I’ve written about the divorces in my life and how they’ve affected me. I’ve also written about a lot of the good that’s come out of my own divorce as it has been the driving force behind the journey of self discovery and acceptance I’ve been on since. (You can find all these posts in my archives if you’re interested.) What I haven’t written a whole lot on is the GREAT that came out of my parent’s divorce which is where my mind is today…thankful for the silver linings.
If you look hard enough you can find the good that comes out of any bad situation. It may not be the glaring silver lining you read about in books or see in movies. It may be as little as the shift in your perspective or the empathy you now have for others that comes solely from having “been there”. It’s these little linings that are many times overlooked and some times the most important. I often hear how detrimental divorce is to children and there is truth to that, but having been a child of divorce there are several things I consider to be blessings and wouldn’t change if I had the choice. It’s these “blessings” that kept me going through my own divorce. They afforded me the security that everything was going to be okay, and for that I am grateful! Here are some of my silver linings.
1. My parent’s divorce taught me what NOT to do in my own divorce. I know I’ve said it before, but it was a priceless lesson and I’m glad I learned it the first time around because how many of you know it can take many repetitions of a lesson for it to finally sink in? Please know that I don’t blame my parents for the state of their divorce. I understand that divorce is an ugly monster just in it’s natural form so to do it any differently takes vulnerability, and opens you up to criticism from those that love you and want to protect you. Either way there is nothing easy about it, but in the end I know I made the right choices for mine.
2. My parents get along better now than they ever did. This may be hugely due to the fact they there’s not much communication between them at all anymore, but there was a time when they had to communicate. I’m proud of them for learning to be civil to one another. In fact, there were several times they went above and beyond civility. Besides the expected events like graduation, weddings and showers, there were times when my parents voluntarily shared the same space.
- At a friends house as we were getting ready for a high school dance. (I have a picture with me sandwiched between my mom and my “step”-mom.)
- At my Pop Pop’s viewing. My mom was there to offer support no matter that the loss was on my dad’s side. My family (including my dad) welcomed her presence there and she was a huge help with her grandchildren.
- At my Aunt’s house on my dad’s side for Thanksgiving. My dad’s family invited my mom. Again she was welcome and I know it had to take courage for her to voluntarily go and be surrounded by those that supported my dad. But she did and I believe it’s because she knew they all loved her kids and how can you not appreciate that?
These examples, along with many others, have paved the way for me in my dealings with my Ex. Just the other evening B and I went to his house by invitation of his girlfriend to have cake and ice cream in celebration of my son’s birthday. Weird, right? And while it didn’t feel completely natural, it wasn’t at all bad. We actually laughed and shared stories. It was…nice.
3. I’ve witnessed my parents’ happiness in the healthy relationships they moved into. So many times people remarry only to find exactly what they had in the first marriage. There are a plethora of reasons this may happen, but statistics are definitely against a 2nd marriage surviving. BOTH my parents married people who were terrific matches for them and who have been great step-parents to me and my brothers. After seeing a dysfunctional relationship for a good portion of my life, it’s a relief to know that not every relationship has to be that way. Their second marriages have given me hope that there is a second chance to happiness in marriage.
These are just a few of the silver linings I’ve found. I hope to share more of them with you in the near future. In the meantime, if you’ve found your own silver linings and you’d like to share them please do so in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.