Fan Mail + Testimonials

Quotes from Participants, Support Group Members and Fans

“Holy Mother, Joelle. I think you just saved my sanity! Yes, there’s lots of advice out there for women with children on how to handle marriage failure. On how to start again. But what about us twenty somethings? The ones who once had stars in their eyes and opportunities galore only to be faced with disappointment and loneliness at a time when everyone else is finding their ‘one’ and starting their home and family?

I clicked on the Huffington Post Divorce page without much hope of relating. One article though – yours – really stood out to me. Amidst the doom and gloom, your article was there and it was upbeat and positive. It was written specifically for young women, like me, who are finding themselves having to start over again in their twenties. I felt a glimmer of hope.

This, of course, led me to Trash the Dress. After a couple of hours solid reading, I have gone from being down and despondent – a 27 year old who is losing her husband, home and having to move to the other side of the world to start ALL over again – to feeling as though life might actually get better. Possibly. There is hope now.

I don’t know how I’m going to manage it all or how I’m going to get there but seeing YOU do it, and thrive along the way, has made me feel so much stronger.

THANK YOU for the work you do, Joelle. I’m going to be an avid follower of your blog over the coming months. ”

-Kerry (UK)

“I’m so excited about your book!  I think you are absolutely on to something that the literary world is glaringly lacking.”

Anne, Wisconsin

“Joelle, I love the work you’ve done capturing these stories. These ladies have been so creative in ‘trashing the dress’ and are inspirational not just for women in their 20’s but also for women in their 50’s like me who’ve had their dresses stored for 20+ years. Trashing the dress could be part of anyone’s divorce ritual.”

Mandy Walker, divorce coach and mediator

Hey! I just wanted to say that I have been following your blogs/interviews about being divorced in your twenties, and I just think you are an inspiration! I got married at 26 and a whopping 18 months later I was separated! Now, two years later, I finally feel like I’m starting to get my life back. I have been anxiously awaiting your book, and just wish it had come out when I was first going through it. I searched every bookstore for divorce self-help books, and found that almost none of them applied to my situation…divorced at 28, left as a single mom to an infant…and all those books were geared towards older women with children who were already grown and who had friends/ acquaintances who had already been through it themselves. All of my friends were just getting married and here I was, already divorced! Are you still taking stories for the book? I haven’t changed the world since divorcing, but think my story may help others see that they can and WILL get through it and their lives can be better than they ever imagined!

Michal, Maryland

I definitely plan on purchasing your book when it comes out, as it seems that it would be something I would thoroughly enjoy reading.”

-Keirsten, Arizona

“Love your website and book project.”

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D, sociology and gender studies professor at Stonehill College in Easton, MA

It was fate when I happened to be Googling “divorce in your 20s” and came across this project. It let me know that I wasn’t alone in this: I could beat this, I could overcome this, I could wear the scars I’ve gained with pride. It let me know that we are warriors and we can reclaim our lives. Not to sound cliché, but this project is the true definition of ‘girl power.’

Lindsay, Oregon

“I cannot wait to read your book. Your ‘about the author’ struck a chord. I think it’s such a great idea for a book because I had the same experience of looking for books I could relate to and finding nothing – short of the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon.  Glad to hear I’m not alone.”

-Maureen, Oregon

“I think its awesome how you have taken what many people have said is taboo and made a place for women to come together and celebrate what the transition brings.”

-Hope, (Location unknown)

I’m thrilled to hear someone is writing a book about divorce in one’s 20s! I have often felt like I wear a scarlet D because of my experience. Even now, at 32, I still get ‘REALLY?!’ when I tell people I’ve been married.”

– Marci, New York

“Joelle, thank you so much for having the courage and the know-how to write all our stories down.  The book interview I completed for you was the single most therapeutic thing I have done for myself since the divorce.  It was enlightening and healing to be honest with myself and get my story out.  Alternatively, now that I have healed, the Facebook group you created has enabled me to help others who are just going through the thick of the divorce problems.  It feels so rewarding to be able to log on and offer advice to someone who understandably only wants advice from other girls who have been though what she is going through.  Your book had allowed me to heal, and your Facebook page has allowed me to help.  I couldn’t be more happy I came across your blog and shared my story with you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

