First the bad news
In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people get married for the first time by age 50, according to the American Psychological Association, but somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of those marriages end in divorce (and here are some of the signs that’s where your marriage is headed that way). At age 28, I joined the first group. Earlier this year, after 23 years of marriage, I joined the second.
My ex and I got divorced because we didn’t want to remain married to one another. It wasn’t a decision either of us took lightly. It took us all these years to get here, including nearly two years of divorce discussions—during which time either one of us could have made the case to the other that ending our marriage was a mistake.
Divorce is not a cause for celebration. It’s the end of a marriage, and no matter how bad that marriage was, the fact that it’s over is sad. Whatever dreams you and your spouse had for your life together are, well, kaput.
It wasn’t until the divorce papers were signed that there was finally space to mourn. But like all mourning, mine eventually subsided, and what had felt like loss came to feel like an opportunity. And that brings me to the good news.