There are lots of “D” words in this world that people don’t want to say or hear, and divorce is one of them. But sometimes, no matter how you slice it, divorce is the absolute best option.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not an advocate for divorce. I am an advocate for trying your hardest to make your marriage work. But sometimes continually trying to force something together that clearly doesn’t belong together ends up doing more harm than good. I know from personal experience.
I never thought I would find myself divorced young. I never thought I would find myself divorced, to be honest. I had been with my husband a total of 14 years, and we had been through so much together. However, we had some fundamental issues that didn’t give us the strongest basis for our marriage. In our defense, we were high school sweethearts who stayed together before our identities were fully formed. Before we chose careers. Before we gained our total independence.
I’m on the other side now, and I’m here to tell you something: It’s sad. It’s hard. But sometimes it’s the best option.
We dated, got engaged, moved in, got a dog, got married, and then found ourselves at a crossroads. Little problems had grown into big problems, and the resentment piled on. We were either fighting, not speaking, or being passive-aggressive with each other. We decided to go to therapy. Twice. Then we separated, planned date nights, and spent time together, but the resentment didn’t subside. Then we tried one last time to get back together and make it work. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
I cried while we signed our divorce papers. Sobbed. Not because our marriage was over, not because we didn’t try, but because the life I thought I was going to have was gone and I didn’t know where to start or how to start.
I’m on the other side now and have been for a few years. And I’m here to tell you something: It’s sad. It’s hard. But sometimes it’s the best option.
Here’s some real talk. No matter how many people are involved – maybe you have six kids, maybe it’s just you and your spouse – you deserve to be happy. Getting divorced is not a selfish act, by any means. Sometimes getting divorced allows you both to become the best versions of yourselves, and you both deserve that. You also both deserve to be fully, completely in love with someone, for better or worse, and to be fully and completely loved back. And sometimes what attracted you to someone changes over time. Maybe these reasons are shallow. Maybe they’re deep. Maybe they’re serious. Whatever they are, sometimes you need to let go of the baggage to be a better person or a better parent. Your children know you’re not happy and may act out. Your parents know you’re not happy. Your friends know you’re not happy. And if you’ve exhausted all options, it’s time to part ways – hopefully amicably.
I understand that there are lots of consequences with a divorce, too. You may lose friends. You may have to sell the house you made a home. A percentage of your pension – the money you worked so hard for – may be lost to an ex-spouse. These are all hard pills to swallow.
But I will say this: there is absolutely no price tag on happiness. You will make it. You will come out on the other side. And you’ll look back and realize that letting go of your marriage was for the best.