Women are often told that their value depends on marriage. When a marriage ends in divorce, many women are left feeling depressed, rudderless and devalued. But a divorce is hardly the end of the world. In fact, divorce can offer a fresh start at the life of a woman’s dreams.

Millions of women have endured the painful process of divorce only to bounce back stronger than ever. Here, we will take a look at some of the inspiring women who built happy, successful lives after divorce.

Inspirational women who thrived after divorce

  1. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart began her career as a caterer. When her lifestyle brand skyrocketed to success in the early 90s, her marriage took a hit. After she and her husband divorced, Stewart became even more successful, expanding into multi-million-dollar ventures that even included a television show with rapper Snoop Dogg.

  1. Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert might not be a household name, but her memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” certainly is. After a divorce in her 30s, Gilbert embarked on a ‘round-the-world journey to find spiritual fulfillment. Along the way, she also found incredible success.

  1. Sheryl Sandberg

As the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is one of the leading women in tech. But she was not always a global powerhouse. In 1993, she divorced her first husband after only one year of marriage. She did not let this hinder her career. She went on to become Silicon Valley’s foremost businesswomen.

  1. Norah Ephron

The filmmaker, writer and comedienne made a career out of lampooning her love life. After a rocky divorce in 1980, Ephron wrote the novel “Heartburn,” which was later adapted into a film. She also penned some of the scripts for film’s best-loved romantic comedies, including “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

  1. Wendy Davis

In the 1980s, a young single mother named Wendy Davis attended community college while working two jobs to support her young child. After years of struggling, Davis managed to graduate from Harvard Law School before running a successful campaign for the Texas senate. Now an advocate for women’s rights, she is an excellent example of the success that can come after a divorce—even if it takes several years of hard work.

Divorce is not the end

Divorce is never easy, especially in a culture that often values women by their spouses. But as these women and many more have shown, the end of a marriage is not the end of the world. Divorce can enable women not only to grow but also to thrive.

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