Coping with a Breakup or Divorce
Many people feel that relationships and marriages have failed if they don’t last forever. The same way in which some claim that the only truly complete life is one that lasts 95 years, lots of folks believe that the only successful and complete marriages are those that last “till death do us part.” The reality is that marriages are successful and can heal regardless of how long they last, as long as they achieved what they were supposed to. When they’re no longer needed, they are complete and successful. And yes, we realize that the idea of calling a marriage a success when it ends in divorce is a radical, unusual statement. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t turn our world upside down or break our heart.
One of the truths of life is that happiness doesn’t rely on relationships changing for the “better”. When a marriage ends, two people have usually faced the reality that they can’t change each other. They may have tried to change their spouse in order to make the marriage work, but after a divorce, the realization comes that this simply doesn’t work.
When you see this, you’ll stop asking, “What if she never changes?” and start believing, “What if she wasn’t meant to change? What if we were supposed to get a divorce? What if the relationship is complete?” And if you want to be who you really are in life, shouldn’t you allow your spouse to do the same, even if that means the marriage is over? I realize this is easier said than done.
If you’ve been divorced you must ask yourself, Was the love I gave and received based on how love was defined for me when I was a child? Did my parents fight all the time? Did they get divorced? Was this marriage truly the kind of love I wish to give and receive? If you see love as being painful, complicated, a power struggle, or often cruel, then it’s crucial that you examine why.
People often chose the one they want to marry because of the choices they made growing up. This isn’t to blame it all on your parents. It is commonly believed that by the time you turn 25 years old, you can no longer blame anything on those who raised you. But sometimes after a divorce, you go into an extended period of analyzing why the marriage failed, what you did wrong, and so on. You may be surprised to look back and discover that what you watched growing up taught you, rightly or wrongly, how to manage relationships and marriage. The surprise is that you were already doing it 100 percent correctly because you did just what was modeled for you as a child. But you have the power to choose a new destiny for yourself and a new reality, post-divorce. That is your work, to find your new life. You may not see it at this moment, but you can live again. You can love again. You can be happy again.