Feeling Like A Failure
In the survey I recently conducted (www.survivingdivorcepodcast.com/survey) I asked you to tell me what you are currently struggling with. Feeling like a failure was a common response.
First of all I want to tell you that feeling like a failure is normal. Our marriages ended. In some ways those of us who are divorced are failures. We had the best intentions of being married for life but that’s not how things turned out. Our plans of growing old together have suddenly been ripped out from under us. We are no longer with our kids all of the time. Income has probably taken a significant hit.
But we can’t look at our failure at marriage as the defining point in our lives. Studies show that close to 80% of divorced people will eventually remarry. So given that fact, it’s important to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them
I’ve talked before about taking ownership for your part in breakdown of your marriage. No one is perfect so you share some of the blame for your divorce. It may be that you broke the trust of your ex and the divorce is largely on your shoulders. You may have just grown apart and the blame can be place equally on both parties. It’s also quite possible that your ex was largely to blame and you had a very small role in your marital problems. At the very least you may have made a poor choice in a marriage partner.
Whatever the case, taking ownership for your part in the divorce will allow you to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Many of the most successful people have major failures in their past.
Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was cut from his high school basketball team. It’s said that he went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.
Oprah was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she wasn’t fit for television
Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job for lacking imagination and having no original ideas.
It took Thomas Edison over 10,000 tries to get the light bulb design perfected.
What does this have to do with divorce?
You may have been “cut” or “fired” from your marriage because you just didn’t measure up. Your ex effectively announced to the world that you were not a suitable spouse. Maybe you were the one that ended the marriage for very valid reasons.
Whatever your specific situation is, in the eyes of many you failed at marriage.
To think that someone could describe Walt Disney as lacking imagination is hard to comprehend knowing what we know today. How Oprah could be described as not fit for television is almost unbelievable.
These very successful people had one thing in common, they did not let failure define them. And you can’t let your failed marriage define you.
Taking Stock And Making Changes
The key to overcoming your failed marriage is to take stock of your situation.
Make an honest accounting of what went wrong in your marriage. This may require you to get some input from someone who knew you well as couple. We are often too close to the situation to look at it without bias. This will help you figure out where you need to take responsibility.
After you know where you are to blame, make appropriate changes. You may need to seek counseling to correct aspects of your character or personality that contributed to your divorce. If you have a history of choosing poor romantic partners counseling may help you understand why.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells the Children of Israel, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
As a Christian I believe that God has a plan for each of our lives. The psalmist says in Psalm 139: 13-16, “For You formed my inward parts, You wove me in my mother’s womb… You’re eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
Do I believe God wanted you to get a divorce. No. He states in Malachi that He hates divorce. He would not wish the pain of divorce on any of his children. Yet, he is all-knowing. He knew you would get a divorce so he took that into account when he was preparing His plan for your life.
Your best days are ahead of you. God has a plan for you that is full of hope. What may seem like the ultimate failure God can use as a springboard to your greatest success but it’s up to you to do the hard and sometimes uncomfortable work for that to happen. We wouldn’t recognize the names of Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, or Thomas Edison if they had let failure define them.
Rom 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
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