Why I Celebrate My Divorce

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toast friends sky glasses celebrate
Beth Jones celebrates her new life after divorce; here's why she's glad her husband left.

I also learned how to be in a functional relationship. I reviewed the missteps in my marriage, made a few more romantic mistakes after my divorce, and eventually realized that I was fine alone. 

Some women have a good radar for inappropriate men early on. I wasn't one of them.

As a female friend of mine put it (who was briefly married while very young), "I came into my own after my divorce. I was married to someone who was a terribly wrong match and now feel a freedom to set the bar higher and look for a partnership that's really good. My divorce was about freeing myself from society's expectations and learning to dictate my own expectations." In Defense Of Starter Marriage

Once I was "complete" within myself (in contrast to the sappy "You complete me" from Jerry Maguire, which implies we're all incomplete alone), I was more ready to find a truly "right" partner. I also pursued having a child on my own (though ultimately I ended up having a baby the old-fashioned way—even after inheriting a friend's frozen vial of unused donor sperm).

Now, a decade after my divorce, I'm remarried and have a 5-year-old son. I might have gotten lucky, but I also got smart.

After the heartbreak and self-blame brought on by my divorce, I realized that I could have a life that's better than I would have hoped for. But much of the good came after I received the hard gift of my divorce. For that, for getting shoved out of my former life, I raise a toast to my ex-husband: "Stuart, thanks. I might not have escaped on my own!"

Beth Jones is the co-author of Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood (Little, Brown & Co.)

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