June 6

5 Reasons Why Your Divorce is a GOOD Thing

June 6, 2019

I’ve been divorced for a little over five years now. And while I still get a little emotional around what would have been my wedding anniversary; it’s because my life has changed so dramatically and in so many beautiful ways. I’m emotional with gratitude for the experiences I’ve lived, both before and after. I’m not sure I could have dreamed of the life (or love) I experience now, when I was married. It seemed down right impossible.

My former husband and I did our divorce in a really healthy and respectful way. We have a co-parenting relationship that makes me super proud. I know this isn’t everyone’s story. I’ve had divorce lawyers wide-eyed with jaws to the floor when I tell our story.

Divorce can be challenging. Life goals and dreams are disrupted. Your “person” is no longer yours in the same sense. All of this can be fear inducing and heart breaking (even if the divorce is amicable and mutually beneficial). For me the hardest part was not letting go of the “now”, it was releasing the dreams I had built in my head and heart for a future that would no longer exist. 

It took me a while to be able to build the list below. Depending on how fresh your wounds are; it might take a while for all of it to sink in, but I promise you, over time, it will.  

Reason 1: “This or something better…”. Let’s face it. No one gets divorced because things are going swimmingly. Regardless of who instigated the divorce, or even their reasons why, I’d much rather be somewhere I’m wanted, loved, honored and appreciated than anywhere I’m not. Yes, there’s pain. There’s also release from all of the animosity, frustration and “bending” you did as a couple to make life work. My favorite coping mantra for situations like this is “This or something better”. Meaning, if it’s not this thing I love (loved), then I get the chance for it to be even better. Take a deep breath into that one. 

Reason 2: I call this the “no more socks on the floor” relief. Make a list of all of the annoying little things or habits that your former spouse did that drove you nuts. Those little annoying things that you just “didn’t bother with” because either when you tried it didn’t make a difference, or you finally gave up after the millionth request. For me, it was socks. My former husband’s socks were everywhere. Under the desk in the office. On the floor in front of the TV. Under the kitchen table. On the carpet, in the closet – mere inches from the laundry basket. Frankly, they were where ever he decided to take them off, with his feet, at the end of his day.  It drove me nuts. No more husband? No more sock problem. {Side note: My former husband is an incredible human being. I will forever love him because he’s an integral part of my life’s story. Early in the divorce these little things calmed me down when the sadness set in. Think of the small reliefs as technique vs. a long term strategy. Not going to lie though, I’m still grateful to not have to deal with the socks.}

Reason 3: YOU become a priority! Depending on your experience of love and marriage, this will vary, but work with me here. When’s the last time you got to decide what you want to eat for dinner without consulting anyone else? When’s the last time you got to stay out later than would normally be “ok” just because you were having fun, without having to explain it to anyone (or worse being accused of doing something wrong/inappropriate)? When’s the last time you got to do something extravagant for yourself without having to justify the expenditure (be it money, time, etc.)?

Depending on how long you’ve been hitched for, there are so many things that get molded to find harmony in a relationship that sometimes, you don’t even realize you’ve given your desires over completely to the other person, until someone asks you how you want your eggs and you suddenly realize you have no idea how YOU like them cooked.

For the first time in what might feel like a lifetime; you’ve got the ability to choose for yourself. Scary? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely! Welcome home to yourself, darling. 

Reason 4: Space to learn who you are NOW. Again, independent of how long you’ve been coupled, in and around that time, you’ve grown and changed. Who you are IS different than who you were when you committed to your partner. Scientifically, this is true for your physical body, but it’s also true for your emotions, your heart, your brain…all of you. 

Maybe the following is less true for you but most married people I know (and it was true for me) have become something of a “combined” identity with their spouse. While both people continue to grow and evolve, it happens together. Individuality is key to what brought you together in the first place so this evolutionary merger, besides likely undermining your relationship, is also detrimental to each individual in the relationship over time. 

Kahlil Gibran says this best in The Prophet: “And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Are you the cypress or the oak? It’s time to find out. Take stock, not only of your growth so far but where you want to go next. It’s a blank page…what are you going to write on it?

Reason 5: You get to fall in love again. If you’re fresh in the post-divorce dating scene, chances are this one might cause some heartburn. It doesn’t make it any less true. Butterflies, first dates, etc. all get to happen again. The best part? This time you’ve got the knowledge, wisdom, experience  and opportunity to know exactly what you want (or make a concerted effort to try eggs in as many ways as they can be cooked, so you can answer that question (Thank you, Julia Roberts.)).

My point is, through every relationship I’ve had post-divorce; from the nightmare first date stories that became topics for my Toastmaster speeches to the toe-curling, romantic, dancing in the moonlight guy who disappointed a few weeks later with an unauthorized naked photo of me, to the quiet sensation of new love rooting in my heart and blooming spectacularly –  forever changing my relationship game; I’ve spanned the whole spectrum. And while not all of these experiences were note-worthy they were all necessary. Necessary in my personal evolution. 

It was necessary for me to get divorced so I could bloom into who I am today. The same holds true for you, darling. 

I stand by the philosophy that my soul didn’t come to this planet to have a specific job, or marry a specific human. My soul is here to learn and grow. Each experience I have in this human lifetime is a part of that growth. And, as with all things, I can fight it and make myself miserable, or I can embrace it, arms wide and heart open and trust that on the other side, dazzling beauty and soul-nourishing love are waiting. 

Trust that things are unfolding for you, too, exactly as they’re meant to. Trust that what you’re seeking is just around the corner. Trust yourself. 

 Missing one daughter, but notice the joy on every single face in this photo…
Missing one daughter, but notice the joy on every single face in this photo…

About the author

Lani Catherine is an energy healer and mother who left a 20-year corporate career to dedicate her life to helping others find their path to their life’s purpose and a healed sense of wholeness. She specializes in helping people overcome obstacles and find a sense of harmony + flow.

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