I'm Divorced, but I Don't Regret My Marriage

I can assure you that no one wakes up on their wedding day thinking about divorce. I can also assure you that marriages are hard, and it's not all rainbows and butterflies. There is a lot of baggage. But, to be honest, sometimes those hard times are indicative of something bigger and something that may not be able to be fixed. And the sad truth is, sometimes divorce is absolutely the best option. Let me explain.

I married my high school sweetheart. We had known each other for years and been through so many things together. Obviously, marriage was the next step, and we took the plunge. However, to be honest, we weren't happy together before we got married. We struggled with communication, life goals, and finances. We also had a few problems at the beginning of our relationship that really never got solved. We would pack them away on a shelf for a while and have a good year or two, but then they would resurface — hard — and cause fights and tension. But we continued on to the altar, said our "I dos," and hoped this slump was something we would get out of again — that's the way it always was.

It didn't.

I can't say we didn't do everything we could to save our marriage because the truth is, we did. We went to two different therapists, we tried living apart for a bit to cool down and regroup, we tried living together again. We went on dates to try to reignite a spark, we tried to be extra thoughtful of each other. But at the end of the day, our relationship was lacking something. We as people were lacking something that the other needed.

We both realized that while we loved each other, we were probably never in love with each other. To our defense, we were really too young to know the difference, and we continued forward as we thought we should. We parted as friends and deeply love and respect each other. We still talk every day, and I still think he is an absolutely wonderful man, just not my perfect fit.

I read that Jennifer Aniston called her failed marriages successes. And I truly believe she's right. Yes, my marriage ended, but in reality, going through that turned me into the woman I am today. I am truly independent. I realized how strong and resourceful I could be when I had to be. I began to really value my friends and family and their support in a new way. And I fell in love with a man that checks all the boxes and who brings out the best in me simply by being himself. My divorce actually made me a happier, better person.

When I think about how far I've come and how much I've grown in the last few years, it is hard for me to say that I regret my marriage because I most certainly don't. It brought me where I am today and for that, I will always be grateful.