When I got married, divorce wasn’t something that was ever on my mind. In fact, if anyone even said the D-word around me, I would totally freeze up. No newly-wed couple wants to think about their perfect fairytale wedding ending in divorce. Except it totally did — and I’m very thankful. Here’s why my first marriage ending in disater was actually the best thing that ever happened to me.
I was way too young.
Everyone thinks that marrying their high school or college sweetheart right after graduation is the most romantic thing ever. It’s really not. Getting married at a young age did nothing but cause a lot of stress for both me and my partner. It wasn’t worth it. We had to worry about in-laws and well-wishers trying to help us understand money matters and budgets for our joint future. I was no longer in control of what I wanted to do. Once I got out, I could see that I still had a hell of a long road ahead of me.
I learned to be a person again.
Being stuck in a stressful marriage whittled down my personality until I was nothing but a “nagging wife.” Definitely not something I ever thought that I would become. When the marriage ended, I was able to relearn who I was. I became a real, actual person again, with a multifaceted personality.
I connected with my family again.
No one really told me that sometimes marriage totally cuts you off from your family. I thought I was bringing two families together, but I was too busy trying to fix my own failing marriage to realize that I had a family outside of it that was willing to love and support me the way I needed and the way I deserved. Once the marriage was over, I got some much-needed family time and it was totally healing. Trust me, you need to heal without being judged.
I got to be alone.
I never really appreciated how much I loved spending time with myself until I was always obligated to show up as part of a couple. I couldn’t even go and hang out with my friends unless I had my partner with me because otherwise, it just felt like I was excluding them. While there’s nothing wrong with going out together, there’s everything wrong with not being able to go out alone without having someone to, sort of, “watch” over you. Getting to be alone again and really enjoy my own company was one of the main reasons I was glad my marriage fell apart.
Bye bye, stress.
Being stuck in a bad marriage was like being stuck in a pressure chamber. I was always stressed out and miserable. After the marriage had already gone down in flames, there wasn’t much more that could go wrong. Pretty much from the moment I realized it was over, I could breathe easier and fall asleep at night.
I got to meet new people.
When you’re married, you’re not likely to meet new people unless it’s someone that you both know. Being single again meant I was free to go out with friends, meet new people, and not have to worry about pulling the “I’m married!” card. Even if seeing someone new in a romantic sense, didn’t really work out, I at least made a lot of new friends along the way. Totally worth it.
I met someone better.
Not like, better in the sense of “I meet a person better than my ex” but better in the sense of “I met someone better for me.” If I had stuck with it in my first marriage, I would be 20 years down the line, miserable and divorced and having lost my chance of meeting the perfect person for me. My first marriage ended in a catastrophe so I could meet someone better for me. After all, there’s always a reason for everything.
I got to change my plans… a lot.
Society often tells us that we should have everything figured out by our early twenties, once we’ve graduated college. Real life isn’t that simple, trust me. I’m so thankful for a failing marriage because it allowed me to really think about what I wanted to do with my life… and then think about it again and again. I got to change my plans and find the niche that was right for me.
I learned a lot.
Even if the marriage was a complete catastrophe, I did learn a lot about married life. It kind of sucked, but I figured out how to end arguments, how to make compromises, how to keep the peace, and how to make a cheap, fancy dinner. We learn a lot in life from our mistakes, and I guess this crappy marriage was no different. My failed marriage was like a drill – it prepared me for life.
I got my freedom back.
In some ways, marriage can enhance a person’s life. In others, it can be a complete drain on your very soul. That probably has to do with who you attach yourself to. For me, getting out of a marriage that I wasn’t ready for was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Getting my freedom back was the ultimate gift to myself. I do as I please, a right I was born with.
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