5 Love Lessons I Learned From Being Divorced TWICE Before Age 35

divorce lessons
Contributor
Heartbreak

What works and doesn't work in marriage — and why you shouldn't be ashamed.

I'm not at all ashamed to admit that experienced two divorces before turning 35.

Though the circumstances of each divorce were different, and going through them was difficult and painful each time in their own way, looking back on it now, I'm actually really glad that I went through them. What I received in the process were two, really great educations which have enabled me to grow tremendously as a person. So, here are just a few things things that I've learned from both of my divorces.

1. Take some blame. It's easy to blame the other person for your misery. But the truth is that if the relationship was no longer working, the reality, whether you want to admit it or not is that you both were equally part of the problem. Evaluate what went on so that you can apply the lessons to your next relationship.

2. Give your spouse his/her personal space.  It's amazing how possessive of our partners we can become, even if we genuinely don't mean to be, and often we're not even aware we're doing it. Ofent, we have the urge to keep tabs on where they're going and what they're doing.  If your spouse has been unfaithful, this instinct can become stronger. But trust is a key component in a relationship.  When you invade each other's personal space, you send the message that you don't trust your partner.  And that can kill a relationship.

3. You will survive. When you go to bed at night and wake up the next morning still feeling a tremendous emotional hurt, you may start to believe that you'll never get over your divorce. You may become cynical about the entire institution of marriage. But time does really heal all pain, and you will emerge from your divorce a much stronger person. As philosopher Frederick Nietzsche famously said; "that which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."

4. It's perfectly okay if your marriage didn't work out. Arriving at the point where you can accept that your marriage ended is a key step in the healing process. No one decides to get married with the conscious intent of getting divorced. Unfortunately, our culture as well as many religions tell us that divorce is bad. We're taught to view it as a failure. But many things that happen that cause a couple to grow apart are unintentional. In my opinion, it's better to end a marriage that wasn't meant to be or is making you miserable sooner than later.

5. Great marriages don't just happen unless you choose to make them happen. You can't control what has happened in the past, but you can control the meaning you attach to it — how you choose to feel about your marriage and divorce emotionally and how you choose to react to everything that takes place as a result. If you want to experience a great relationship and/or marriage in the future, you have to give your all to be part of creating it. Great marriages don't just magically happen, despite what we might see in the movies.

All of this means that you need to get back on the horse. Go out and meet new people. Have some fun. Eventually, you will find another relationship.  And, if you choose to apply the lessons that I've shared with you from my own experiences, your future marriage will be even better, stronger, healthier, functional, and more fulfilling than the last one.

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