– Molly, Massachusetts

I am so proud of you!  Pitching a book and engaged to the RIGHT guy! What a role model. I have to admit, I first learned about you from my therapist because she found an article you had written awhile back about getting divorced in your 20’s. She knew it was so challenging for me to literally be the first of not only your friends but anyone I knew in my age group to get divorced.  It really felt so alien.  Like you said, not much is ‘out there’ for us to read or relate to. Answering the interview questions took me longer than I thought because it was also a therapeutic journey- I had to look back on the good times and the bad times and see all the red flags that I had conveniently knocked down to get what was my finish line- my own perfect, not-divorced family…since mine was such a wreak. I think about how wonderful the support group has been but honestly most of it was after for me and I can only smile when I think of the women who went through or will go through what we did and have this from start to end.  I am very proud that you are writing this book and I hope it both prevents people from doing what we did and helps those who have to go through it.”

-Jill, New York

“Just found the book, and website, and for the first time since my divorce finalized on April Fool’s Day (oh the irony!) I breathed out a deep sigh and said, “oh, there are my people.”

Aubrey, Utah

“The Trash the Dress support group helped me transition from the end of grieving my failed marriage to the beginning of my new life. I felt empowered by knowing I was not alone in how I felt, that it was OK to feel the difficult emotions, and that there was hope at the end of the journey. When I stumble, the group/book is there to help me realize it’s normal, and that is something I have needed because it’s not the message that is enforced by societal norms.”

–Crysta, Tennessee

“The Trash the Dress support group gave me inspiration to learn from such a devastating experience; to take hold of my own life and point it in a direction that I can be proud of. I have never met any of these women, but I love them!”

– Jessica, Massachusetts

“Getting divorced is already a traumatic enough experience and to go through it at such a young age is even more difficult. It seems like as soon as you wrapped your head around being with someone for the rest of your life, they walk out the door. You’re left picking up the pieces, wondering when and why they stopped feeling the same way or if they ever felt that way at all. Friends and family cannot truly empathize without experiencing it themselves. The Trash the Dress support group was truly the one place I could go, so I could hear others stories and share my own. Thank you for creating this group and allowing us to have the opportunity to heal each other.”

– Jessica, New York

“Finding a group of women, all going through the exact same devastating experience, had been such a huge blessing. Going through a divorce makes you feel like such a failure but with this support group it has allowed me to realize I haven’t failed and that I should be celebrating my divorce and celebrate finally getting my life back after being in such a toxic relationship. These women have taught me to be strong and take back control of my life!”

-Hannah, Indiana

“The Trash the Dress support group has helped me realize being a twenty-something divorcee is nothing out of the ordinary. I’m the first of my friends (and certainly not the last) to go through a divorce, so I didn’t really have anyone to chat with that knew what I was going through with starting my life over. Through this group I feel like I’ve made friends with girls going through the same thing I have, even though I haven’t met them in person. We are all fabulous trendsetting divorcées that deserve and will have an amazing future!”

-Alyssa, New York

“This group/project made me realize that I’m not the only twenty-something dealing with a failed marriage and the baggage that goes along with one. The women in this group have given me advice, courage and an opportunity to voice some of my innermost thoughts and feelings about one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced in life.”

– Carly, New Hampshire

“I came to Trash the Dress to find comfort and healing, but what I found was a community of amazing women, and something that means the world to me – friendship. I’ve always been an extremely private person, but these women helped me express my feelings and gave me strength,inspiration and hope. I will forever be grateful to them, and especially to Joelle for putting us all together.”

– Sabrina, Maryland

“I wish this support group was around when I was going through my divorce! If it was, I may not have taken him back the first time he left. The support and encouragement found here is astounding. And now, looking back, I could have definitely used someone there telling me it was OK to say goodbye. There’s light at the end of that long tunnel, you just have to have the drive to get to it.”

– Jayme, New Jersey

“Tonight. Two years ago. It felt like the world was practically ending. I felt as if I could never learn to love or trust again… It is amazing to look back and recollect how awfully brutal some of those days were and to now see what has transpired during the past 730 days. Today, I know what I want; more importantly, I know what I don’t want. I want to thank Joelle and the rest of the amazing, strong, wonderful women that are part of this rebuilding process with me. Cheers to us! And thank goodness for groups like this where we can find support and advice…not to mention to let us know that we aren’t the only person out there going though this.”

– Nicole, Arizona

“This group and sharing my story has helped me learn that there are so many bigger and better things our there for me. My marriage was not a failure, he was, and I’m stronger than I knew!”

