Sometimes we do not know how much a decision will impact us until it is done. This is the case for me, and my divorce. It has undoubtedly changed my life, and me. But I am not here to retell the horror of divorce. Instead, I would like to share 5 important lessons I have learnt after divorce.
1) We are divorced, but we are not enemies
Just because we are divorced, we don't have to become enemies. Especially, when there are children involved. It is understandable that emotions may run volatile before, during and after divorce. The burning sting at the mere mention of his or her name may take a while to subside, but always choose to rise above it. This is not easy, I know. It took me many years to become genuinely civil and courteous to my ex-husband (and his girlfriends). But it's well worth it. Because moving on should be a compassionate, healing and meaningful experience. It should not be fuelled by anger, or tinged with vengeful ploys. There is enough heartache as it is. Moving on, in the real sense, allows our hearts to smile, and even sing again. With the absolution of hostility, peace can come home to the core of our being, and harmony can finally return to everyone's households. You'll be happier, your kids will be happier and your ex will no longer annoy you.
2) Just because if didn't work with our ex, does not mean it won't work at all
Our failed marriage is not THE failure in our lives. It does not render us unlovable and unworthy of anyone else's care or love. Just because it did not work with our ex, it does not mean that we will never love or have a meaningful relationship with someone else again. Our divorce shows that we have a great deal more to learn about ourselves, and about what we truly value in life. The same applies to our ex. Just because we do not want to be with him or her, it does not mean that he or she can't find happiness with someone else. In fact, someone else could very well bring out the best in him or her even though we could not. The same can be said of us too. As the famous saying goes - just because our ex does not know how to love us in the right way, it does not mean that someone else won't. So, let go of the past and the false expectations. Instead, become someone who can be loved and will be loved.
3) Marriage is not for everyone, but marriage is still beautiful
Don't let the experience of divorce leave a permanent bitter imprint in our hearts or minds. I know it is easier said than done. But seriously, why would we allow a bad experience turn us against the idea of love, dating, relationships or even marriage. Our failed marriage does not define us, love, or relationships. If anything, our marriage and divorce reveal who we really are and were. If we're completely honest with ourselves, we would be able to see what went wrong and why. There are still plenty of good marriages around us to illustrate why they do work. It's true that not everyone is cut out for marriage. But that does not necessarily make marriage bad. It is people who break up marriages. Marriage itself is still a beautiful foundation. At this day and age, people are free to choose and build the relationship platform that best suits them. For some, it can be marriage. For others, it may be something else. Whatever it is, make the right choice for you. Then work on building it with love, grace and mutual understanding.
4) It's good to get along with the In-Laws/Out-Laws
If only I had understood this well before my own marriage was solemnised, things might have gone differently. If we do not make an effort to get along with our in-laws or potential in-laws, it is like deliberately rigging a time bomb and waiting for it to explode. Because no matter how you want to slice it, your in-laws will be part of your family after you say, "I do". If you don't like your in-laws, sparks will fly. And I do not mean the nice ones. Things like visiting your in-laws will become a pain and you'll hate it whenever you have to go over, or when they come over for visits. Communicating with them will feel like you're being massaged by sand paper. There'll be this thorny issue between you and your in-laws that might go from forced civility to irreconcilability. And it's never pretty when your spouse is forced to pick sides. Either way, your spouse will be crucified. After all, they are your spouse's parents. They are part and parcel of being married to him or her. So, for the sake of greater peace and harmony, always try one's best to get along with the in-laws. Especially if there are children involved. Your kids will still have to visit their grandparents even though they have become your Out-Laws.
5) Become a better person than you were
As I have mentioned before, the marriage may have failed and the divorce may have been awful but we survived. Do not become that angry, resentful person or unhappy soul who has resigned from the world of love. Please do all you can to heal and become better than the person you were. Because you deserve to evolve, and grow into the person you've always aspired to be. You deserve a better tomorrow, no matter how tragic your past may be. So, get up, dress nice, and show up. Get healthier, or learn a new skill, if you like. Do anything that helps you get over the trauma, sadness and pain. Don't let them weigh you down any longer than they already have. Focus on investing in yourself, and your future. Give yourself the best gift of all by becoming the best of you. Your life will definitely change for the better.
This is why I write and blog about the Art of Fearless Living. It helps me to continually work on my progress, and not regress. It took me 5 years to understand what adds value and meaningful to my life. Then, it took another 5 years or so to get to where I am meant to be. Every step reveals something deeper, and takes me higher. There is so much to discover and uncover along this incredible journey. Suffice to say, the learning and evolving never ends.
As every individual is unique, it may take you weeks, months or years to feel good again. Rest assured, you'll get yourself to where you want to be. Right now, you are where you need to be. With every sunrise, awaken with the knowledge that you are not the person you were. You are on your way to becoming a more complete and better you. You will bear witness to your amazing journey, and own your greatness. In time, you may even believe in love again.
All my best wishes and love,