An article worth reading from the Toronto The Globe and Mail's The secret to moving on: Don't overthink:
The decision to leave a marriage is never easy, despite the social tolerance for divorce. The period of deliberation that precedes most splits could be called "the Hamlet years," as one or both of the spouses struggle with a confusing mix of emotions. Ms. Wright Penn's knowledge of what she doesn't want is as powerful as knowing what she does want. And it will also help her move on.
A difficult marriage that ends in divorce is a crucible that can produce sobering insight, not only into self, but into others, and the nature and limitations of love.
And just in case the burgeoning population of exes skip the lessons to be learned, there's a subgenre of romantic relationship books about the subject, including Your Ex-Factor by Stephan Poulter, published this month, and Better Love Next Time by J.M. Kearns, released earlier this year. It's not just about finding The One any more. It's about finding Another One after The One you thought was The One turned out not to be.
Oh yes, it's confusing. And if you don't do the work, they say, you might end up repeating your romantic pattern, because we all have them. Analysis about what went wrong also helps rebuild the trust many lose in their ability to know who and what is good for them.
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The consequences of that decision can either be life affirming or destroying, depending upon how each parent approaches this transition. Parents who are blinded by blame and anger are not likely to learn much through the experience. They see their former spouse as the total problem in their life and are convinced that getting rid of that problem through divorce will bring ultimate resolution. These parents are often self-righteous about the subject and give little thought to what part they may have played in the dissolution of the marriage.
Parents at this level of awareness are not looking to grow through the divorce process. They are more likely to ultimately find another partner with whom they have similar challenges or battles and once again find themselves caught in the pain of an unhappy relationship.
There are others, however, for whom divorce can be a threshold into greater self-understanding and reflection. These parents don't want to repeat the same mistake and want to be fully aware of any part they played in the failure of the marriage. Self-reflective people ask themselves questions and search within - often with the assistance of a professional counselor or therapist - to understand what they did or did not do and how it affected the connection with their spouse.
These introspective parents consider how they might have behaved differently in certain circumstances. They question their motives and actions to make sure they came from a place of clarity and good intentions. They replay difficult periods within the marriage to see what they can learn, improve, let go of or accept. They take responsibility for their behaviors and apologize for those that were counter-productive. They also forgive themselves for errors made in the past - and look toward being able to forgive their spouse in the same light.
These parents are honest with their children when discussing the divorce - to the age-appropriate degree that their children can understand. They remind their children that both Mom and Dad still, and always will, love them. And they remember their former spouse will always be a parent to their children and therefore speak about them with respect around the kids.