4 Years Post-Divorce: What I've Finally Realized
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By Veronica, Guest Author - June 06, 2016 - Updated February 20, 2017

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I have finally learned to love and accept myself. To cherish value and respect who I am. What a journey it has been! Still is. I am truly looking forward to the next chapter.

No this is not going to be one of those sarcastic, bitter, angry slurs from a first wife. This is a genuine, heartfelt thank you to my ex, or perhaps I should say to my divorce. The once painful occurrence in my life, which was not planned or asked for, but which arrived. Divorce arrived like an unwelcome guest and I had to open the door to it and let it happen. It stayed and lingered long after the ink was dry on the agreement and the magistrate had said his peace and declared the marriage dissolved.

However, I have realised that four years later it is time to thank the universe for this lesson, to accept that it was in the cards for me all along, and to embrace the teachings that came with it. To accept that I am now an ex-wife and that this too has passed. I am still standing.

See the thing is, I have realised that if it was not for my history with my ex-husband, my marriage that ended, I would not be half the woman I am today. Yes I know I can hear my mother saying: “One should not let another person shape you or determine your fate, you should know, love and accept yourself and not leave this in the hands of another”. Call me weak but I entered my relationship with my ex, not loving or accepting myself, doubting myself and my abilities and carrying bags and bags of very heavy baggage.

So here is why with all my flaws, I am thankful for my marriage, for my ex-husband and ultimately for my divorce:

1. I have two beautiful, amazing children, so at one stage of my marriage, I loved my ex-husband enough to create these two awesome beings with him and now when I look at them, I am thankful that I was chosen to be their mom, I was entrusted with their lives and their love. I was allowed me to be part of these miracles that I call my son and my daughter.

2. I thank my ex-husband also for leaving when he realised he was not “into” the marriage any longer. The day he asked for a divorce, my heart broke and I felt as if my soul would never heal again. I now realise that the pain and fear that I felt in that moment was the jet fuel I needed to get me where I am today: I now own and drive a car, do my own budget and earn my own money, make decisions and accept responsibility for them, I explore and allow myself to be guided by what I love, need, am passionate about. The past four years I have experienced growth beyond measure. Yes, I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, but if it was not for that kick-the-beautiful-behind called divorce I would have missed out on so many other wonderful experiences, missed out on meeting some pretty awesome people and sharing in their stories...and missed out on finding myself and my inner strength.

Finally, I am grateful for this lesson called divorced as it taught me what love should look like and what not. And yes, through the pain and tears and gut-wrenching really low moments, I have finally learned to love and accept myself. To cherish value and respect who I am. What a journey it has been! Still is. I am truly looking forward to the next chapter.

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