I got divorced last year after a long separation from my husband. Time and distance can sure give a person perspective on their life; I know it has for me. I have learned a lot about myself in the past year; it hasn't all been pretty.
But it was necessary and it has been helpful, and eye-opening. I remain incredibly sad about losing the love of my life, but am proud of myself for having the courage to be honest with myself about myself.
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to repair my relationship with my husband and get back what I lost, but if I had it to do all over again:
I would listen more than I speak; a lot more!
I would talk to my husband instead of at him.
I would stop looking for guidance and advice from people outside of my marriage and open up a healthy dialogue with my partner.
I would reminisce more about the old times, and dream more about the future.
I would let go of all the little things, and in retrospect, they were all little things.
I would dance in the kitchen more instead of worrying about the dishes.
I would laugh more quickly and forgive more freely.
I would take more trips and spend less time doing housework.
I would protect "us" instead of worrying so much about "me."
I would not put anything ahead of my marriage; that includes work, friends, outside activities, family drama, etc.
I would be much more appreciative and grateful, focusing on all the things I have, instead of focusing on all the things I want.
I would turn off the TV and tune in to what my partner needs and wants from me; reality shows are someone else's reality; and who really cares about what's happening out there in TV land, anyway?
I would spend more time holding hands, sipping coffee on our deck, hugging each other after a long day at work, and supporting each other in all our endeavors.
I would be more honest, not just with my partner, but with myself.
I would love my partner more than anything else in the world.
If you're married and unhappy, fix it. Talk to your partner; tell them what's wrong; be honest with them and with yourself.
If you're really contemplating divorce, take the time to think about all the consequences. Think about how your partner will feel, and how you will feel. Think about what you're leaving behind and ask yourself the tough questions, like, "Is it worth it?"
Remember the old adage, "the grass isn't always greener?" It's true! And in asking the tough questions, I've learned that it wasn't worth it. Leaving my marriage didn't fix anything. The time apart made me a much stronger person and helped me understand myself much better, and I truly needed that, but I paid a high price to get there.
If I had the chance, I would love to show my husband the person that I've become, the improvements that I've made, and the things that I've learned that I believe would make me an even better partner this time around.
If I had it to do all over again, I would take that chance and run with it.
If you get the chance, I hope you do the same!