-Heather, Maryland

“This group has been more than I ever expected. I don’t have much support or anyone to talk to about divorce or its related issues and challenges. Next to my lawyer I’d say this has been my number one source for release, laughter, tears and most importantly getting on track with life again and finding myself in the aftermath.”

– Janeen, Indiana

“For me, this group has been an inspiration. First, what an empowered group of young women we all are to begin with and now how much stronger we’ve all become, and second that this blessing in disguise happens more often than you’d think. It put a lot in perspective for me and the bond we all share is that we’ve taken control of our destinies and pushed ahead to bigger, better and brighter futures.”

– Jaime, New Jersey

“Makes me realize I’m not dealing with anything in life alone. That there are people out there going through the same exact thing I am, and that all I have to do is reach out for some support and I will find it.”

– Robin, Arizona

“The closest (in relationship), divorced friend I have lives six hours away and I don’t have the opportunity to chat with her very often. All my other friends are married, never been married, or married with children. Divorce is forever, and unless you know someone else with this same forever experience, you’re bouncing around in a sea of people who have no clue. We need examples from other, strong women who are sorting out the messes, creating triumphs out of their lives, dealing with their lots in life, making it work, and we need a safe place to crash emotionally. Life is hard when you go it alone, but it’s even harder when you have an idea of what it’s like to not go it alone, and then be forced to go it alone. Birds of a feather flock together, and we are beautiful birds!”

-Natalie, Minnesota

“I’m so excited that you’re putting this book together! I really needed this eleven years ago when I was a twenty-six year old divorcée!”

-Jamie, California

“I found an article online today about your book and had to laugh to myself because I felt like it was meant for me.”

-Melissa, New York

When I stumbled across your website and started reading about your project, I had a quintessential ‘light bulb’ moment. While reading through the stories of other women like me, yours included, the reasons for my marriage and divorce (which I had long avoided thinking about) clicked in my head. It was so comforting to learn that so many other women had felt and gone through the same things I did.”

-Kaci, Oklahoma


My divorce drove me in a dark tunnel for a while not knowing when it was going to end.   Your book would be what I would’ve wanted to read when I was going through such turbulent times.”

-Michelle (location unknown)

I’d love the opportunity to contribute my story to a book specifically for women who have made the same tough decision to get married and divorced so young. Women going through this should know that others have gone through it and thrived because of it.”

-Nicole (location unknown)

“My mom sent me your (Huffington Post) article and it was like a breath of fresh air – there are other women in their 20s going through this!  I would love to meet some of them and share stories!”

-Grace, Pennsylvania

Thanks so much for writing this book! I just came across your website about what you’re doing, and it’s awesome. I just emerged from my own messy little divorce and I’m only 25! First off, I think this is great what you’re doing. There is no one else my age, in my friend group, going through this and this book is going to be so helpful to other girls in their 20s.”

-Michelle (location unknown)

I just joined your Facebook group! Seriously can’t wait for your book- getting divorced in your 20s pretty much blows, especially when it seems like all your friends are just starting their ‘happily ever after’ and yours is crashing down around you. Just glad to know there is others out there!”

–  Amber (location unknown)

“Without you and all the other girls I would have not made it this far this well. I love you all like family.”‘

-Danielle, Kentucky

“I found your page on Pinterest and it has been wonderful motivation for this single girl! I just want to say thank you for all of the ladies on here and especially Joelle for creating this. I still struggle and have my days where it’s hard to get through. The pictures, the posts and all the wonderful comments I read every day on this page motivate me to get through and know that everything will be okay.”

-Jackie, Tennessee

“I’ve cried enough tears and that’s not getting me anywhere. I have to be strong- there’s a life out there waiting for me. Thanks for letting me have somewhere to vent and get my thoughts out. ”

-Betty, Australia

“I have a crazy amount of respect for what you are doing with this Trash The Dress deal! This is an amazing support group! I can’t believe I’ve been battling the separation and divorce for almost a whole year now and have just stumbled across this. I’m a member for life and a huge fan! Proud to be a part of this! This is better therapy than any doctor can ever give!”

-Jessie, Texas

“Big fan of what you do. All the girls think life’s over when your marriage fails, but you have opened a forum and given people a place to rant, share and generally get through this and on to the other side.”

-Michelle, UK expat living in the United Arab Emirates