Lessons from Marriage & Divorce

hand-83079_1280

Several different couples I’m friends with are uncoupling right now. They’re at the very beginning of the separation process. It’s got me thinking. Because when I look in their eyes, when I hear their voices, I recognize the fear and sadness that permeates their souls and colors their minutes and future plans and past memories.

They ask me for advice. They ask me for my support. They ask me for reassurance that everything will be ok in the end. I try not to give advice, because their priorities and situations differ from mine. I gently ask them to listen to their own guts, and do the next right thing. I remind them there are no right answers. There is however, a way to do things with kindness and grace. Even when it’s really hard. Even when you don’t want to because it’s so hard. Especially when it’s hard. Especially when you don’t want to.

I remind them of this, because as I witness their journeys, I am brought back to my own separation over seven years ago. I remember the fear and panic and confusion and grief. I remember acting from those fears and panic and grief. And I was not as kind as I could have been, as kind as I should have been.

I was disappointed and wounded and broken and angry. I did not know then that I had a reservoir of grace that I could have tapped into. I also did not know during the marriage that I had this reservoir of grace and mercy and loving kindness. Perhaps I didn’t then. But honestly I think we all have it in ourselves. It was my responsibility to tap into that, and I did not know how at the time. Or it was too hard for me. Or I just didn’t.

So I’m thinking about what I could have done differently during my marriage, during my divorce. I think of both because though they seem to be opposites, they’re in fact both about connections. Divorcing the father of your children does not sever your ties to him. He will always be a part of our lives. He still occupies this house, and I know this when I look into my children’s eyes.

If only I could have been more gracious, more kind, I think. But then what? Would I still be married? Probably not. It was not meant to last for many reasons. I do not regret the divorce. But I do want to ensure I do not make the same mistakes again. I’ll make other mistakes, but not these.

So I’ve learned it’s better to be kind than right. I’ve learned…well, everything else stems from that. It’s better to be kind than right. So many of the small disagreements that pile up like little pebbles until they build a stone wall–so many of them could have been dealt with without turning each pebble into a resentment.

But see, I thought I was so smart. I thought I was so insightful and wise. I thought for sure I knew what was best. I was right. I tried to force things. I made sarcastic and snide remarks under the guise of humor.

There were so many other problems that would have spelled the end of the marriage anyway. But I could have been kinder. For that failing, I am sorry. And I’m sorry I couldn’t come up with a list of 5 lessons I’ve learned. But if your default is “It’s better to be kind than right,” then the love and respect and support and compromise and communication come with it. I’m a slow learner, but I won’t make that same mistake again.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Empowerment, Mindfulness, Relationships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Lessons from Marriage & Divorce

  1. Gracious post and reflections. Thanks for sharing your heart and life openly. You have gleaned much wisdom from your experiences. Life and relationships would be much better if we could remember to be kind, especially when we’re being challenged. blessings, Brad

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you Brad! I think you’ve said it perfectly–it’s easy to be kind when we’re not stressed, when other people are kind to us. It’s when times are trying that it is so important to be mindful and kind. I know that’s so hard for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. THis is so powerful So well written. And so right–kind and right. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful. A bold, simple truth. Ache attends your wisdom, and I am grateful for this precious post that speaks into my life.

    Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for visiting. Powerful article. thought you might enjoy this:

    UNCOUPLED

    what is it that I must learn from you?
    why am I in your lifetime
    sharing your space
    privy to the dark side of your moons

    I see you stripping away
    at one another
    scarring the fragile surface
    that separates and bonds
    the his and her of you

    becoming in my awkward view
    the antithesis of one another
    the very thing
    you least like about yourself

    in the midst of your screaming frustration
    silence stands beside me,
    arms folded, arrogantly listening
    as your voices jab at one another,
    incessantly, mercilessly shredding
    any sense of oneness

    certainly it’s not that I need to be
    so foreign to my present
    to be outside looking in

    or that the experience,
    so opposite to the wonder
    of the loving relationship
    I now share, needs a reality slap.

    it can’t be a lesson in white & black
    I’ve been to the dark side
    of my moon and back

    it’s not that I have any power
    to influence the paths you have chosen,
    the negative vortex,
    spaces you’ve created around yourselves
    nor would I

    I guess it’s not
    what I can glean from you
    or what I could
    possibly do for you

    it’s more what I can learn about myself
    accepting where I am
    who I am
    in the midst of turbulence
    tearing away
    at the very flesh and soul
    of what we could all be

    if only
    one stopped
    and listened
    to one another

    I mean really listened

    feliz navidad

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Lessons From Marriage and Divorce - GANGUPON

  6. Pingback: Lessons From Marriage and Divorce | Getting In Touch with the Law: Lawyers Review Blog

  7. Pingback: Lessons From Marriage and Divorce | Best Attorneys Network

Penny For Your Thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s