Years ago, when I was in the middle of a divorce, I remembered thinking I'd never be happy again.
My life was in such turmoil and I was so consumed by sadness and anger that I couldn't imagine any future where I would be over my bad marriage or divorce, let alone be able to learn, heal, grow and move on.
If you are preparing to start the divorce process or are currently in the midst of your own divorce, you can probably relate!
But I want you to know that there is a such thing as a positive divorce.
And things eventually did get better in my life.
Once my divorce was far behind me, I chose to spend a lot of time reflecting on my marriage and everything that happened.
And I learned some valuable life lessons that made me stronger as a person, happier and more in tune with my authentic self.
I realized that I am the only person responsible for my own happiness.
And that I will only attract a loving relationship when I learn to love myself first.
These were just some of the many positive things about divorce I learned. And these lessons were life changing.
I am truly grateful for all of them.
I recently asked a few of our former divorce mediation clients to share some positive things about divorce they learned now that they, too, are divorced.
I hope their insights will help give you faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that while it is no doubt extremely painful to go through a divorce, good can come from the bad if you let it.
There is a such thing as a positive divorce!
P.S. - All of these people have given me permission to publish their answers, but because divorce mediation is a confidential process, I am only using their initials to protect their identities.
What are some positive things about divorce you discovered now that your divorce is behind you?
Before the divorce, every day had its challenges, but when I got divorced they multiplied twice over.
I have to be and do everything myself and YouTube tutorials have become my best friend. I remind myself often that post-divorce, I may flounder a little every now and then, but eventually, I find my way.
It is a growing and learning process beyond my imagination. It is my experience which is filled with endless victories.
I am far more productive! I am able to make decisions without second guessing myself - my relationship with my girls is 100% better - I have never felt better!
I love my kids and a divorce was actually something that made us better parents.
I learned a very important health lesson through my divorce.
I’ve suffered with depression most of my life and I learned that my unhappiness wasn’t just the depression - it was a mix of a very unhappy, unhealthy marriage and depression.
Once we separated, I learned that I could manage my depression much easier by removing unhealthy, negative people from my life.
I can use my positive energy now to take care of myself better.
I re-learned just how strong I am. I can do anything and do it well and I don’t need a partner to validate me.
Now I am free of emotional pain, hostility, and anger. I am now able to move forward knowing I did the best possible for my family.
Yes, I did make several financial compromises to keep the settlement amicable, however, I gained immeasurable value in the peaceful, loving family life that I have preserved.
I learned that I have to make decisions for myself and do things for me, not in a selfish way, though.
I previously made decisions based on what I thought I should do by society's standards and did things that I thought family and friends would take delight in.
Now I've found things that I enjoy for me.
In a lot of ways it's a process of rediscovering myself and who I am as an individual.
The biggest thing I learned about myself is I cannot go through life without making the time to spend with my spouse/special someone.
My ex and I put our children at the top priority, especially at their younger ages and rightfully so. However, we also put off the time we should have been spending focused on our relationship as a couple.
That is how we started our lives together in the first place. Forgetting to set aside time together and putting the kids before our plans is a mistake I will make sure doesn't happen again. The small moments like just going grocery shopping, having coffee in the morning and talking, watching a movie - just the 2 of us, are important.
I always thought, because so many of those opportunities were put off, for whatever reason, the time we needed to spend together had to be BIG or I used the excuse that we would have our couple time back as the children got older.
I know now that it is so important to speak what you truly desire and important that those moments, no matter how small, need to happen in order to have the relationship we all dream of. There has to be a balance to that.
I learned to be a more open communicator and to focus on listening vs trying to fix.
I learned not to focus on fighting the little things, to go easy and pay attention.
To own the moment.
I learned what happiness feels like again.
The burden lifted by being divorced is so much greater than the perceived weight of guilt of getting divorced.
I have also learned my kids are way smarter than I gave them credit for. They may have really disliked the divorce, but they saw the issues and understand them.
I realize how independent I used to be, and how dependent I became over the last 10 years.
Now I believe in myself and my strength.
I CAN take care of myself and my family on my own.
I learned (and am still learning) that life can be fun!
That while yes, sometimes it seems lonely to come home and not have a relationship with someone to ask you about your day, that it’s all just surface.
There were a lot of positive things about divorce in my situation. The biggest one is that I truly feel happy now!
You don’t need anyone else to validate you, you do it yourself!
We, humans, are way stronger than we give ourselves credit for and as long as we put our mind to something, we are fully capable of doing it!
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