No one goes into marriage thinking they will get divorced. Most go in with bright hopes for the future and the dreams of happily ever after. For those of us who do go through a divorce or struggle through marriage, I feel we all learn different lessons that we can apply in our current relationships, or take into our next ones.
Relationships are hard. They take work. Just like a job, if you work at your relationships long enough, you will be rewarded with the fruits of your labor. If you fail to nurture your relationship, there may be someone who is willing to take your place to do the work. Don’t let anyone take your place if you feel your relationship is worth fighting for.
Sadly, some relationships we outgrow, or our partner outgrows us. We learn what we can and we either decide to tough it out or that it is time to move on. We are all different people with different sets of circumstances. Perhaps our circumstances lead us to where we are meant to be.
Here are some of the lessons learned:
1. Healing From a Broken Heart Takes Time
Give yourself some time to heal. The world can break everyone but don’t let it break you! Get to know yourself before you invite someone else to share your life with you. Don’t look for someone to make you happy. Learn to be happy on your own, then find someone to join you in your happiness. — Michael Clemente
2. Be Open To Change
Take the time to metamorphosize into the person you always wanted to be. Peopleget older, yet hopefully wiser. We experience loss of loved ones and the births of new lives. And, if we are lucky there are some glorious moments in between; cherish those moments as time passes by quickly.
“I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” — Diane von Fürstenberg
3. Life Is Never Harder Or Easier
We have all heard the old adage of the grass being greener on the other side. I have been told that sometimes there are just weeds on the other side, and you have to pull them out to see the beautiful grass.
Married people don’t have it easier than single people; they just have it different. When you go from being married to being single you just exchange one set of circumstances for another. Know that everyone has their own uniques set of circumstances and problems.
4. Nothing Feels As Good As Letting Go
Even though letting go can often be hard; the sooner we realize that letting go is for us and not them, then the sooner we are able to live the life we dream about. Letting go can help you free up space you’ve held hostage in your heart of bitterness and anger, and make room for love and happiness.
Letting go can help you reclaim parts of yourself that were lost (or never found). For Sandy Weiner, it meant that she was able to reach new heights. Dream bigger, live happier, and feel more fulfilled.
“You only harm yourself by holding a grudge. Learn to kill those with kindness who were once in your life. It really does work.” — Scott Wolcott
“Most of all, forgive yourself. We’re not all compatible. This does not make one person “bad”. Know when to let go and move on.” — Connie Bowers Cote
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi
5. Learn What Part You Played
There is always two sides to a story even then there can be three. Somewhere in between the hurt and the emotions— once you decide to examine your own pride and dissolve it in the face of adversity, no matter what the outcome you are a better person. Divorce is such a personal reflection of one’s self.
The force of failure and the detriment of self-worth that pride can become an overriding force, and be a detriment to yourself without the person even knowing it. -Raul Ramirez
6. Never Give Up On Your Dreams
Never Give Up On Your Dreams or blame others because you did not get to live your dream. If you really have a dream, do not wait for that special someone, do it on your own. Do not think if you never find that someone, your dreams don’t have the worth to happen with your single self. And definitely don’t be with someone as a means to a dream. It’s never worth it. -Shilo Santiago
7. Decide You Are Worth it and Commit
“Relationships require effort, prayer, a little luck and a great deal of commitment. You must commit to standing with and for each other, in good times and bad, and you must commit to staying true, on the parallel, and pull the other one back if needed. You must honor your spouse, always speak of them in the best light and show them love, every day. Finally, pray for them, constantly.” — Cathy Duncan
Marriage is the process of falling in and out of love over and over again. It is in those moments that you feel like you are out of love that you should remember the times you were in love, and could not imagine your life withouttimes will get you through the times you feel you can’t stand to be around them.
Remember you are more than just someone’s spouse, parent, or child. You were made for greatness!
The most important lesson perhaps was the one shared by Camilla Downs who shared: “No matter the circumstances, love is always the answer… and love starts with making the choice to love yourself.”
May you find your happiness in love, divorce, or marriage!
A version of this article was previously published on The Huffington Post and is republished here with permission from the author.
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