11 Comments

  1. Lots of thoughtful and sage advice here. I do disagree with the statement that divorce is failure, however. If a marriage isn’t working, letting it go and moving on is a positive move, not failure. Sometimes people simply change and grow in different directions–I don’t think it means they failed, especially if they’re being authentic and true to themselves. Sometimes marriages simply run their course, and it’s meant to last for a lifetime. Divorce can be the best-possible thing in many situations (although it may take some time for one or both parties to fully realize it!).

  2. This is such great advice. I have tried to be a supportive friend to many through this difficult process.You are so right – pick your divorce attorney carefully. And………..then let them do their job. I shall def remember your words, “Divorce does not have to define you – unless you let it.” I think this is so helpful.

    1. Thanks very much Ellen. I was hoping to list some things not necessarily out there for mass consumption. And picking the kind of attorney that will fight the fight the way you want is important. They are also there to give you their best legal advice — but sometimes, things get way rougher when attorneys are involved. I’ve heard many of them try to get their clients to mediate just because of this. I appreciate you letting me know!

  3. You make good points Roxanne. The divorce itself, in my opinion, doesn’t reflect failure. As you point out, many times it is for the better. I would add, however, that when you try to make something successful, and it isn’t, that that’s a kind of failure. It is better to deal with what that failure was. Did you choose poorly or for the wrong reasons? Did you talk yourself into the marriage? Did you fall out of love due to changes in yourself, or due to other factors? Admitting failure is a way of examining things closely, so you won’t make the same mistake. Thanks for such a thought-provoking comment.

    1. I agree with Roxanne and bristle at the term ‘failure’. It seems some people equate longevity with success which isn’t necessarily true for everyone. A successful relationship can last for a day, a week or years and then dissolve like fog in the morning sun.

      1. Hi Katie and thanks for your comment. I like that we’re discussing our differences. I would totally agree that longevity doesn’t equate with success. There are many miserably committed couples out there. And you can have relationships that are extremely important in your life, that do not last a long time. However, for me, the commitment — the vow — is the difference. I have talked openly about being divorced twice. I avoided dealing with the sense of failure the first time. But the second, I had to recognize that I was the common thread in the problem. I was failing at something, that was for sure. And I needed to figure it out. I realize that if there’s abuse, someone may not feel it was their “failure.” Even in that case, it’s still important to look at why you may have been attracted to someone with abusive characteristics — how your instinct or judgement failed you. As a therapist, I see people struggling to learn from their mistakes, and when they don’t, they do the same thing over and over. You can turn failure into success, but it takes effort and understanding.

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