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Redefining divorce as 'change' not 'failure'

You're at your wits' end with your spouse and your marriage. Despite all your efforts at keeping your marriage together, you realize that it's over.

You very likely feel that you failed at something, whether that something was keeping your commitment to your marriage alive, providing a stable home for your children inside a nuclear family or just finding the strength to endure the bad times.

But, what if the end of your marriage and divorce isn't a failure? What if it simply means that you are refocusing your priorities and accepting the changes necessary to make your life -- and the lives of your children -- better?

Here are several reasons that you shouldn't equate divorce with failure:

  • If keeping the marriage going means ignoring your own mental and physical health, you've lost sight of what marriage should be. Marriage should be a beneficial partnership -- not a constant drain on your resources.
  • A bad marriage can lock you inside a "role" that isn't who you want to be. Divorce can let you break free of that role and reinvent yourself. You may end up happier than ever before.
  • Divorce can help you refocus your energies in a much better direction, particularly if you have children. Energy spent trying to keep your marriage together is energy you don't have for your kids.
  • Life is not a pass-fail test. Neither is marriage. It is an experience. Some experiences simply have an expiration date -- even if you didn't realize it.
  • If you have children, you are setting an example of what it means to have the courage to make changes that are temporarily painful to achieve happiness.

Once you refocus your mindset, it becomes easier to get through your divorce with a sense of equilibrium intact. Make sure that you take the appropriate steps, however, to learn about your legal rights and obligations moving forward.

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