Why My Divorce Made Me Happier

Divorce can be extremely difficult, but as the process is finalized it can be extremely peaceful . . . or at the least, even in the midst of the stress and strain, it can be a positive event. For many people, the toughest part is in the first two stages: the first is when you are deciding whether to divorce or not. The decision to divorce can be harder than the divorce itself, as you're filled with anxiety and sadness. The second stage is the separation process in which both parties begin to cut ties.

Divorce shouldn't be considered trivial or an easy way out of a marriage, because more times than not it takes immense bravery to divorce and move forward with your life. But once you're over the tough part, there are so many reasons divorce can bring you happiness.

1. No More Doubt

That period when we were deciding whether to divorce or not was so hard. It was full of anxiety, sadness, confusion, and pain. I can't express enough how difficult that period was for me and, I am sure, my ex. Making the decision to divorce was hard because we had invested years together and had a child. My divorce made me happier and, I am sure, him as well, simply because the decision was made and we could move forward.

2. Knowing What to Look For

My ex and I are very different, and as time went on, those differences became more apparent. My divorce made me happier because I knew I could make the right choice for me in terms of picking a partner whose values best reflected mine. I don't think I understood before I got married how important it would be to have both significant common ground and a matching worldview in my lifetime partner.

3. Reconnecting With Myself

Typically, as people start to retreat from a marriage, the criticism is at an all-time high. There were things about me that my ex didn't like or didn't appreciate, yet they weren't things I could change in the long run. Being single and reconnecting with who I am and what I am made me much happier. Honestly, I needed to build my self-esteem, and that's exactly what these past three years single have done.

4. On My Own Terms

When you have two people with vastly different worldviews and opinions, it's natural for both parties to feel as if "they just can't be themselves." My divorce allowed us to be ourselves. I'm able to live life on my terms and create a world that best suits my sensibilities, beliefs, and strengths.

5. A Learning Experience

It sounds very Zen, and while I am not Buddhist, divorce was a great teacher. It was a wicked and cruel teacher at times, but it taught me so much about myself that perhaps I would have never learned had I stayed married. No one wants stress and grief, but these lessons led me to become a better, happier, less anxious, and calmer person. Our lessons can really make us stronger, if we pay attention to the things we are supposed to be learning.

6. Stronger Parent-Child Relationship

Often, parents who have been divorced say that they end up having better relationships with their kids after divorce because of shared custody time. In that shared time, you've got to make the most of it. For a variety of reasons, the divorce created a strong relationship between my daughter and me. Of course, when I look back to my stay-at-home mom days, I fondly cherish the intense time home I had with her day in and day out, but spending so much time with my daughter on my own has really helped us to develop a special relationship. Now I can be myself around her without that judgment.

7. Not Lonely, Just Alone

Being lonely in a partnership is hard; being alone is not. Sure, a partner would be great, but being alone has many benefits. The most important part is I am alone on my terms, not lonely outside of my terms.

Divorce has had some real zingers and valleys. To say it hasn't would be a lie. However, I truly feel happy. I feel like I have grown as a person and will be an amazing partner when the right person comes along. I'm ready now!