No one gets married thinking they will get divorced.
At least I hope not.
But it happens, and that’s ok. And it’s never fun. In fact, even if you’ve come to grips that divorce is the
best option for you and/or your spouse, it’s still heart-breaking. But here’s the thing, most people come out of it so much happier. Sounds hard to believe right? But after 15 years of working with divorcing couples, I know this to be true. Divorce gives us the opportunity to truly live with intention and create the life that we want.
We followed up with the very first people to use our platform back in 2018 and asked them – what life lessons or skills did you learn during or after the divorce process that have given you more perspective and/or joy? Here’s what we learned.
I am not my divorce
“I remember when all I could do was think (obsess) about my divorce — would the kids be ok? would I have enough money? …. and then one day I just accepted that I was not my divorce. My relationship worked for a really long time until it didn’t — and that’s ok. And at some point, I felt empowered.”
Forgiveness is about me — not you
“There came a moment when I least expected it, that I realized I spent more time resenting and being angrywith her, rather than focusing on myself. When I began spending energy on what I wanted and deserved, I stopped caring so much about her ‘earning my forgiveness.”
Pain invited me to revisit priorities
‘No one can fully escape grief — I learned the hard way. It stirred up more pain beyond the loss of my partner and best friend. It was like I was reliving every trauma I had ever experienced in my life. But at some point, I stopped concentrating on what I lost and instead focused on what was left. The grief guided me towards a life with more purpose and intention.”
Criticism doesn’t help a co-parenting relationship
“Our co-parenting relationship started off rocky. One thing I hated about our marriage was that I felt like he would do literally zero real parenting if I didn’t push him. I became a nag and I hated being that way but felt like I didn’t have a choice. I still wanted him to be different, even after we broke up. We stayed stuck in our old pattern – I’d criticize, he’d go on the defensive. I knew nothing would change unless I did something. I began focusing on the positive stuff the kids saw in him – meeting him ‘as he is’ lent itself to way more cooperation instead of domination. I found that the more I treated him as capable of becoming his higher self, he felt seen — which was the antidote (but not full-on cure) to ongoing conflict.”
Related: How to Co-parent on the Same Team
Starting from experience, not from scratch
“There was a moment or maybe a series of moments where I realized that the only way I could become the real me, was by changing my life. I changed the patterns, rituals and habits that were holding my back and/or no longer serving me in the moment. I love who I have become – the upgraded version of myself.
Guilt be GONE
“After we separated, I had so much more time to be alone with my thoughts. I realized I was so negative toward myself! It was really hard to redirect my thoughts. The more I practiced self-love, the more I was able to rewrite that internal script. I found peace in being “human” and stopped worrying so much about what other people thought of me and my decisions.”
Fear is the mind-killer
“Ugh, I spent so many nights worrying about every possible thing. Anything outside of my control scares the sh*t out of me – which is pretty much everything when going through divorce. It is still a constant battle, but I’ve gotten so much better at living with uncertainty.”