building Resilience

The concept of resilience—bouncing back from difficulties—became a recurring theme in my life. Described as “a person able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions” (Webster’s Dictionary), I didn’t want to be just resilient; I wanted stability and happiness.

As I started my divorce journey with my now ex-husband, I dove into numbing and forgetting my trauma instead of embarking on a healing process. I was looking for anything external to heal my pain and fill the holes inside my soul.

Alcohol, men, and secrets became my new coping mechanisms. I had lost all my drive and my spark for life. When I should have been on a journey of self-discovery, I was distracting myself from feeling the pain.

A photo of Ashely Kinshella and a quote from the article.

It wasn’t until a decade later that I learned pain is my friend. Each setback, every fall, taught me something vital about myself and the world around me. It was a harsh way to learn about self-worth and the importance of self-love.

My father was a teacher by trade; I was raised on object lessons. Somehow, I knew I was walking this path of divorce so that I could help other women someday. So many other women have lived through similar experiences, and I wanted to be a pillar of hope for them.

However, I wasn’t willing to do the hard work. Yet.

Learning to Stand Alone and Finding a Future After Divorce

The pursuit of perfection and the stigma around divorce in my conservative upbringing clouded my early decisions. I was determined to find a relationship that would match my goals and dreams of having a family.

As I started a new relationship with my second husband, I took with me an even louder voice from before. Constantly screaming in my head with everything I did, “You are not enough or worthy of love.”

Unable to love myself, I clung very co-dependently to this new relationship, hoping he would save me. But how can you be saved if you don’t use your words and share what’s happening on the inside?

A photo of the author while on her journey of healing after divorce.

Feelings of shame, lack, and depression began to rule my life. I looked for every little sign that would prove his love for me. My second marriage, though filled with moments of joy and laughter, could not withstand the personal battles I fought against my demons.

My alcohol addiction broke trust, created gaps, and left me feeling more unworthy than ever. It was during these trying times that I discovered the power of self-acceptance and the courage to seek help.

A New Chapter

Sobriety brought clarity and a newfound purpose. I spoke at schools, opened a sober living home, and even ran for Mrs. Idaho, finding confidence and a voice I never knew I had. I began to feel true joy for the first time in my life.

The love I had for myself was strong. I was a present mother to my two boys. Life seemed to be perfect. However, our marriage was struggling. It seemed that no matter how much healing I did or what new goals I went after, our marriage was breaking.

In a moment of desperation, I finally used my voice and told my husband I was unhappy. It was terrifying, but I laid it all out. I knew I’d rather try to make changes before running away from a possible fairytale.

After months of couples counseling, my husband basically told me, “you’re asking too much.” This is when I knew it was over. I wanted someone to see all of me and say, “you’re perfect.”

Love, Loss, and Healing After Getting Divorced Again

After my second divorce, I could have spiraled further, but life had other plans. I held strong to the goals I had.

Focused on raising my boys and embarking on my healing process, finally. Grieving the loss of a family I thought I’d have forever was the hardest part.

Ashley Kinshella

As that first year passed after the divorce, each milestone and holiday brought heartache. I had dreams of finding a man who aligned with my values and goals and loved me in a way that I needed.

But I still struggled with feeling worthy of that kind of love. In my darkest times, I found true companionship—a partner who saw through the chaos of my life and offered genuine support and love.

He met me at my rock bottom and saw the potential.

He makes me feel safe. Safe to be truly me, safe to use my words, safe to go after my dreams. With him, I have discovered a real fairytale, not one of fantasy but of mutual respect, support, and love.

Sharing the Light and Healing After Divorce

Ashley Kinshella's professional headshot.

If you are experiencing the pain of divorce or questioning your worth, know that you are not alone. I understand the darkness you may be feeling, and I am here to tell you that there is hope.

Through my coaching and social media platforms, I strive to help others find their path to healing just as I did. Connect with me on social media at @Simply.Both.

Let’s embark on this journey of healing together. Remember, don’t stop healing before the miracle happens. You deserve a life filled with love and happiness.

Let’s find happiness and that life you are meant to live together.

Ashley Kinshella

I hope my story inspires you to believe in the possibility of turning pain into power. You are stronger than you think, and with the right support and dedication, you can overcome anything.

It is ok to grieve for a moment, maybe even a few moments. But hope is not lost. With the right support and knowledge, healing after divorce is possible. You can find happiness and peace. You can do more than survive. You can thrive.

8 thoughts on “Healing After Divorce: Ashley’s Journey of Rebuilding Her Life

  1. Sabrina Rubich

    As someone who is going through all the steps towards my divorce, Thank you for writing this. I’ve struggled to put into words how overwhelming it all is…. I’m happy to know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

  2. Barb

    I divorced my first husband after 22 years of marriage. He didn’t want me to grow, but stay dependent on him financially. I should be content with being a wife and mother. The message was Don’t change, ever. I was married at 19 and I cut loose after the divorce. I started college at age 40 and went drinking and dancing with friends on the weekends. I never imagined my life as a divorcee. After I swore I would t date or get married again, I did both to an amazing guy. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Ashley Kinshella

      Thank you for sharing as well! I had very similar feelings in my second marriage. I knew growth and change would be hard to do in that marriage. I am so happy you’ve found that love!

  3. Lacie Jaye

    Wow! This is so powerful. Being able to get to that place of self-love will change lives. Thank you for sharing your story! Thank you for using your voice!!

    1. Danielle Dahl

      We couldn’t have said this better! We are so thankful she chose us to share part of her story with. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. We hope you take a moment to read some of the other inspirational stories on the site, too!

    2. Ashley Kinshella

      Thank you Lacie!!! I am hoping, by sharing my story, I can help other women find the same healing and happiness!


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