No one gets married thinking that divorcing might be a serious possibility. But, when you look at the numbers, you realize that divorce is quite common in America. About 40-50% of couples are divorced.
If you are one of them, then you may see your divorce as a failure. But, another perspective is to see divorce as a learning experience. After all, many of us learn things the hard way.
Just think about all the times that you were too stubborn to take any advice from your friends or family. Or the times you had no guidance and simply had to figure out everything by yourself.
Unfortunately, when it comes to relationships, it’s not that easy to just wing it and hope for the best. You need good role models and guidance to make it work. But, here’s the twisted thing: even your role models can lead you to repeat the mistakes they made because they are the only guides you had.
Owning any mistakes you made will prevent you from making the same ones in the future. So here are lessons that you can learn that so you can make better choices next time:
Breakup or Divorce Lesson #1: Choose a Suitable Partner
Instead of being in a hurry or settling for someone who isn’t a good match for you, be aware that a relationship or marriage is a major life decision. The partner you choose can enhance your life or make it a lot more difficult.
Breakup or Divorce Lesson #2: Communication Matters
The hard truth is that few of us have the tools to manage conflict effectively. We tend to explode, overreact or just retract from the world and ignore the big red flags in our relationships. But, how you handle the inevitable conflict in your relationship makes a big difference.
Dr. John Gottman researches couples and how they communicate during conflict. He found that contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling are communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship. You should learn to communicate more effectively so that your relationships will fare better in the future.
Breakup or Divorce Lesson #3: There’s No Shame in Asking for Help
Many people think of couples therapy only as a last resort when their relationship or marriage is failing, but it’s critical to get the guidance you need when you need it. Think about it this way: you go to your doctor regularly or whenever you notice a symptom to ensure that you are healthy. You should do the same about your relationship or marriage.
If you want to take good care of a marriage, you consult an expert. If your partner won’t go with you, go alone. Get the help you need.
Breakup or Divorce Lesson #4: You Can’t Change a Man
You might be able to shape a man’s behavior if he’s into you—maybe. Many women think they can change a man, but it’s really more like pruning a shrub in your garden. You might be able to shape his behavior a little, but you can’t change his basic nature. The more you try, the more he will feel criticized. Accept him with his flaws, or move on to someone whose flaws you can accept.
Breakup or Divorce Lesson #5: Know Yourself
Without facing yourself, warts and all, it’s hard to figure out the best partner for your particular needs. People often learn to cope with critical or abusive childhood experiences by learning to hide themselves. They often want to please others to avoid feeling rejected or abandoned.
Facing your true self is never easy. It can be painful and embarrassing. But the rewards are great because you will be true to yourself rather than living your life to please other people. You will then be able to choose a good partner who will be caring and supportive, rather than someone whose needs you make more important than your own.
The Bottom Line
Divorce is hard. Even when you realize that it’s the best solution for your family, not having your happily ever after can hurt enormously.
But, when you face the heartache inherent in breakups and divorces, you can transform your life for the better.
Want to start the process of knowing yourself? Take this free quiz to find out if you’re being your own Brand of Sexy. Get it here.