However, all too often, you hear the words, "Good riddance" follow conversations about why the two parted. And that makes me really sad.
While my divorce from my husband... ex-husband?... is a positive life move for both him and me, I have no regrets about our relationship nor do I have a desire to erase our past from my memory. This is the key reason why I chose not to switch back to my maiden name. I am no longer the person I was prior to my marriage and I do not want to erase it from my memory.
I am a better person because of my marriage to my husband (ex-husband? That feels weird to say).
1. Through my marriage, I was able to identify characteristics within myself that I dislike. The key word there is "I". My marriage taught me so much about contextualizing changes, fighting fairly and putting someone before myself. My management of these situations has changed the way I handle not only my personal relationships but also my professional relationships. Being able to step outside one's self and see the picture from all angles is a hard skill to master. I'm working on it, but my marriage definitely put me on the right path.
2. My husband's (my ex-husband's) unfailing faith in my abilities helped me launch The Creative Cubby. Sure, masked by love, every creation is the best thing they've ever seen. However, he gave me the confidence to put myself out in the world and brace myself for criticism... oh, and praise. When I said, "The worst that can happen is no one will read my blog," he responded, "No, the worst that can happen is you will hate writing your blog." He changed my focus to what I get out of it rather than what others expect. He gave me the extra confidence I needed to take that next leap and I will be forever grateful.
3. We were and still are great friends. Regardless of the reasons that led us to getting a divorce, we are amazing friends to each other. He will always be my platonic soulmate. We are so much the same person it's almost scary. Outside of our ability to amicably split Gummy Bears and our mutual love of The West Wing, we supported each other endlessly. If one of us was having trouble at work or wanted to make a life change, we talked it out, we analyzed, and we helped each other to make the decision we truly desired. We also aren't afraid to be silly with each other and make each other laugh with historical references.
I could go on and on, but those are my top three. My marriage is over and that's okay. Am I bitter? No. Am I happy? Getting there. Will we stay friends? I sure hope so. The exact reasons for our divorce are, obviously, very private, but regardless of those reasons, I never want to forget that I was married to him. He was a positive part of my life and hopefully, we can continue the trend. I will continue to learn and grow and I'm grateful to our relationship for putting me on the right path.
It may be over... but I have no desire to forget.