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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.

Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

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!

Have you been through a divorce or bad break-up? Did you learn any of these things from your experience or have anything to add to this post?

32 Comments

  1. You’ve mentioned some great points. I’m glad we live in a society where divorce is ok and we aren’t forced to stay in a marriage that isn’t working. My nan got divorced when she was in her twenties and the stigma was so large, she ended up moving away from her hometown. It was the right decision for her though and it all worked out well in the end, although I know she still feels the stigma is attached.

  2. I’m not sure I even want to get married. To me, I don’t need a ring or a title to have proof that I love my partner. I’m also very frugal, and weddings seem like a waste of money for me. If I wanted to get married more maybe it would be worth spending the money on. I’m not saying wanting to get married is a bad thing, just that I personally have no use for it.

  3. I’m a rare statistic who has parents who have been married for over 40 years, both grandparents never divorced and I’ve been married for 16 years this year x

  4. This post offers a lot of helpful information and advice if you are dealing with a divorce, or how you can support someone who is going through a divorce. Thank you for sharing Jenny.

  5. While I haven’t experienced divorce personally, I do know friends who have and what you’re saying here is spot on. Not having to accommodate another person’s feelings and desires is a very freeing feeling, from what I’ve observed. Great advice, Jenny, thank you for sharing x

  6. Currently going through a divorce right now and I’ve been 2 years free at the minute, I feel confident and happy for the first time in years. Despite its sheer and heartbreaking starts.. you truly do come out the other end so much better.

  7. Phew its scary statistics for someone who is 54 weeks from her wedding….

    BUT that said, I know it has been life changing for my partner, it was a release he didn’t know he needed at the time and he is so much happier for it x x

  8. I found divorce to ultimately be very liberating although at the time difficult. Change is difficult. Standing on your own two feet is difficult at the beginning. I’m lucky it wasn’t a “bad” divorce. I used to work in a family law firm and seen some horrible break ups. I so agree with what you say about how it helps you personally develop.

    Im also lucky I live in a country where divorce is not so much frowned upon. There are some countries where it makes it hard for people to get a divorce and it mostly affects women! Especially women who have had arranged marriages etc. This brings me to the stats.

    Ok so the stats are high in the UK and in America (California at least). But it certainly doesn’t reflect a grim outlook – it tells me that this is an honest society that wants to genuinely live harmoniously.

    Feel free to take a look at the divorce rates in other countries where divorce is frowned upon. If there is a lower percentage, that really makes me question whether women are happy in or if there is “adultery” behind closed doors – it doesn’t tell me that the society is genuinely happy and living harmoniously.

    I could talk about this subject forever clearly. Sorry haha.

    I enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for writing it.

  9. Some interesting and good advice here. I’ve personally not experienced divorce or other people’s divorce. Though I will take the learning to worry about things I can control rather than what I can’t as this is what I needed to hear right now!

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