Divorce can be a valuable tool for learning and personal growth

Although divorce is difficult for everyone involved, we each have a choice about how we react to that difficulty. It is easy (and sometimes tempting) to become bitter and jaded after spending years in a bad marriage and then experiencing the pain of divorce. But like many of life’s trials and tribulations, divorce can actually change us for the better.

When you hear someone proclaim that getting divorced was “the best thing that ever happened” to them, you might assume that they are being sarcastic (or that they truly have become jaded). But as one Huffington Post blogger recently explained, divorce can provide a genuine and valuable learning experience.

In her column, writer Erin Smith notes that her four-year marriage was in trouble from the very beginning. Because she and her husband were “toxic” for one another, staying together and trying to make it work caused her to lose self-esteem as well as perspective on what normal and healthy relationships look like.

Through these difficulties and her eventual divorce, Smith says she learned:

  • How to improve her approach to relationships and avoid unhealthy dating patterns
  • To better understand herself and what she was looking for in a mate
  • To find herself again
  • That she wasn’t “crazy,” as her husband had been projecting
  • That her perspective had been greatly skewed and needed to be readjusted post-divorce

As we have previously written, divorce is not easy. It is among the most stressful and emotionally fraught experiences many people will ever face. But the damage doesn’t need to be permanent and the suffering does not need to be in vain. If you are conscientious about taking care of yourself and learning from your experience, your divorce could ultimately lead to greater happiness in the future.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Five Reasons My Divorce Was the Best Thing That Happened To Me,” Erin Smith, June 30, 2015

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