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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

First isn't always the best

Divorce is an ugly and catastrophic personal experience. In the thick of divorce, you get a glimpse behind the curtain and see people's true selves. If you have been there, you know the destruction two people can do to one another. But despite the tears and screaming matches, you can survive divorce and actually find happiness. You have to find a way to let go of the past and move forward; learning from what you have been through. The next relationship will be scary, the possibility of finding a happily ever after will be dismal. But you will. Finding happiness is worth the risk of letting someone in.

I have had conversations with people who survived divorce, and most say they would never do it again. They would never put themselves through that again. How incredibly sad. Since, I have withstood divorce and came out on the other side, I thought I would give you a few reasons why you shouldn’t give up on love or marriage after divorce.

Here are 8 reasons your second marriage is better than your first…

1.      You are older and wiser.
      Most (but, definitely not all) of us grow wiser as we get older. We go through periods of self-exploration and personal growth.  Eventually figuring out who we are meant to be. When I got married the first time, I didn’t know who I was. I honestly didn't have a clue about the person I would become in the next 10 or 15 years. As I have gotten older, I have started to figure it out. Learning more about myself has made me a wiser person who knows what I want in life. You shouldn't be afraid of growth, you and your partner should grow together and you realize that the second time around.

2.      You know what you want out of a partner.

You aren't looking for someone who is perfect and without flaws. By now, you have found out there is no such thing. Now you know what you can live with and what you can't live without. So, by the time the second marriage rolls around, you know what kind of person you want to marry. You know what things you want out of your spouse. You have higher standards and don't want to marry someone who you aren’t willing to spend your life with.

3.      You know what marriage is like; the good, bad and the really ugly.

Having survived divorce, you know every day isn’t going to be daisies. You are fully aware there will be days when you fight and don't get along. There are days you have to put in more effort. There are days you are in complete bliss. The difference is, this time around you begin your marriage without rose colored glasses. You ditch the unrealistic promises and you look at one another on your wedding day and promise to endure the good and the bad that you know is inevitable. You go into your second marriage wide awake and ready.

4.      You have figured out marriage is a choice.

You have lived the struggle, you have been through the worst case relationship scenario. So, you begin your second marriage knowing love is a choice. You know you have to show up every day and make the choice to be there in every way for your spouse. Marriage is waking up every day of your life together and choosing your spouse. Through the fights and stubbornness and everything in between, you still promise to choose them every day.

5.      You are more yourself.

One thing I have realized through the whole messy process of divorce is the fact that I don't know if my ex really ever knew me as a person. When I first got married, I was 18 years old and a kid.  I was completely naive about what loving someone really meant. I tried very hard for a long time to be who he wanted me to be and not who I actually was. I hid parts of myself that he didn't like and felt like being me wasn't okay. This time around I am completely myself. I went into this marriage not being afraid to be who I am. At this age, you know who you are and you want someone who is going to love you for you. Love is genuine and real the second time around.

6.      You know you can't change your spouse.

I'm sure you tried the first go round and look how that turned out? People are who they are, they change and grow but, essentially if someone is an ass, they will always be an ass. You can’t always mend the broken and you can't make someone grow a heart. Your second marriage, you have to take on what you can handle. You stop assuming it's going to get better because marriage can be ugly. Marry the person you want to go through the ugly with.

7.      You know how hard THE END really is.

You have survived the death of a marriage and because of that, you begin this marriage with the confidence that you will give it everything you have to never be there again. You know the pain of divorce and you know what happens if you don't give your spouse your all every day. Having lived through divorce you can really really appreciate marriage.

8.      Marriage #1 changed you.

Not in a good or bad way but, just in general. You look at life different now and that's okay. You have seen how awful people can be and how someone you promise to love can be your complete demise. You have seen what happens when people get lazy, or people stop trying. You have seen more than some have and it changes you. Let that change help you grow and move forward. 

I know not every scenario ends this way. But, I grew up a child of divorce and I have seen first marriages fall to shreds. Hell, I lived through it. But, I have also seen first marriages go the distance. My point is, just because your marriage failed does not in any way make you incapable of love. Divorce doesn't mean you won't get your happily ever after, on the contrary. Now, you know how to fight for your happily ever after every day.  Like all experiences in life, you learn from the bad parts of your life and you move on. Don't give up on how amazing happily ever after can be. 

My happily ever after...