It can be easy to think of our life in terms of a series of successes and failures. And while we recognize that there is something to be learned from our failures, we are certainly in no hurry to add another failure to our personal scorecard of life. When it comes to divorce, however, many of us are too quick to relegate it to the failure column. In many ways, divorce is not a failure. Here’s why:
Divorce is Not a Failure
- Divorce allows you to rediscover and/or redefine who you are. Your divorce is not the end, but rather the beginning of the next chapter of your life. And the person who embarks on this chapter can be the most clearly defined you of your entire life. Divorce forces you to evaluate and to know yourself – recognizing both strengths and weaknesses- and to assess where your priorities lie in life when moving forward.
- There was good amidst the bad. Unfortunately, your memories are likely tainted by the way your marriage ended. Those negative emotions often prevent a fair and balanced assessment of the reality of your relationship. By identifying the happier moments or events, you can recognize that bigger picture rather than reduce the entire marital experience into a negative one.
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- Things end. As we change and our priorities shift, portions of our life will come to an end – whether by our choice or by outside forces. That doesn’t mean we have failed. Something that was right for us at one time, may not be the best option or path for us.
- Better than the alternative. If divorce is considered the failure, then staying in an unhealthy marriage will certainly not be a success. In reality, the failure would be remaining in a relationship that prevents us from reaching our goals or being able to embrace the person we are or want to be.
- Your children. There is no more powerful testimonial to the success of a marriage than the children who are born from it. Many people would not forgo the marital hardship if it meant never having their kids.
It is up to you to choose how you will perceive your divorce and its results. If you label it a failure, you are weighing yourself down with a negativity that can cloud your judgment. By avoiding that perception, you are free to move confidently and permanently into the future that lies ahead.