As if navigating the modern dating world isn’t hard enough, add the baggage of being a child of divorce. 

My parents had a very messy divorce when I was 12 years old. It was a very impressionable and vulnerable age when I was just starting to piece together my ideas about relationships. Long story short, my dad cheated on my mom with a woman he worked with.

He chose her over my beautiful and kind-hearted mother who had been a dedicated wife to him for almost 16 years. (To a 12-year-old, that decision is incredibly confusing.) To make the situation even worse, we soon found out the woman’s two-year-old son belonged to my dad.

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It suddenly all made sense. He’d turned cold toward us the moment he started a family with someone new. My world was shattered as our once picture-perfect family of three was completely destroyed. 

This is where my idea of relationships changed. I experienced the ultimate form of rejection and deception which shattered my trust in all people, even myself. I believed that everyone who loved me would eventually abandon me because I wasn’t good enough and there would be something better out there for them than me.

I began weekly therapy sessions when I was 14 and continued until I was 17. I felt like we just went in circles dealing with my abandonment and trust issues but as I got older I started to see value in what my psychologist was saying, especially when I entered my first serious relationship at 18. 

The first year with him was bliss. I never thought love could feel so happy. We were (and still are!) each other’s best friends. But after a year I started freaking out. Things were getting serious and I gave him more and more power to hurt me if he decided he was bored with me.

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