While there are many reasons couples divorce, could it come down to something as simple as this: the space between what we imagine love is and what we actually have becomes too wide. Our hope for ideal love is crushed under the weight of the reality of marriage -- the day-in, day-outedness of it dulls the shine on our dreams of what love should be.
Yes, divorce can deal a strong blow to our ideas of love. But it can also teach us some things about love that we can use to make our life’s journey more in tune with what we really want and need:
Divorce teaches that love is not enough.
No matter how much you love someone, if you have different values, goals, or other irreparable issues like infidelity or abuse, love alone is not enough to save a marriage. This is because marriage is a partnership, where compatibility, honor, and respect must be present for a union to survive and thrive over time.
Divorce teaches that not every love is forever.
It has been said that we have people in our lives for seasons and reasons, which means that not every love we experience will be sustainable forever. Realize that while each love is unique to the person you share it with and an opportunity for growth and learning, it may not be forever.
Divorce teaches that love shouldn’t be hard work.
If it takes hard work to make your relationship work, that’s a sign that your relationship is not working. Good marriages do take a certain degree of care and effort to work, but if you find yourself always having to compromise, chances are that love is not enough to make your relationship work.
Divorce teaches that something good can come from failing at love.
Your failed marriage is not a failure if you can grow from the experience. When it comes to relationships, the past does not have to be prologue; your future can be better than you even imagine if you embrace the experience as part of your life’s journey. Divorce is a resting place, not a stopping place.
Divorce teaches that love is wanting, not needing.
Relationships founded on need -- the need to feel wanted, the need to not be alone, the need for physical connection -- are based in fear, not love. Lasting love comes from fulfilling our want -- wanting that one particular person because he or she speaks to you and your heart, not because you are filled with need.
Dealing with the end of one love may feel like an insurmountable task, but the truth is that once you have put away the feelings of sadness and anger, you create room for relief, clarity, and a new perspective on how a new life -- and love -- can unfold.