Some people might say, if you want the truth about what marriage is really like, ask someone who’s divorced. Clearly, this sort of informal poll might provide you with more negatives than positives, but there are actually plenty of the latter that occur after divorce – and enlightenment is one of the biggest plusses. Here are some common revelations that divorced people have come to embrace.
1. Don’t get married just to put a checkmark in that box.
We all go through life checking off certain boxes, whether it’s something we are personally reaching for or because society expects it of us. Graduation, job, marriage, kids… these are cultural benchmarks that many people genuinely want to achieve. Other people just attempt to meet these goals because they think they’re “supposed” to.
People naturally want to feel like they’re moving ahead in life, achieving, prospering. It’s easy to feel the pressure of friends and family around you getting married, so you may feel like this is a life stage you must complete. And, for some, getting married and settling down is part of this equation. But for others marriage is not part of their life recipe – and it’s OK to say no to the proposal, to not get married, and, therefore, to avoid the potential of divorce.
2. Dating someone is very different than marrying someone.
Couples who have been together for a long time may think the next logical step is to get married. Or perhaps they’ve reached an age milestone and feel that they “should” be married by now, so they do it. And then regret it.
Even if a couple lives together before marriage, being legally bound to someone by marriage is very different than just dating them. You are making joint decisions now about finances, values, family, and future. You will butt heads, and you may not be able to resolve fundamental differences that arise. Better to ask and answer the really tough questions before you put a ring on it.
3. Marriage will not fulfill you, and another person will not complete you.
Many marriages end in divorce because couples expect too much of each other. They want the idealized version of love and think their partner should “complete” them. For people who have been divorced, they’re no longer living in a movie (at least most of them) – they value self-reliance, they seek a partner who will accept them for who they are, and they look at marriage as a state of being that they are enjoying experiencing with someone they love.
Successful married couples aren’t relying on the other person to fulfill their needs or make them happy. Emotional fulfillment and friendship are positive side effects of marriage, but they certainly shouldn’t be the goal. You are still living your own life and are responsible for the course of it. Consider yourself lucky if you are with a person who supports your goals and adds value to your life. Don’t allow your life to revolve around your spouse.
4. Sometimes marriage just doesn’t work out.
Whether it’s age, place in life, jobs, distance, or a change of heart, some marriages just don’t last, and that’s OK. Some people are miserable attempting to make a marriage work that clearly has no business being a union at all. It’s fine to let go and start again, and this time you will undoubtedly have a better understanding of yourself and a clearer view about the institution of marriage.
If you are considering divorce, make your appointment with Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, for your initial interview. Talk with us about what’s concerning you and what you envision for the future.