There’s a quote from novelist Victoria Holt that’s particularly well-suited to describe the divorce experience. “Never regret,” she wrote. “If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”
Regardless of how you feel about your former marriage, it undoubtedly taught you something about life and who you are as a person. Below, HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers share the reasons they have no regrets about saying “I do,” even if they eventually divorced.
1. You may have great kids to show for it.
“I have never, not once looked back and felt any regret in marrying my ex. Because of that marriage, three beautiful lives were born. I love my three daughters, not just because they are my children, but because of who they are as individuals: The beautiful tall quiet introvert, the freak-flag flying feminist, and my little cheerleader who aspires to be Kim Kardashian. They are only half mine, the other half is him -– and I would not want to change a single thing about them.” –Jennifer Gardella
2. Looking back, the relationship may have been what you needed, when you needed it.
“When I married my first husband I was grieving the loss of my father a year prior. I was in a very sad and unhappy place. Looking back now, I know that I was looking to recreate my sense of family. Sure, it’s not the best reason to get married, but in that moment in time, the family I created with my ex-husband essentially sheltered me while I developed the strength to thrive as an adult.” –Carol Schaffer
3. You may no longer be spouses, but nothing can break the bond you share as parents.
“When we got married it was with the idea of having a big family. Having four children under three in less than three years (we had twins!) was simultaneously wonderful and terribly difficult. I worked days and my ex-husband worked nights. We operated in a haze, neither of us getting anywhere near enough sleep. Those years taught us the value of teamwork. Our kids are now all in elementary school and luckily that teamwork we learned in our kids’ early years has transferred into a great co-parenting relationship. No one in the world gets how wonderful and terribly difficult it was and still is to have these four kiddos but the two of us. I’m thankful we learned how to put ourselves aside and work together effectively for our kids.” –Kasey Ferris
4. When things were good, they were really good.
“My ex and I traveled the world, lived in some incredibly exotic places and raised two wonderful children at the same time. How could I regret anything? I guess the only thing I regret is how it ended.” –Caroline Sarah Keller
5. More likely than not, marriage is an essential part of your life story.
“I don’t regret marrying my ex-husband because no matter how a relationship plays out, the experience is part of the montage of your life, especially when you have kids. As two people who traversed the landscape of dating, engagement, wedding, pregnancy, childbirth, and the challenges of raising toddlers, we’ll forever be linked. I have never considered my marriage to be a failure, despite ending in divorce. I will always see my marriage to my ex-husband as a connection that brought two inspiring, wonderful young women into the world and for that, I have absolutely no regrets.” –Beth Cone Kramer
6. Your kids wouldn’t be who they are if not for your ex.
“I always say I could have had these three kids with anyone, since they look so much like my side of the family, but that’s not true. My family has always been talented –- music, painting, writing –- and although I have some of those talents, I was never driven to succeed with any of them. My children have those talents in abundance, plus something I never had: ambition. They got that entirely from their mother. She is tenacious as a pit bull and usually gets whatever it is she goes after. (I pity the poor customer rep on the phone that doesn’t have the right answer for her!) She earned both a bachelor and master’s degree while working full-time.” –Al Deluise
7. You may have gained some awesome in-laws.
“If I hadn’t married, I would have never had began a friendship with my dear, wonderful sister-in-law. Her brother and I might have gotten a divorce, but my friendship with her has never changed.” –Rochelle Winston Davies
8. Marriage — and divorce — teach lessons in forgiveness.
“At the time, I married a man who I loved unconditionally — I thought of him as my one true love. The marriage didn’t end well but I persevered and I learned how to forgive when something seems unforgivable. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not experienced marriage and divorce.” –Stephanie Cobb Gilmore
9. The marriage may have ended, but your friendship with your ex can absolutely live on.
“I have no regrets because even through we separated, my ex Malissa is still my best friend. We can laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I feel fortunate that we’ve maintained a mutual respect for each other and what we shared. When I think of my marriage, I think of the growth that I have attained through my union with Malissa. I have learned that love cannot be cavalier; you have to put constant effort into courtship and appreciation. To be frank about it, my marriage may not have had the plot line that most people hope for, but I believe it turned out the way that it was supposed to in the end.” –Gregory Chambers
10. You aren’t afraid to live life to the fullest.
“I used to regret a lot about my marriage but I am learning to move beyond those things. I have no regrets about having kids and jumping feet first and uninhibited into life as a couple with another person; moving to new places, buying homes; trying new jobs; quitting jobs, having parties with friends, doing yard work. The list goes on and on. The more philosophical answer is that I don’t regret my marriage because I was living my life.” –Chris Burcher
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