Can beauty and failure ever really be used in the same sentence?
I wouldn’t wish a failed marriage on anyone, especially those with children. I truly believe it is one of the hardest, most traumatic experiences you can go through and then, on top of that, handle and cope with the years of aftermath from the split. The notion of planning your life with someone, only to have that plan go up in flames, is a challenge for even the strongest hearts to handle.
But I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason, and that if you look close enough, there is always a silver lining. I think from big mistakes come big lessons learned, and major failures lead to incredible success stories.
For some divorcees, their sadness morphs into anger and resentment. The easiest thing to do when you’re angry? Find something, or someone, to blame. These divorcees claim the victim role of the divorce. Nothing was their fault, they didn’t make any mistakes, and there is nothing they need to change about themselves…these people usually end up in another unhappy or unstable relationship, and may even experience a second, or third, divorce. The lucky ones, the smart ones, the humble ones…they view their divorce as a lesson learned. This failure uncovered every insecurity they had about themselves, and pointed out all their shortcomings. They use this tragedy as a blueprint for how they feel about love, how they treat their spouse, and how they feel about marriage altogether.
I’ve seen this first hand as a second wife. Naturally, in the beginning, I was curious as to the downfall of his first marriage. What went wrong? How could that happen? And although it was difficult to hear, his reflection on his first marriage was nothing short of incredible, humble, and admirable. He spoke of his mistakes, his bad choices, and habits he knew were toxic for the relationship. Then he described hers. He talked of the small snowflakes that started the snowball towards divorce, and never once placed all the blame on one person or situation. I could tell he had learned a great deal in the last year about himself, and what he wanted and knew he deserved. His admittance of his faults in the past was a beautiful thing. And I think it’s because of his self-reflection and realization of changes he needed to make within himself that makes him such an incredible and happy husband today.
Many divorcees struggle to grow from their past, and unfortunately get stuck in it. Years go by, and they are still playing the blame game and will tell anyone who will listen how innocent they were in the downfall of the marriage. To me, that seems like an exhausting conversation to have over and over. Instead, I encourage newly single parents to vent to their closest friends, and then put it behind them. The world is full of wonderful people and wonderful experiences. Don’t dwell on the biggest and baddest blip on your timeline. Give yourself the gift of recovery.
A failed marriage is one of the hardest events I think anyone can go through. But it can have a beautiful silver lining. Divorce smacks you in the face with harsh words and accusations that showcase all your worst qualities. If you can, take that hurt and turn it into motivation. Close that chapter in your life, and open an entirely new book. Because of the path my life has been led down, I have made many friends who are divorced. And I have seen some of them thrive in such an incredible way that I have literally never seen them happier. When marriage no longer is a positive force in your life, the power it has to weigh down your spirit and your potential is enormous. Breaking free from those chains, albeit not what you have in mind when you say “I do”, can be the first step towards happiness, and a new happily ever after.