I am a believer that beauty can emerge from ugly places. I say that because I know. It isn’t just the story of countless men and women who I admire, but it is also a facet of my own story. The most miraculous things have been able to come out of the challenges, heartbreak and loss that have occurred in my own life. It is why I am a proponent in sharing your story. There was a time when I worried what people would say or think. But then my focus shifted. I realized that my challenges have, in a sense, equipped me with increased compassion, a more caring heart and humility. And as a result I desire to help others who have experienced or are experiencing something similar. Whether it is encouraging them or simply reminding them that they are not the only one is how I choose to use my voice. And in doing so, suddenly it felt like all of this had a purpose. I learned and grew in the process, but I was helping others too. And if one person could find strength in my story, then perhaps it was worth it.
My divorce is one of those things. A difficult situation, a time in my life filled with such uncertainty and worries, that played a role in the reshaping of me as a woman. By the time my divorce finalized, I had moved beyond a place of being bitter. Instead, I allowed the situation to help make me better. Beautiful things came out of what on the outside might have been perceived as an end. A new sense of hope, self-worth, and determination already in the works long before the last of the paperwork had been signed was evident. My life was different now — not worse, but better.
In retrospect, I believe my divorce made me an even better wife to my husband than I would have been. Now, I’m not saying that you have to have an ex-spouse to be a great spouse. What I am saying is that you have the ability to make the most of a difficult situation. You can decide to allow your divorce to make you bitter, or you can allow it to make you better. Here’s how mine did the latter:
8 Ways Your Divorce Can Make You a Better Partner 1 of 9
Don't let your divorce make you bitter. Instead, allow it to make you better. Here are 8 ways my divorce made me a better partner the second time around.
I appreciated the gift I had been given even more 2 of 9
I'd like to think of myself as an appreciative person in general, but I do believe that having rain is what causes us to appreciate the sunshine. Being with Mr. Wrong can certainly help you appreciate Mr. Right a lot more. (Photo of my husband and me before our 1st official date!)
I learned what I really wanted in a spouse 3 of 9
As I shared before, being with someone who isn't right for you can help you figure out what it is you do and don't want in a partner. I knew what qualities I wanted the person I settled down with to have. I also knew what things were and weren't deal breakers for me.
I decided that I was willing to work for it 4 of 9
If you've been married before, you realize that marriage is a lot of work. While showing up is a crucial aspect (and very important), it isn't enough. I knew that if I found myself in a serious relationship again, I was going to give it my all. I also decided that the person I married would be deserving of my all.
I became more optimistic 5 of 9
For me, this was a choice. I decided that I wouldn't totally write off marriage (ok, I admit I did go through an "I'm never going to get married phase"). But from where I stood after what I went through, the future looked awfully bright. I was no longer in a situation I didn't want to be in. And because things had felt so bad, I just knew I had to be on the up and up. My outlook during that time in my life had changed significantly. I was determined to make the most of the gift I had been given in the form of a second chance, another opportunity to find love (or let love find me) and make my dreams come true.
I matured 6 of 9
There is a maturity that comes with going through something like a divorce. Parenthood and marriage served me a huge portion of "grow the hell up." And I did. I had to learn how to navigate life and not let challenges or petty things throw me off course. I had to learn to pick my battles and realize that some things just aren't worth me investing and expending my energy in. Life in general can do this, but my divorce coupled with parenthood caused me to do it sooner.
I honor commitment even more 7 of 9
I fully understand what marriage means, and making the decision to remarry wasn't something that was done without a lot of thought and prayer. I value commitment and meant every word uttered to my husband as I stated my vows. I would never do something to violate my husband's trust.
I learned to make the most of now 8 of 9
I realized that at the end of the day I just wanted to be happy. And I wanted my daughter to be happy. I didn't want to waste any of our time being in a relationship that wasn't fulfilling or that didn't show signs of any promise. I wanted to enjoy the time I had with the people I love.
I became more accepting 9 of 9
I learned the importance of accepting people for who they are rather than trying to push them to be who you want them to be. Accepting people for who they are doesn't mean you are putting up with crap (if someone is serving you crap you may need to do some serious thinking and make some changes). It means you believe people when they show you who they are (good or bad). You understand that you can't change them. And if you decide that you want to be in a relationship with them, you love them and accept them for who they are now. Not who you hope they'll become. We are all flawed. But how great is it when you meet someone who loves you regardless of your imperfections?
Have any of you remarried? Can you think of ways it has made you better as opposed to bitter?
Photo Source: Personal Photos