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How Meghan Markle Royally Changed The Stigma of Divorce

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Meghan Markle should be every divorced woman’s hero. She’s certainly mine. I mean, come on! Meghan Markle landed a prince, both  figuratively and literally, for her second-chance marriage, otherwise known as her second marriage.

And even though I’m a Royal Family enthusiast, I’m more obsessed with Meghan Markle than I am with Kate Middleton.

I watched Markle’s interview, alongside Prince Harry. I watched her bright smile for the cameras, as she held Prince Harry’s hand. And, what can I say? Markle seems truly and genuinely happy. Which made me feel truly and genuinely happy for her…and also left me with another emotion that I couldn’t place my finger on, until many hours later.

It turns out what I had been feeling was hope and optimism. Not just for me, but for anyone else who has, or is, going through a divorce. She gives divorced and separated women hope, not just in finding someone else, but also with being ‘okay’ with being divorced and then marrying for a second time. Did you see how Markle beamed while showing off her second engagement ring? There was no shame in her game.

As someone who has been through divorce, to me, Markle has also taken away the stigma of divorce. The fact that this is her second marriage didn’t matter to Prince Harry or the stiff upper lips of the Royal Family. Yes, there is a feeling of shame that you couldn’t make something work. I know, because I’ve been there. I know, even if people are in unhappy marriages, many of them wouldn’t trade places with poor, old divorced me. And I get it. Divorce is a hard decision to make, possibly the hardest decision you’ll ever make. Even if we don’t feel like losers for having a failed marriage, other people will always look at us like we’re losers. Heck, all it takes is one overly-sweet Facebook posting of someone celebrating TWENTY YEARS together, to make you feel like a failure.

Markle is living, breathing proof that, in fact, there’s no reason for us to feel judged for failing at marriage. If the world’s most photographed and googled woman in the world now, thanks to her second engagement, can be this happy, well then so can we!

Divorce is hard, to say the least. I don’t think one ever forgets the fact they are divorced. Because divorce, even the amicable ones, can feel like a death, not only of the marriage, but of what probably started as a fairy tale. Even if it’s the right decision to divorce, there’s the grief over what could have been, or what should have been and even why me? After a divorce, you lose hope you’ll ever find somebody else, mostly because a divorce can make you gun shy for following relationships. You question yourself during the divorce process. You think, ‘Um, maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side,’ after a 12th failed Tinder Date. Or, ‘Maybe I should have stayed with him, even though I felt completely alone in the marriage. Because being alone is hard too.’ Or maybe, just maybe, they fell out of love. Maybe he did. Maybe she did. Hey, it happens.

 

Markle’s Sparkles? Meghan Markle is a Poster Girl for Second Marriages

But now here comes the Meghan Markle we know now! Markle, like any divorced and dating women, probably kissed a number of frogs after her divorce, before finding her prince last year. After all, she had been divorced for almost four years. But she did! Markle literally, again, found not only her soul mate but an honest-to-goodness real prince. How could anyone who has gone through a divorce, is going through a divorce and is worrying about meeting someone new, not look at Markle as anything but a hero when it comes to the awful world of dating and divorce?

She’s not ashamed that this is her second marriage. Prince Harry doesn’t care it’s her second marriage. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t ever said anything negative about her ex either. Markle is clearly a woman who has moved on from divorce, with class.

Of course Markle’s divorce and coupling with Prince Harry was made easier, since she didn’t have any children with her ex, Trevor Engelson. Unlike most of us divorced women, Markle doesn’t have to co-parent with her ex. In fact, there’s really no need for her to talk to her ex at all, except at this point to pay him a large sum of money to keep quiet about their relationship and the dissolution of their marriage. So, in that way, she may be different from you and me.

But while tabloids everywhere are trying to find out everything they possibly can about Markle’s ex-husband  – MEG’S EX: WHO IS TREVOR ENGELSON? – I’m really just glad that Meghan Markle now has the platform to show divorced women that there can be a happily ever after, after divorce. It may take a while, but it happens. Also, while many women complain after divorce that the men they meet want younger women, Markle has shown us that yes, there is a happily ever after, after the age of 35. In fact, Markle is older than Prince Harry and closer to 40 than 30. So for all you women who think that life stops at age 30, well, it doesn’t. Life will give you a second chance to marry. Even a third chance now for many.

Although Markle and Engelson were only technically married for two years, they met in 2004, were together for six years, before they got engaged in 2010. Trevor and Meghan tied the knot on 10 September 2011 at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This means they were together 13 years, which is a long time to know someone, a long time to love someone, a long time to be together, which makes the decision to divorce a difficult one to say the least.

A source has said that “Trevor was based in LA while Meghan was in Toronto, a five-hour flight away. It was a very difficult way to start married life.” (Well, that now seems a bit of a cop-out since, you know, she managed to make it work long-distance with Prince Harry.)

Even if Markle and her ex had the most amicable divorce, I’m pretty sure that making the decision to divorce was just as difficult (again, minus the children) and that she went through the wide range of emotions that every woman who has gone through a divorce, has been through or is going through.

There’s the feeling of, ‘Should I have tried harder,’ ‘Should he have tried harder,’ ‘Should we have tried harder?’ There’s also the feeling of failure – even if you know divorce is the right option for you. And, then, once you do make the brave decision to separate and divorce – because it is braver than staying in a crap relationship – there’s still a lot of self-questioning like, ‘Was that the right decision?’ And there are a lot of, ‘What ifs?’ And, for a lot of women after a separation or divorce, the question of, ‘Will I ever meet anyone again?’ is also question we ask ourselves. I know Markle is confident, but I’ll take the bet that, at some point, she second guessed her divorce. I bet, at one point, she asked herself, ‘Did I really give this marriage my all?’

Second Chance Marriage? No Shame in Markle’s Game!

Markle is also the poster girl for a good break up, it seems. I’m sure she shed many tears over her divorce or leading up to her divorce – not necessarily because she didn’t know it was the right decision – but because divorce is sad. Think about it. You once loved someone so much that you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with that person. You have to tell your friends and family that your marriage didn’t work out after all, all the while thinking, ‘I am so sorry that you got me that wedding gift.’

Markle’s first wedding was a four-day affair and pictures have since shown drinking games on the beach in the build-up to the big day. The ceremony took place in front of 102 guests. (If you’re hosting a four-day destination wedding, in front of only close family and friends, than yeah, I think you were serious about getting married.)

But, alas, Markle’s first marriage didn’t work out, but it didn’t stop Markle from moving on with her life. She’s the poster girl for what can happen after a divorce and, at the same time, the poster girl for getting over someone. She brings optimism to every divorced women out there, at least those who want a second-chance marriage. Not only was she on the hit television show, Suits, for 7 years, but she has a long list of philanthropic causes that she dove into. This is a woman who knows how to stay busy, which is the key to any break up.

To me, not only is Meghan Markle an inspiration with all her charity work, but Meghan Markle’s sparkle, in her eyes and in her second engagement ring, show that, yeah, there is a happily ever after.

Even after divorce.

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