20 Things Divorce Taught Me

butterfly gardenDivorce teaches you a lot about yourself. About your ex. About your family and friends. And life. In the midst of the crazy that swirls around getting divorced, you kind of have to stop yourself -- stop the spinning -- and take it all in. Every hurt. Every ounce of liberation. Every everything. It can reveal things you never realized and unearth truths about yourself you need to face and more you need to embrace.

It's not always easy to do. In fact, it's quite hard even to just put on your bravest, happiest face. Paint a pretty picture, people will think you are okay. That's what I was guilty of in my marriage. I learned. And am still learning -- good and bad things. Things I'm working on, things I'm handling, things I'm embracing, and there are things I'm even truly happy about. Here are some of the things that divorce has taught me.

  1. I'm not afraid to take chances. Because everything is chance. Everything has risk. Why would I deny myself the possibility of something and instead choose the possibility of nothing?
  2. I'm not afraid to change my mind. 
  3. I'm not afraid to listen to my heart. Really, really listen to it.
  4. Laughter is incredible. Truly. I'd say it's underrated. I didn't do it nearly enough in the past. It's medicinal.
  5. Some people are afraid of you when you tell them you are divorced. It's like they think it's contagious. Or that you want to have sex with their husband.
  6. I don't want to have sex with your husband. Maybe yours though. I'm kidding! Remember: laughter! But you can tell me about how awesome sex is with your husband so I can live variously and know that marriage is not a sex life death sentence.
  7. There are also people who think they know what's best for you and aren't afraid to make you feel awful about the mistakes they feel you've made.
  8. Sometimes those people are your family. And it hurts. But you heal, and empathize, and remember how awful you thought divorce was when you thought your marriage was a happy forever kind of one.
  9. Divorce isn't awful. It doesn't have to be.
  10. I can't worry about what everyone else thinks.
  11. Healing may take time.
  12. But when going through the healing, I realized I'm a stronger person than I thought I was.
  13. Patience.
  14. Therapy is amazing.
  15. So is sex after divorce.
  16. There were ex-boyfriends who were still thinking about me ... in that way. And that feels nice after feeling invisible.
  17. Some relationships have an expiration date.
  18. I didn't fail. As I mentioned above, some relationships just have an expiration date.
  19. I believe in myself. Again.
  20. I still believe in love. Maybe even now more than ever.

Can you relate? Which ones resonate most? What would you add?

Image via Michaela Pereira/Flickr

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