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The Strength Inside: Thriving After Divorce

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Guest Contributor: Nesha Pai

I had the perfect fairy-tale vision of marriage growing up. I knew that I was not going to be arranged like my parents. I was going to fall in love and live happily ever after with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence with my Prince Charming.

Unfortunately, that vision was something out of an unrealistic, fantasy-filled movie. I was young when I got married-young from a naïve perspective, of what love and marriage really entailed. I was also young in knowing who I was and what I wanted out of life. My big dreams did not correlate with the dreams my spouse had. I thought that would all work itself out after we got married. It didn’t.

I was a virgin at 27 when I got married, and upon marriage, I got pregnant right away. Unbeknownst to me, I developed postpartum depression, which was not diagnosed until much later. I was married to someone who did not have the depth to fully understand what was going on, nor had the skill set to nurture what I needed. This only contributed to the massive chasm that ultimately gave way 6 years in.

When my son got into the 1st grade, is when I had to make the difficult decision that any parent would have to make: Do I choose my happiness or do I sacrifice it for the sake of keeping a family together?

To further complicate my decision, I had very traditional Indian parents who believed divorce to be taboo, coming from a culture where mistresses and abuse were acceptable (they would not have allowed me to stay in those conditions). But neither of those were present. What was present was a very bad mismatch of two people in every possible way. That was a frivolous reason to my parents. And all of these years later, I understand why they didn’t support me. Though I had a loving family, they did not support me in my decision, and in fact, my own twin brother turned against me. I have of course healed, and forgiven all of these years later. And, I have come to understand their viewpoint, as they were looking out for my son and wanting to keep a family together. But, at that time to be truly alone in a very traumatic experience, was devastating. I still cannot fathom how I moved through it alone.

The only answer I had is one of an instinctual human trait of survival. I dug deep within and operated on auto pilot, knowing that survival and protection of my son was the only answer. Interestingly enough, these skills were exactly what I needed to leave a horrible boss and start my own firm Pai CPA, PLLC 5 years later.

I was a stay at home mom for the first 6 years of my son’s life, so when I went back to work I worked for a local CPA firm and for a boss who had no desire to mentor me. I was there for 5 years and at the end of year 5, I was ready to give more hours and ask for a raise. I was degradingly denied, and in that very moment and conversation I just walked out. Just like that. I quit on the spot and took my biggest client with me. Without a doubt, I know that the skills I developed while navigating divorce alone gave me the courage I needed to walk out on my boss. See, I knew if I could survive one of the most traumatic experiences of life, I could survive anything.

And, so can you. While it is not pretty to go through something like divorce, know that you have within you the skills to not only survive, but to thrive. What was holding you back before your divorce? Who was that woman? Because, I can guarantee you, that you will find a stronger, more empowered version of yourself that you never knew existed.

It is time to time to take the things that make you feel alive and build the life of your dreams on your terms. Start that business or create something that makes you feel alive. Your growth is the only limit to your happiness!

Learn more about my journey as a first generation American and the identity struggles that came with it as well as how my most difficult life experiences led to greatness in my book “Overcoming Ordinary Obstacles“.


Clients may need additional support during their divorce. Claire Samuels Law, PLLC has curated a community of the best coaches, therapists and other professionals dedicated to supporting you through your divorce process and beyond.

As a member of Claire’s Curated Community, Nesha’s invaluable expertise in small business accounting is ready to serve the needs of Claire’s clients.

Claire Samuels Law, PLLC works with you to resolve your legal issues while also providing the resources and experts you need to facilitate the healthiest process for you and your family.

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