What If Divorce Could Be A Blessing?
“My divorce was the greatest gift I ever gave to myself, and everything — literally — that has come after it has been an ever-blooming garden… It was a golden treasure of a present that I gave to my life, and while it was, on one hand, the worst thing I ever went through, when it was done and I processed everything I needed to process, everything good happened to me. Everything good happened after that.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
My divorce wasn’t painful. What was painful was feeling trapped in a relationship that didn’t work, and constantly waiting for something to change. Constantly waiting for the right moment to say something that I knew would break my husband’s heart.
Here’s what I learned from that debacle:
There is no such thing as “the right time.” It’s never the right moment to tell someone you don’t want to be married to them anymore, but you can waste many years waiting for it to show up. This is not to say you should act impulsively, and declare that it’s over because he didn’t do the dishes. But once you know — and trust me, you will know – just speak your truth.
You have to take responsibility for your happiness. You can shirk responsibility and play games, look for signs, consult psychics, and ask all your friends, but ultimately you are just procrastinating. The amount of suffering and joy you feel is entirely within your control. Rocking the boat and making a change is always uncomfortable, but what is more important to you: maintaining the status quo or enjoying your life?
The hardest thing about getting a divorce is the way you judge yourself. I didn’t care what other people thought about me getting a divorce. I cared what I thought. I felt so much shame because I blamed myself for having picked the “wrong” partner. I blamed myself for not seeing our distinct incompatibility from the start, and that made me feel insecure, uncertain about my own judgment. But life is unpredictable, just like people. You can live with someone for 20 years and be stunned by what they say one evening. None of us really knows anybody else. The best we can do is soak up as much joy as we can, and make adjustments when we need to.
Staying in a relationship that you know is over is selfish and lazy. It’s selfish because you’re staying so you don’t look like the bad guy, and it’s selfish because you are preventing them from meeting someone who could love them the way they really are. Someone who would love to create a life with them. Someone who wouldn’t wake up every morning regretting their decision. It’s lazy because it’s the path of least resistance, and nothing positive ever comes of that. Good things happen when we make tough decisions. Period.
The universe rewards you for taking risks and doing the right thing. I am so much happier now. Everything that has happened since my divorce has felt like a little blessing from the great beyond. My life has blossomed in untold and beautifully unexpected ways. When you make yourself a priority, you become a magnet for the most magical experiences.
If you’re on the fence about your marriage, stop looking for signs. Stop Googling it. You know what you really want to do. Free yourself and your partner from the misery of only committing halfway. Go and live your fucking life… With your whole heart.
Photo by Made U Look Photography.