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20 Divorcees Reveal the One Thing They Wish They Knew Sooner

 

Divorces are not a bed of roses and that’s a given. Families are not torn apart and children are left to feel the worst though they eventually understand. That said here are some signs you must look out for if you feel any uneasiness.

 

1. Marriage is not always hard work- the sooner we learn it the better

“The one big thing that my divorce taught me is that a good marriage wouldn’t be so hard. Of course sacrifices and compromises are a part and parcel of marriage. But, if you feel like you are invariably compromising too much just to avoid any outbreaks, you know it’s your cue to move on.”

—Kinza J., 47, Baltimore, MD

 

2. Your SO can’t be your everything

“You know your Significant Other cannot be everything and it’s not quite sane to expect it from him. You must look after yourself. And it’s absolutely fine to seek support to help you with that.”

—Jeraldine A., 30, Cleveland, OH

 

3. Define your meaning of a happy family

“After a divorce, a couple of relationships and a remarriage, I learned that I needed to change the way I perceived my happy family tree. I learned that it is completely natural for some branches of the tree to break and new branches to grow in unexpected places. Ultimately, that is love- a strong tree.”

—Margaret B., 63, Birmingham, AL

 

4. Don’t engross in the relationship insofar you lose yourself

“I got married when I was very young. I had no clue of who I really was outside of marriage, subsequent to my divorce after 20 years of marriage. Never put the key to your happiness in somebody else’s pocket- a time tested theory which makes sense to me now. I realized it is too big a thing to give away and too big a thing to ask of someone.”

—Tracy W., 34, Jacksonville, FL

 

5. Have a Plan B

“During my first marriage I was a stay-at-home parent. But I soon realized that it was terrible place to be in when my marriage ended. I wholly depended on my ex for money which exacerbated the situation. It was a horrible time for me. Fortunately, I went on to study and graduate, and now I am completely independent. I am remarried now and parenting at home. But, I now know what to do when something is amiss.”

—Stacy B., 43, Minneapolis, MN

 

6. Own things up. Don’t blame him

“It takes two people to make or break a relationship. It takes two to tango, so blaming your partner for the failure of your marriage is not a sensible thing to do. Figure out your contribution in the conflict and own it up.”

—Jenna W., 38, Albany, NY

 

7. Trust your spouse

“When marriage gives you some hard times, trust is usually the first thing to fade away. However, trust is the core of any proper relationship. If you are in love with your spouse, you must be able to trust him. But, if you are not ready to trust your partner and accept him the way he is, it’s about time you marched on without turning back. If trust is lost in a relationship, everything is lost.”

—Lauren H., 34, Boston, MA

 

8. Show your spouse some respect

“It is not as easy as it seems. You let go of all your good manners when you get so comfortable with your partner. But it is essential to treat your dear one with respect and love. We often fail to remember this rudimentary thing and often find ourselves spewing insults at each other. I made this mistake of not nurturing respect during our marriage and it’s why our marriage failed. I am apologetic for not having sat down and got things straight the moment I had some very disrespectful thoughts about my husband.”

—Jessica E., 52, Brooklyn, NY

 

9. Embrace change
“My ex had a series of series. Not only his health deteriorated but his outlook towards life changed too. He gradually changed into an entirely different person. I then realized people change over time. I am not the same person as I was some years ago. I slowly started preparing myself for the change and embraced it.”

—Natalie J., 37, Carlsbad, CA

 

10. Be honest about your past

“It is very important to be honest and candid about your past for a lot of reasons. The one big thing that happened to be by being honest was I able to realize my emotional triggers. It is way easier for me to fathom why I react in a certain way I do and adjust accordingly now.”

—Larry S., 47, Nashua, NH

 

11. Find your “thing” to do together

“It is very easy to develop separate hobbies and that is perfectly fine. But have something you both together with priority, even if it is hitting the gym together or walking. It is good to have some couple goals. It makes you grow together and seldom apart.”

—Malinda F., 34, Newark, NJ

 

12. Don’t dread counseling

“It actually didn’t help to get some counseling during our marriage. Truth be told, the problems that drug-addict ex caused was too much to handle. He didn’t change. No amount of talking and counseling could help him. Fortunately, I became a lot better with the counseling sesh. I feel a lot better and confident in getting into a new relationship.”

