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I think it’s safe to say that we all know someone who’s been divorced. Whether that’s yourself, your parents, friends or relatives, divorce is incredibly common with it seeing it’s largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years, from 18.4% from 90,871 in 2018 to 107,599 last year. And according to recent statistics, 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce.
I know this all sounds pretty bleak right now and of course for anyone who’s been through it or seen people they love go through it, it very well can be. Divorce and separation is heartbreaking. It can be messy and complicated and a lot of people liken it to the feeling of grief after losing a loved one. Which is no surprise, especially when you’ve committed so much time and effort to another person.
I love the idea of marriage and I would love to get married sooner rather than later (if my boyfriend is reading this… HELLO!) And the idea of divorce doesn’t deter me from wanting to experience marriage. But I know that for a lot of people, especially in this day and age, marriage isn’t a priority anymore. As you can have a perfectly happy and healthy relationship without the addition of everything that marriage brings with it.
Whatever your thoughts on marriage, we all experience break ups, separations or divorce in our lives and we probably all have an idea of how hard it is to separate from someone you love and have so many memories with. And like most hard things that life throws at us, it can also be an opportunity for exponential self growth. So today I want to look at some ways in which divorce can be an opportunity for growth.
Of course all divorces, relationships, marriages and situations are different. Very different. So what might apply to one person here might not for someone else and that’s okay! So how can it be an opportunity for growth? It might:
Make you learn to be comfortable by yourself
If you’ve spent the last however many years with someone always in your house and suddenly you’re on your own again, it can certainly be a shock to the system. It might force you to learn how to be comfortable by yourself again and rely on your own comfort and company instead of always having someone else around.
Teach you how to practice acceptance
Divorce is sticky and messy and there’s going to be a lot of blame thrown around. But you don’t have to bow down to it. You can use this opportunity to practice acceptance within yourself and your situation and come to terms with what has happened in a healthy way.
Allow you to let go of what you can’t control
And following on from the above point, learning acceptance within your situation will also help you learn to let go of what you can’t control. Although helpful when going through a divorce, it’s also an EXTREMELY helpful thing to learn throughout life in general too.
And focus more on what you can
And instead of focusing on what you can’t control within your divorce (and your life), your growth might look like learning to focus more on what you can control. Which is an incredibly important thing to do in stressful and life-changing situations.
Force you into finding the things that YOU (and only you) love
Being around someone 24/7 definitely would have had some impact on what you do, what you enjoy and the things you consume. Although most partners have their own preferences anyway, some will overlap. But now, it’s all up to you. You have no influence from anyone apart from yourself. What do you love?
Improve your confidence and allow you to step out of your comfort zone
After a divorce, somewhere down the road, you might want to go out and meet people again. Whether that’s finding another relationship, casual dating or just meeting new friends within this new life of yours. And when you’ve been a couple for so long, going it solo can be scary and daunting. But it will be incredible for your self growth and allowing you to step outside of your comfort zone!