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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

I Was Lucky

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I was lucky. I never spent time in a decaying marriage. The lies that destroyed the relationship protected me for its duration, keeping me cloaked in relative comfort.

I was lucky. I never had to wrestle with the question of should I stay or should I leave? That decision was made for me.

I was lucky. I never had the pain of hoping for or trying for reconciliation. You cannot reconcile with someone who has become a ghost in his own life.

I was lucky. We did not have children. I did not have to see the pain on their faces, nor engage in a battle for them through the courts.

I was lucky. I had a clean, sudden amputation of my life, my marriage. The trauma was near-fatal, but I was left with a clean cut.

I know not all of you are so lucky. You may be deciding if your marriage can be saved. You may be hoping that it can still work out, alternating between hope and despair. You may be subject to painful contact with your ex. You may have to tuck your kids in, wishing you could take their pain away.

Even if your marriage did not end in a sterile amputation, you still have some control over how it heals. Take care to keep the wound clean and expose it to fresh air. Tight bandages may hide the damage for a time, but the wound will only fester when it is kept in the dark. Do not worry at the healing skin. Leave the scabs until they fall off of their own accord; they provide needed protection. Be gentle with the new skin, the new growth, for it is still fragile with its pink-tinged hope. Sooth the wound with the balm of your friends and family, your pets, your passions. And know that the scars only serve to make you even more beautiful.


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