You would think there wouldn’t be too much “love” in the art of recovering and starting over after divorce, but there are actually many love lessons learned from getting a divorce.
7 Things Divorce Taught Me About Love
1. Love Ain’t Enough
Bonnie Raitt wasn’t kidding. Sometimes “love just ain’t enough” is right! As much as you love someone, there can be irreparable issues between the two of you. Perhaps your values are mismatched or your life goals are go two completely different directions.
Love is great but compatibility, vision and goal direction, and value matching is an absolute must for a marriage to survive.
2. Not Every Love is Forever
Not every love is forever, and that’s okay. Sometimes we need to learn what we can from a person and then move forward. We have people in our lives for seasons and reasons, and a marriage and/or relationship may be a time of growth but not sustainable forever. This doesn’t mean that the love is unworthy or less special. To me, each love is a special unique bond you will have with that person forever and an opportunity for growth and learning.
3. Love Takes Work, But Not Too Much Work
If you’re always working at a relationship, the relationships not working. Love and marriage are supposed to take effort and care but it’s not supposed to be hard labor. If the two of you are constantly compromising on each and everything, chances are your love “ain’t enough” to make it work, and that’s okay!
4. Even Anger Can’t Kill Love
No matter how mad you might be at your ex, I am willing to bet somewhere deep down inside there is probably love there. It is hard to extinguish, even after years apart and new relationships. Just because love was toxic doesn’t mean that love died.
That is a hurtful aspect of love. Knowing you can’t live with them and it’s damn hard to live without them. You have to take the love and refocus it on moving on to a healthier relationship.
5. Even Something Good Comes Out Of a Failed Love
A failed love is not a failure if you’ve gained perspective and grown from the experience. Love doesn’t’ have to last a lifetime to bring you a lifetime of lessons and even joy from knowing that an experience didn’t pan out, but you became “you” from it!
6. Love is Wanting—Not Needing
Love is wanting someone in your life—not needing just anyone in your life. So many relationships come about because of a need people think they have, which isn’t healthy. A need for sex. A need to feel wanted. A need to not be alone.
These “needs” aren’t productive though. Wanting a certain someone in your life—wanting that person to be a part of who you are because that person speaks to you and your heart, and not because you are filled with neediness is a real love. The rest of it is fear-based neediness.
7. Sex & Love Are Two Different Things:
The need for sex is not the same as the need for love and the two are sometimes mutually exclusive. You can want sex but not love someone, although if you love someone romantically you will most likely want to have sex with them.
Either way, you can feel an attraction to someone without having an emotional connection. As you date after divorce, you’ll find some people are more for the “fun” and others for the “long haul.” Love and sex, for most, do not come hand in hand.
Divorce is not a walk in the park or a fun experience but if you pay attention and take inventory on your past marriage, you will learn so much about love and what you want down the line from someone else. And guess what? If you pay attention enough and learn the lessons you’re supposed to, the next love will be forever if that’s what you want!