Divorced? Five Ways to Get Your Life Back

Divorced? Five Ways to Get Your Life Back
Peytyn Willborn has reclaimed her life after divorce.

By Jasmine Browley

Peytyn Willborn, celebrity hair dresser (key stylist to Academy Award winning actress Mo’Nique among others) turned serial entrepreneur, has been officially divorced from popular Chicago comedian George Willborn (The Michael Baisden Show, The Doug Banks Show) for more than a few years now.

Married for more than 15 years, the coupling was filled with infidelity, and career envy among other things, and that ultimately led to the separation, according to Peytyn Willborn.

I recently sat down with Peytyn to discuss the tumultuous marriage, how it changed her outlook on business, and her advice for surviving life post-divorce. Here are a few of the gems I took away from our conversation.

1. Leave the “pity party.”

Everyone knows that divorce is some bullsh*t. Most divorcees will agree that it’s undoubtedly one of the worst times in their lives. But, and I say this with the most empathy as possible, so what?

Peytyn said that she set a statute of limitations on feeling sorry for herself, even when she was still clashing with her ex-husband.

“I just kept telling myself that ‘I’ve overcome worse circumstances–this too shall pass.’”

She stressed that the first year should be your throwaway; that it’s normal to vent about the loss, grieve the relationship, and to talk to loved ones about every minute detail. But after that, it’s imperative to make a deliberate effort to stop victimizing yourself. Regardless of what your spouse has done–is still doing or will do–you CANNOT make the pain and embarrassment of your split become your identity.

2. Accept your new financial climate

Peytyn said that this was one of the most important revelations she had during the divorce. Although she has been financially independent all of her adult life, Peytyn realized that she had to reaffirm her priorities and be prepared to spend money as a single person.

“I refused to rely on my ex-husband as my long-term financial solution, nor did I EVER allow myself to think that ‘finding another man’ will affect my finances in a positive way,” she said.

Although the self-made millionaire did receive emotional support from her ex during the beginning stages of building one of her three 24-hour daycare centers a few years ago, she still credits her independent streak as the catalyst for her success post-divorce.

“Although I lived my married days with the mindset of ‘forever,’ I didn’t treat my purse like that,” she said. “I ALWAYS made sure I had my own, and made sure I kept my own once we parted because I knew that I needed to maintain the life I became accustomed to.”

This notion, along with Peytyn’s business savvy, led her to launch her latest business venture, an upscale Italian restaurant on Chicago’s south side.

George and Peytn via Petyn Willborn.

George and Peytn via Petyn Willborn.

   3. Don’t blame yourself

“No good marriage ends in divorce.” -Louis C.K.

Peytyn said that one of the biggest lessons she learned during her divorce was not taking her ex’s missteps personally.

“I know that I was a good partner, not perfect by any means, but nothing I did or didn’t do should have garnered the type of treatment I received,” she said.

During the divorce, she said she learned to pick her battles, to let go of issues that don’t really matter or can’t be changed and to accept with grace and maturity the general pain of an ongoing end of a marriage — acknowledging this just makes life a little bit easier.

4. Allow happy to happen

Peytyn said she could remember a time when she was often in the shadows while working with her ex-husband.

“As George’s manager, he often told me that I was too bashful to do certain things, and sometimes would laugh at me when I tried to step out of my shell–for a long time, I believed him,” she said. “Now that that period of my life is over, it’s all about Peytyn and the ones that love me.”

5.  One last thing: Post-divorce, #PeytynSays said that she learned to channel her energies into evaluating her life, her dreams and how to move forward.   Also, although jumping into another serious relationship too soon is ill-advised, there is “nothing wrong with having companionship, and not feeling guilty about it,” she said.
Relish in your joys.

And remember, everything will be okay.

Follow Jasmine on Twitter @JazBrow

Follow Jasmine on Twitter @Jasmine_Browley


Writer, editor, lover of music and nappy hair, entertainment journalist Jasmine Browley has two blogs (JasminesJournals.com and TheRnBBlog.com), dozens of freelance contributions {including Uptown Magazine}, and is known to keep her ear to the ground, and her pen to paper. Follow Jasmine on Twitter: @Jasmine_Browley

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