Immediately following my own divorce, it was hard to find the silver lining in the situation.
At the time, my then five month old son and I had to move in with my parents. My Mother graciously stepped in to take care of him full time while I continued to work and get back on my feet. We used to live in the city, so living with my parents now out in the suburbs made my commute a stifling hour and a half each way. I only really got to see my son an hour each day before it was time for him to go to bed.
On my long commutes, I had more time than necessary to be in my own head. My thoughts ran non-stop and were deafening. “Am I doing the right thing?”… “Will we be ok?”… “Maybe we can patch things up, for our son?”… “What should I do next?”… it didn’t end.
It was a really difficult and trying time for me. However, it did get easier. As time moved on, my thoughts started to calm down. I came to realize that my divorce wasn’t a failure, but a necessary part of my life story and personal development.
For those who are currently in the process of your divorce, here’s a few things to keep in mind as you go through the process. Hopefully they’ll help you view your experience a bit differently.
Your Relationship Helped Make You Who You Are Today
Had you not met, fallen in love, and married this person, you’d be a very different person than who you are today. They contributed to making you the way you are. In the event the relationship also bared children, they are also responsible for giving you that gift.
This is something to be grateful for, whether your experience was good or bad. It is up to us to then determine what lesson’s we’ve learned from them and how to apply this to our new lives as we move forward.
Love Shouldn’t Hurt, If It Does You’re Doing it Wrong
Love shouldn’t be conditional. It should be given with no expectations, unconditionally between both parties. It shouldn’t matter if things you both do annoy each other, in fact you should still appreciate all those stupid little things about each other, because they make you who you are.
When you have children, this is even more important. We as children model our future relationships using our parent’s relationship as a model. If yours was of constant discord and fueled with regular arguments, it’s wasn’t setting a good example for them to follow as they grow up.
When a marriage goes wrong… it’s usually because somewhere along the way the love started to hurt. It doesn’t mean the love didn’t exist, it just means it’s not right type of love for the both of you. By parting ways, you each have an opportunity to find a love that’s a better match. I promise you when you find it, you’ll realize why your past love didn’t work, and you’ll be glad it didn’t.
You’re Turning a Chapter, Not Closing a Book
Just because this relationship didn’t work, it doesn’t mean you’ll never have another successful relationship again. Think of your entire life as a book, and each phase in it as a chapter. The end of your marriage is just the turning of a chapter, not the closing of your entire book.
Your life didn’t end just because the relationship ended. Take your time in reviewing the chapter as long as you need to in order to fully understand what you have taken from it. But once that’s been done, move onto your next chapter having some excitement for what’s soon to be written in the next chapter for you.
By Letting Go, You Open Up to New Opportunities
When you start to let go, you’ll see that new opportunities will appear for you that were not a possibility while in the relationship. Maybe you loved to travel, and your partner didn’t. Or you always wanted to take a dance class but your partner wasn’t too keen on the idea. Or perhaps you find yourself being glanced at by someone really good-looking from across the bar. Now is the time to start to explore and live your life the way you had always wanted to, but had limited yourself due to the commitments you made to your partner. Not many people get a chance to start their life over. Once you embrace it, it’s actually pretty exciting.
As time passes, it will become clearer and clearer the purpose your marriage had in your life, and what you were supposed to learn from it. You also will eventually not view it as an obstacle to get through, but see it as an opportunity to recreate yourself in a way you never imagined. It gets easier, I promise.
How have you started to think about your divorce differently? Tweet me or leave a comment below.