—Shay H., 36, Harrisburg, PA

 

13. Get acquainted with your partner’s language of love

“Basically there are only five languages in love- Quality Time, Affirmative words, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts. Learning the 5 languages is the biggest favor you can do for yourself and your partner. This will nurture the love you both share. And be sure to communicate your language of love to him.”

—Marie G., 45, Detroit, MI

 

14. Don’t stay for the sake of kids

“I had always thought my children would be better with the two of us together, so I put up with all the negatives. One fine day, I realized that I can’t take it anymore and that’s when I filed for a divorce. Now, my children have realized that having happy parents is more important. We live in different regions now.”

—Lucy M., 37, Cleveland, OH

 

15. Listen to instincts

“I put up with a bad marriage longer than I should have. Now I know for sure that I listen to the uneasiness and the dreadful feelings and not repeat what I did in my previous marriage. Never let your partner dominate you or your feelings and trust yourself invariably.”

—Sasha T., 34, Salt Lake City, UT

 

16. It’s okay to make mistakes but learn from them

“If there is one way to enjoy a good relationship the next time, it would be to learn from your past mistakes. More often than not people fail to understand this and enter a new relationship to fail again.”

—Spencer P., 33, St Paul, MN

 

17. Do not reiterate your previous mistakes

“It is completely normal to prefer a “type.” However, the person you date exhibits some negative traits as that of your ex, you know what to do. It took me two divorces to learn this simple law. I have finally found the love of my life.”

—Mellisa H., 37, Louisville, KY

 

18. Ask for what you want and need

“In my previous marriage, I was too naïve and didn’t want to hurt my husband at any point in time. So, I’d usually go with the flow to get along with him. This ultimately made me remorseful. Now I have understood the necessity to be vocal about my needs and it is perfectly ok.”

—Kiara J., 35, Nashville, TN

 

19. Mother is your savior- listen to her

“I dated different people and finally decided to marry the one that my mum beseeched me not to. Motherly instincts know no bounds. I realized this only after I got divorced. Who can love me more than my mum?”

—Christina G., 40, Atlanta, GA

 

20. Don’t besmirch your spouse

“Marriages are supposed to do good for the two of you. It is essential to support each other rather than tear each other apart. I wish we had had rules of not belittling each other. Things would have been much better now. Talking only good things about each other would eventually build the trust between you.”

—Lisa D., 30, Broomfield, CO

 

21. Want to change your spouse? Marriage is not the way

“I have learned that one must not choose the path of marriage with an intention of changing their SO. If you think your relationship is not healthy then steer clear of marriage. Though it is obvious for many I took my time to realize.”

—Timothy F., 42, New Orleans, LA

 

22. Honesty is the best policy

One of the big things of getting a divorce is that you will now know who to steer clear of in future. I learned that if your spouse lies to you even for the simplest of things, it is still a lie. I was so dim-witted to let him deceive for a long term and steal my cash to do drugs. Never will I say okay to these deceptive people again.”

—Mili G, 35, Portland, OR

 

23. Be cordial with your ex

On one hand, we know we can remember only the negative things about our exes for after all what he’s done, he deserves that much. On the other hand, maintaining a cordial relationship with your ex is very important especially if you both have kids. I do all it takes to keep my children happy.”

—Monica G, 44, Chicago, IL

 

24. A partner should be the safest to go

“I learned from my previous marriage that a partner should give you sophistication of safety and comfort. Once that go missing, there is no point in staying in the relationship. You will only stay longer to realize that the string can’t be stretched anymore.”

—Shana T, 32, Philadelphia, PA

 

25. Take the advice of your nearest and dearest

“Soon after my divorce, my dad tells me that he always knew we both were not meant for each other. Though truth hit me hard, I knew he made sense. I was blindly in love and kept my eyes & ears closed. Your parents always want the best for you, talk to them about your married life and see what they have to say, that will definitely change your life for the better.”
—Jane R, 41, Seattle, WA