It is coming up on a year since my marriage crumbled and in that time I have learned a lot about the person I am, the person I was, and the person I want to be. I recognize mistakes that I have made and I’ve gotten very clear on what is important to me in a relationship and what I value in other people. Here is a little of what I now know…
10 Hard Lessons I Learned From My Divorce
1. Some people do what is right, others do what is easy… It is important to me to surround myself with people who live by high moral standards and operate out of love and generosity, not selfishness.
2. You can’t be with someone because of what you know their potential to be, you must love them for who they are, right now. If that is not enough, move on. Some people will strive to reach goals for themselves, others will settle for mediocrity. It is important to me to surround myself with people who want to learn and grow and evolve…to be better and do better.
3. Love is choice not a feeling. Feelings come and go, they ebb and flow with the ups and downs of life. We make a choice to be faithful or not, to protect our loved ones or not, to nurture our relationships or not. Love is an action word. It’s important to me to surround myself with people who take responsibility for their life instead of just letting it happen to them.
4. Monogamy is only difficult for those trying to fill voids in their soul. It is never about the person they cheated on or with. The grass isn’t greener on the other side because wherever you go, there you are. It is important to me to surround myself with people who are actively trying to fill their voids in ways that heal not destroy.
5. Always putting yourself last is a mistake. As women, we tend to put our husbands, kids, families, friends, jobs, and household obligations ahead of our own needs/wants. There are times when this is necessary but it’s important we don’t leave ourselves off our own to-do lists.
6. You’ll spend the same amount of energy and emotions ending your marriage as you would in working through your problems. If it’s fixable, fix it before the ‘deal breakers’ happen. If it’s not fixable, end it with integrity.
7. Kids are resilient and they can come out of a divorce feeling loved and important if that’s what they are shown. Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of the kids does nothing but show them what love is not.
8. Even if you have lost all respect for someone and the very thought of them simultaneously hurts your heart and fills you with rage…you can still show kindness in front of the kids for the sake of co-parenting. I’m working on forgiveness. It’s hard. I will get there.
9. It is never more clear who truly cares about you, than when tragedy strikes. I’m so grateful for the friends and family that surrounded me during the most difficult time in my life. You listened and encouraged. You laughed and cried and prayed. You never let me feel lonely, even when I needed to be alone. My wine glass and my heart were always full and I’ve never felt more loved.
10. And this I will take with me as I dive back into the dating pool…If someone is always telling you what they think you want to hear, instead of their truth…run. Run fast.
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