A common challenge with divorce is looking back and feeling your marriage was a waste of time, that divorce creates a void:
Because I had no children it feels like I lost seven years of my life. From the time I met him, into college and until the time we divorced, I have nothing to show for that. I was forbidden to contact his family as part of the divorce agreement so I’ve never had contact with them. It’s like this void in my life, I have nothing to show for it and that part is sad for me. ~ Mama J
At the time of our interview, Mama J had been divorced for over twenty years. She’d remarried and had four children. While she still felt her divorce had left a void, she recognized that it taught her the value of independence and that has been important in her second marriage.
I think this is very hard. I think all of my interviewees who have children from their marriage have said that they couldn’t regret their marriage as otherwise they wouldn’t have their children and that was unimaginable. Even still, they had questions and even more so for long term marriages.
One strategy is to accept that the two of you chose to be with each other for a reason. Understand that reason, understanding how you came to make the decision and you’ll gain valuable insight into the person you were at the time.
Now, look for how you’ve changed over the course of your marriage. How does that compare to who you were on your wedding day? How have your changed since the end of your marriage?
You are who you are today in part because of your marriage.