Divorce is tough.
The heartbreak, stress, and loss of confidence that many of us experience during divorce can all seem like a terrible nightmare, leaving us wondering if we’ll ever be stable or happy again.
That’s a lot of baggage to handle for even the strongest of us. But when hard feelings linger, remember that not all of divorce’s aftereffects are negative. For many, divorce can actually be a blessing in disguise.
Divorce gives us the chance to learn about ourselves.
Many of us view divorce as a loss. The years we spent throwing ourselves into our roles as spouses and making sacrifices can seem to be for nothing when it all ends. We may struggle with finding a new identify and purpose in our lives.
While this loss seems devastating at first, divorce can actually be the gift we never thought we needed. We now have the chance to really discover who we are.
As we depart from the chapter in our lives where we were somebody’s spouse, we now have chance to look within. Being on our own means we have time and energy to examine ourselves in a way that can be difficult to do when coupled. Being alone nudges us to ask the hard questions:
What do I want my new life to look like?
What current obstacles keep me from achieving that life?
What changes must I make to have the future and healthy relationships I want?
When we have the ability to look at our life through a different lens, we have the gift of better understanding ourselves—what we want, our triggers and obstacles, and how to clearly identify deal breakers so we can prevent any unhealthy patterns and dynamics that occurred in our last relationship.
Divorce made us survivors—and survivors can do anything.
Divorce is considered one of the most stressful and traumatic events in life—ranking with the death of a loved one, sickness, and unemployment. While most of us wouldn’t wish these events on anyone, consider this: because we made it through this trauma, we are survivors.
We don’t give ourselves enough credit for managing divorce. Think of all the incredible things we accomplished during that time. We navigated the legal labyrinth. We held our heads up high, even during our most painful, heartbreaking moments. We continued to live and work and take care of our children, and carried on with grace despite the fact that we were going through a mess.
If that isn’t facing our fears and proving we can do anything, I don’t know what is. We proved to ourselves that nothing in life is insurmountable—and this is what we need to remember the next time we’re being hard on ourselves.
Second chances in life are rare—we need to take the one that divorce gave us.
When we feel devastated, wondering if we’ll ever be able to move on after divorce, it is easy to forget that we are actually being given a second chance. It can be difficult to regard divorce that way when we are overwhelmed and hurt, but it’s important to remember the opportunities divorce has given us.
Whether we wanted it or not, divorce allows us a “do-over.” It gives us opportunities we never thought possible: finding a new definition of happy, being independent and answering only to ourselves, and growing and challenging ourselves on our own terms.
It’s not to say that accomplishing these things within a marriage is impossible, but life after divorce accelerates this opportunity, pulling us out of our comfort zones.
Even if the divorce grief and anger are still there, remember that a gift hides within. We are survivors who have been given an incredible chance for introspection, which can serve as a guide if we let it.
The end of marriage gives us a second chance that many others long for but may never receive. Embrace these divorce blessings as gifts—your new life is waiting.
Author: Martha Bodyfelt
Image: Bruce Mars/Pexels
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina