I’ve learned through the process of my divorce, that the best way to ensure that my next relationship is my last relationship, is to ensure that I’ve learned my lesson from the experience of my previous marriage and divorce.
One of the first things that I learned as an entrepreneur is that the path to success is paved with repeated failures. No one likes to fail, but if you can learn something from your failure, the very next time you try you could reach great success.
No matter whose fault it was, what I wish I’d done differently or, could have done, etc., the bottom line is that my marriage failed. I can sit around and beat myself up about that, or I can use it as a learning experience, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that I don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Do a little navel gazing:
So, the first step to ensuring that my next relationship is my last is to examine the corpse of my last one. Where did it go wrong? And not just towards the end of the marriage, but what led me to choose to marry the wrong person in the first place?
What kinds of things was I looking for in a spouse that were not to my advantage in the long term? Examining the failed relationship and the person that chose to be in it is in the first place, is the first step to ensure success in future relationships.
The second step is to develop a set of non-negotiables. There is a saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. If you don’t know what you’re looking for in a relationship, and furthermore, if you’re not willing to hold out for what you want, then you’ll agree to a date with the first person that smiles at you and pays you a compliment.
Those of us who have been divorced, know the character traits of a person we’d like to be in a relationship with. We know the kind of person that would make a good father. And we also know that the man that seems nice and together isn’t always. Thus, much time is needed to get to know someone before choosing to share a life with them.
I talk to all kinds of women who take my online course and at least 80% of them, when asked why they married their ex, say that it’s because they were young. What does that mean?
It means that wisdom comes with age. When you’re young, your set of non-negotiables are and should be completely differently than when you are more mature. Maturity and experience teach you to choose a mate based on the role that they will be expected to perform as your spouse, rather than based on other superficial characteristics that won’t benefit you or your children in the long run.
Become whole again:
But the last and most important way that I will ensure that my next relationship is my last, is that I will seek healing. Divorce is painful. No matter who leaves who, it sucks. Healing is needed. With healing the chances of taking brokenness and pain into another relationship and it being anything other than dysfunctional are zero.
It’s not until I am completely healed, until I have learned every lesson that I can from my previous marriage, and until I have a good solid set of non-negotiable in place that I have prayed over and studied, that I will allow myself to move towards another relationship.
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