Divorce is not easy for everyone. The ideal that we created in our head is crumbling. This is a strong and sharp slap in the face of reality. This is the moment of truth—the kind of truth that we often don’t want to accept. But ultimately, the best way out of this is to learn from divorce. The list of lessons I learned from my own divorce is endless. But there are three important lessons that have helped me become the woman I am today.
Love Lesson #1: Love comes in many forms.
I learned that love comes in many forms. And not all love is meant for a romantic partnership. My ex-husband and I loved each other deeply, it just wasn’t romantic. Our love languages and nature were different, and we couldn’t find a happy medium that we both understood. We both studied yoga and some spiritual practices, so we respected each other and wanted to do what was in the interests of the other. I knew I wasn’t right for him, and vice versa.
So it was better to move on when we were still young (27 years old) and had a spark of life left. Nothing hurtful or traumatic happened in the five year relationship, so during mediation we were both willing to give the other what we had. It was a beautiful gesture with which we gave love. I learned to love and let go.
Love Lesson #2: I have a responsibility to stay true to myself in order for the relationship to be successful.
In most of my previous relationships, I got lost in my partner and gave up who I was in order to shape myself for him. I did the same in my marriage and had to fight to get back what I had lost. My ex-husband didn’t take it from me. I myself willingly discarded it. But after the divorce, I promised myself that I would not let this happen again. I went through many months of depression and deep pain, but I used this time to work on myself and “don’t take this divorce for nothing” – the last words my ex-husband said to me when we broke up. He knew that my need to find myself again was the main reason we broke up.
I kept my word and worked on myself every day – no matter how painful it was to face all my mistakes, shadows and fears. From this deep pain, deep peace finally came. It was worth every tear.
I had to keep that promise to him and to myself. And now I have to stay true to myself while in a relationship, finding the middle ground between holding my space and giving myself away. I tend to be a giving helper. Divorce helped me replenish my reserves again.
Love Lesson #3: Relationships, like all things, are fickle.
I had to learn to accept that things will always change, no matter how much we wish it were different. I was the first of my friends to get a divorce, and even though I thought it was right, I still felt like a failure. I had to endure this disappointment, temporary pain and guilt for all the money my parents spent on our wedding and the down payment on our house. They were more than generous, and for a while it was very significant. Luckily my parents were super understanding and just wanted me to be happy. Their detachment from spending money (even if it is not enough) has always been a powerful example of real charity for me.
The fickleness of my marriage has helped me learn to appreciate every moment thereafter with my next boyfriend and in my relationship now. I don’t delusional that my current relationship will last forever. There is no more fairy tale and I am so grateful for this lesson. There is work and more work in a relationship. A mature relationship knows it will end, whether it be death or choice. Therefore, I appreciate every moment that I have with him, because it will not last forever.
I have never heard of a more loving divorce than mine. Nobody believes when I share my story. I am grateful for this experience and for the many things that have helped shape who I am today. I learned that I can overcome the darkest places within myself, and I also see that the light at the end of the tunnel is always the light inside of me.