Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult things you can do.
When you walked down the aisle years ago and said “I do”, you never thought your marriage would end like this. The person you once trusted and loved more than anyone in the world suddenly seems like a stranger. Anger, arguments, and even hatred have replaced patience, communication, and love. You do not know how you got here, but you know that it hurts. Getting over a failed marriage can initially seem impossible. After all, how can you erase 5, 10, 20, or even 30 years of your life?
While a failed marriage is undoubtedly painful, there are eight important things it teaches you.
1. Phones can ruin relationships.
When you are with your partner or spouse, you need to give them your full attention. This means putting down your phone and listening attentively. Texting your friends, reading emails, or scrolling through Instagram while they are talking to you will make them feel unimportant, unappreciated, and disrespected. Putting your phone away can save your relationship.
If someone does something for you, acknowledge it. A simple “thank you” can go a long way and make your partner feel appreciate and acknowledged. When you begin to take things for granted, your partner will start to feel like they are not valued. The minute they begin feeling this way, your relationship will slowly but surely begin to fail. Make sure your partner knows how much you appreciate the things they do.
Most marriages end because spouses cannot communicate. When you cannot communicate properly, you cannot resolve arguments and you cannot understand each other. To have a healthy and successful relationship, you need to learn how to voice your concerns without blaming your partner and you need to learn to listen without becoming defensive. In addition to this, arguments must be resolved rather than won. When you fight to win an argument, there will never be a winner.
4. Your happiness is important.
While we all make sacrifices for the ones we love, we must be careful not to forget about our own needs and wants. Caring about your happiness is not selfish: it is self-compassion. When we are unhappy within, we cannot form happy relationships. You must first fill your own cup before turning to help and love others. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
5. Boundaries and deal-breakers.
A failed marriage will teach you many things about yourself. More specifically, it will show you the importance of your boundaries and deal-breakers. After a failed relationship, you will be more careful when picking a partner. You will be firm when it comes to your boundaries and you will know what you cannot tolerate. Knowing your boundaries and deal-breakers will save you from heartbreak and unhappiness.
6. You cannot change someone.
Expectations can ruin your marriage. When you marry someone, you must accept them for everything that they are: both the good and the bad. Expecting your spouse to behave differently will make you feel disappointed and make them feel unappreciated. At the end of the day, nobody wants to feel as though they are not good enough. We all deserve to be loved for who we are.
7. Maintain your friendships.
Breakups will remind you just how important it is to be independent. While most people tend to push away their friends and family when they get into a serious relationship, breakups remind us that they are the ones who will always be there. According to Lifehack, “studies show that the support you receive from friends and family after a divorce, breakup, or other trauma can actually lower psychological distress.”
8. Physical intimacy is necessary.
Although it may sound and seem shallow in comparison to other things, sexual satisfaction is necessary. Lifehack reported that when two people are physically intimate, they feel greater marital happiness and satisfaction. This is due to the oxytocin hormone that is released during acts of physical intimacy. Oxytocin reduces anxiety and stress while increasing trust and bonding.
Ultimately, a failed marriage is one that teaches you important lessons. It allows you to learn new things about yourself and it helps you understand what you want going forward. Moreover, the lessons you learn make your next relationship more likely to succeed.