Written by Heidi Quinlan

You’re not a failure in marriage just because it’s over

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Optimistic Thomas Edison refused to say he had failed in some of his experiments. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” he quipped. Endings and beginnings can be challenging, and it’s so much more difficult when your new beginning is the result of a marriage ending.

Failure in Marriage

The marriage failed. You didn’t. You’ve made several attempts to make it work, but like Edison, you’ve discovered it won’t. What you’re feeling is normal, but it’s a roadblock to getting yourself and your family back on track.

How to Feel Better About Divorce

Like every passage, you should allow time to grieve the loss of your partnership even while looking ahead to a new quality of life. But grieving a loss is not the same as feeling like a failure in marriage. Grief is a normal process of loss; emotionally beating yourself up and allowing yourself to feel like a loser is non-productive.

“You can move past the misery of feeling like a failure by changing your perspective,” says divorce coach Dr. Karen Finn. Changing the belief that you’re a failure requires you to accept other thoughts about yourself and your divorce. You are still an individual with talents, strengths, and opportunities.

It Takes Two

A marital union requires both partners choosing to make it work. It also takes two people to make it not work. Taking responsibility for the end of a marriage is not the same as being a failure. A divorce signals the end of a relationship, and that connection was between the two of you; you alone were not and will never be solely responsible for the marriage ending.

Sometimes, Relationships Have Expiration Dates

Any relationship, including parent/child, sibling, lifelong friend – and your marriage partner – requires regular nurturing and attention. When a relationship takes a different path, one or more participants may feel unwilling to travel the same road as her or his partner. Your marriage is not a test, where you pass or fail; get a good grade or an F. In this life, everything that has a beginning has the capacity to end. Neither of you is failures; the relationship changed.

This is One Part of Who You Are

You are a beloved parent, child, friend, co-worker, employer, employee, volunteer . . . You are many things in addition to being a partner in marriage. Your divorce can lead to an opportunity to develop one or more facets of your personality.

If you’re being you, how can you be a failure? You’re human, and that means you may or may not always do your best, but you can learn from life lessons. Looking back, there are things you might have done differently. But at the time, your choices were yours alone; those decisions helped make you who you are today.

The Value of Resolution

It feels so good when indecision is replaced with a decision, when uncertainty leads to a plan, and when the end of your marriage becomes the beginning of a new way of life for you and those you love! There are many ways to reach a good resolution in a collaborative divorce. Arizona’s Best Legal Choices’ legal, financial, and mediations/communications professionals will help you find the method of divorce and resolution that may be best for you.

Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts
-Winston Churchill

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