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Divorced VS Never Been Married: Which Is Better?

Divorced VS Never Been Married: Which Is Better?

I feel lucky to have been married.

It was a sunny and humid day. I was meeting up with a friend and one of her friends was pet-sitting at a house nearby.

“Let’s go hang out with her there, and relax in the pool,” my friend suggested.

“Sure. I won’t swim, but I’m down for hanging out,” I replied.

And as it goes when women get together, the topic inevitably heads towards men and relationships.

My friend’s friend was filling us in in her dating woes, and the two of them were having a fun time in the pool reading texts from one guy, while I was sitting on a lounge chair in the shade, listening to them.

After a while, the friend turned to me and asked me my current dating stories.

“I’m divorced,” I said, “and not currently in a relationship.”

Her eyebrows raised.

“Whoa, ok. So you actually went through the whole marriage schbang already. You’re way ahead of us. You don’t need to get married again if you don’t want to.”

I don’t remember what I said to make her come to this conclusion, but she was right.

I DON’T have the need, or the urge, to marry again. Because I’ve already done all that once.

Marriage is like a rite of passage. Mostly everyone thinks about it in some form or another, waiting for the day it comes his or her turn. Maybe women more than men.

The location, colors, number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, WHO’S going to be the bridesmaids and groomsmen, who to invite, what decorations, what kind of flowers/entertainment, chicken or fish… all that jazz.

I already went through all of that.

And frankly, given the two status choices at my age, to be divorced or not having been married before, I feel lucky to be the former.

Because those who have never been married, and who want to be, seem to have this intense yearning, especially as the years go by.
The longing, the desperation, the uncertainty of will it ever happen, all those emotions just swirling around.

That’s why all these reality shows about finding love are such a hit. Indian Matchmaking. Temptation Island. Bachelor/Bachelorette. 90 Day Fiance/Before the 90 Days/Pillow Talk/Whatever-Else-Spinoff.

It’s entertaining but also tugs at our heartstrings as well. Who doesn’t want happy endings for those people searching for love? Because they aren’t paid actors. They are regular people just like us, who go through ups and downs, and at the end of the day, we just want them to be together and happy so it gives us a bit of hope that we will eventually find our own too.

Because I’ve already went through the rite of passage, even though it’s no longer, I feel so much freer. There’s less pressure from myself to get hitched, and a lot easier to buck societal convention and think about what I truly want.

Do I even want to get married? Or have kids? Or live according to widely accepted principles?

And honestly speaking, it seems the status of divorce is slightly higher than the single-never-been-married status.

It’s bullshit thinking, but as one gets up there in age, society puts them in categories. If you happen to be someone who’s supposed to be married but not, and you’ve never been, society deems you as something inferior.

Being married at a certain point somehow makes you more capable and smarter. Maybe because it seems like someone actually found you worthwhile to marry, and so the thinking is you can’t be that bad of a person. And because of that, you should be smarter, more capable and responsible, able to make better decisions, etc. The halo effect.

My ex-husband used to say his clients and boss take him more seriously when they see a ring on his finger. I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of hardship and stigma for a divorced woman too, especially a divorced woman at a certain age, who’s not remarried or partnered up, and with no kids. My thoughts and opinions are second-guessed; people think they can encroach on my agency and say I should do this or feel that based on my status.

It used to bother me what conventional society thought, and that’s one of the things that made me stay in the relationship far longer than I should have. But now, I’ve learned to thicken up my skin and internalized that sooner or later, everyone dies. Even the judgmental ones. And when I’m on my deathbed, I don’t want to look back and wonder what my life could have been if I was brave enough to follow my heart.

Bucking norms was a really hard lesson to learn, and going through it without much support was extremely tough. But, I’m proud of my resilience, and I’m proud of finding my dignity more and more through loving who I am instead of relying on external validation.

In choosing between divorced or never been married, I feel lucky to be divorced.


Your Breakup Is Invitation To Do the Inner Work

Your Breakup Is Invitation To Do the Inner Work

I’ve gone through one of the most excruciating and painful events I could have ever imagined: a separation with my ex that ultimately led to my divorce.

For years of my life, I was stuck thinking about her. I didn’t want to move on, let go, or do anything else in my life. I was struck with grief and stayed paralyzed, devastated, and in tears for years.

I went through years of doing the spiritual work and the emotional work to heal and overcome the grief of our relationship ending. I wished that I was one of those people who just woke up and moved on to the next person.

Not I. I thought of myself as the loyal person who was going to stand on the battlefield of love and fight until the deadly end. I was going to keep the memories of this relationship alive and keep her in my life like she was still there and the relationship never ended. I would just reject the notion that this relationship was no more.

So, I stayed and suffered for years; grieving for some of those years, hoping she’d come back some of those years or simply remaining numb for some of those years.

I felt this was the most special and holiest of relationships. I felt like this woman was my soulmate who had been sent to me through the cosmos and I had found through the most divine circumstances.

I never for a second thought this relationship could end. The relationship ending felt like my life should have ended as well.

When it did end, I wanted to know how she could have done this. I wanted to know why she did this. I wanted to know much longer she would remain away from what I knew was a holy relationship.

I was lost and confused without hope or motivation about my own life.

So, year after year, I struggled and stayed stuck in the past. I continued to do the work and went all over the world searching for answers. I looked for answers in the hundreds of books I read. I looked for answers in the many therapist’s visits I had. I looked for answers with the spiritual gurus I visited and the ashrams around the world.

I wanted to find answers about why the relationship ended and how I was to let go of this relationship ending.

What I found in my search instead

As I did the work over the last several years, most of the answers that I discovered were hardly about my ex.

In fact, what I discovered was that my ex was simply a mirror and helped me see very issues that I should work on in my life. She showed me my childhood traumas that I was never exposed to. She showed me my lack of self-love and lack of belief in myself. She showed me my habits of over-thinking, rumination, and living my life in the past.

She showed me my aversion to change and uncertainty in life. Finally, she showed me that I regularly saw myself stuck in my own circumstances and would rather suffer in the things that I couldn’t change than try to make some positive change in my life.

I went on a deep journey to discover how to let go of the relationship and move on from her. I did find the answers to that but this journey also exposed me to hidden pains and emotional wounds that I was never aware of.

What they say is true. Relationships are your greatest spiritual teachers. They will bring up all your crap so you can deal with it.

You may take the journey believing that it’s your ex is the problem and your ex is mean, abusive, or hurtful but what I realized ultimate is that…

Your Ex Is Your Teacher

Through your relationship and later through your breakup, you will examine what happened and what went wrong.

More than likely, if you do the work of healing, you will discover that many of the issues that came up in the relationship have to do with your life-long hurts that have not been healed.

As you progress through your breakup journey, you will continue to discover unresolved pain, childhood traumas and other emotional wounds. You will soon make the discovery that much of the issues from this breakup are internal ones that you have to work on understanding and healing.

You thought you only had to deal with the grief of the breakup but your breakup will open the floodgates to all the other issues that are lurking within.

Your job now is becoming aware, discovering the emotional wounds, and working on healing them. You will soon realize that all the problems and blame that you had put on your ex will turn inward. You will see how various emotional wounds and inner hurts contributed to the relationship deteriorating.

Now is the time to look within, become aware and work on healing life-long wounds. Your ex is your teacher in this classroom on heartbreak.

Your task is to do the homework assigned to you, learn the lessons that are available to you and grow through this experience.

To get started on the work with your parents, start with my book on Amazon here. To start on self-love, check out this book on self-love after heartbreak. If you are feeling stuck in life, check out How Do I Get Unstuck on Amazon.