The Gift of Divorce
Written By: Mark Smith
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I’m at the beach today and after a walk listening to poetry my mind and heart started to flood with thoughts about divorce. I think that divorce really gets a bad rap in our world. Divorce is potentially an extremely wonderful gift that can help to heal, invigorate, refresh, instruct and re-invent you. Divorce is NOT failure. There is no shame or should be no shame in getting divorced. It is not a sign of mental illness, a lack of morals, insensitivity to the needs of the kids or of spiritual bankruptcy. Divorce can be a very positive and healing mid-life rite of passage. It can usher in a creative, fresh, exuberant second adolescence that can completely refurbish, reinvigorate and redirect a stale, off track existence. It is an amazing opportunity for new beginnings, new relationships, new awareness’s and new and more personalized living spaces. Divorce is not meant to destroy you. On the contrary, relationships are incredible opportunities for growth, healing, bruises and adventure. Severe marital challenges aren't meant to discourage, disappoint, disillusion or destroy you. They are the universe's way of breaking, healing, deepening and maturing you. It is all good. It just doesn't always feel good.
Marital dysfunction is as normal and natural as breathing, aging or dying. The truth is that every marriage is a ticking time bomb ready to go off. The human condition is, unfortunately extremely broken, flawed, damaged, dysfunctional, complex and dark. If you doubt this you haven't been married quite long enough. Very few of us possess the emotional health required to sustain a healthy and vibrant relationship much past seven years, much less into three or four decades. By few of us I mean almost none of us. If you delved deeply into the childhood of any and everybody you know you would find sad stories of abandoning fathers, addictions, control, criticism, abuse, lack of nurturing, divorce, poverty, struggles, tragic deaths and dysfunction of every sort. I wish that wasn’t the truth, but it is absolutely the truth.
It is what it is but that is not a negative thing. I imagine that you have received your fair share of bruises along the way? That is normal. I have a fortune cookie fortune taped to my bathroom mirror that I love. It reads 'The key to life isn't in staying out of the rough but rather in how good you are at getting out of it once you inevitably land there.' Divorce is the ultimate rough. It will take a great deal of work on yourself to get out of the divorce rough and all that it entails. All families are dysfunctional, real dysfunctional! How many truly happy and connected 20 year plus married couples do you know? You can use one hand and have lots of fingers left over, uh?
Very, very few couples who do manage to stay married more than 25 years are truly healthy, consistently intimate and deeply connected. Many of the still long married are limping along in marital less than mediocrity until the bomb goes off. Or they are holding on for appearances sake in spite of the emotional distance, the chronic addictions, the near hatred and the almost non-existent love life. Nobody wants the hassle, the apparent demotion, the pain, the loneliness and the financial devastation of a divorce. Sometimes, many times it just needs to be done. When something dies it is a fairly rational next step to bury it with all the ritual and grieving that go with loss. While that is very sad, there are also many exciting new beginnings that go with the ending of a marriage.
I have the beach all to myself now because it is about to storm. I took this photo with my cell phone.
You have a choice. Your divorce can defeat, embitter and destroy you or it can be a positive springboard into a new and better life for you. It is all in how you perceive and interpret your situation. Click here to finish reading the article on our website
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