We learn the most from our mistakes, yet most of us spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to avoid making mistakes at all costs. The one thing that’s guaranteed in life is that things will change, and while you can attempt to have a “plan for everything,” a much better, more efficient approach to find your life purpose is to have a clear understanding of who you are as a man, lover, friend, and father, along with a vision of your future that inspires you and motivates you.
It’s easy to get caught up in the pain of a failing or ending marriage, especially if you have been betrayed or treated poorly. Many men get stuck focusing on the mistakes of the past rather than using them to learn and grow into a better future.
Often, when I coach men through a divorce, we find out that the life they had before wasn’t meeting their expectations for fun, fulfilment, and excitement. They wanted more, but they had given the authority to make decisions and feel confident in themselves over to their wife.
A painful marriage is actually the perfect place to reflect and learn some important truths about yourself, what you want, and how you have been going about creating that future and finding a passion and purpose for life that so often has gone missing.
Consider this moment as a fresh start, a new beginning, a new chapter in your life that will lead to a better you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Important Lessons from a Failed Relationship
Fighting to save a failing marriage isn’t always the right choice. Especially if you’re the only one prepared to fight. Over and over again, I see the men I coach thriving once they decide to stop trying to fix the relationship and just focus on themselves.
It’s counter intuitive, but the more you grow and become confident in yourself and your future again, the more other people want to interact with you and be around you. Yes, even unhappy wives can’t help responding differently to a man who has found his self-confidence and purpose in life again.
The ability to look past the pain in your relationship and find the areas of learning for you as a man, lover, and creator of your future is a very rewarding process.
Here are four lessons to help you find the positive in this extremely difficult time.
1. Your Self Worth Is Key To Your Fulfilling Future
A romantic partner isn’t required for you to have a happy and fulfilling life . When you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t see your positive intentions and instead chooses to treat you without care and consideration, it’s an act of self-respect to start treating yourself as your number one priority.
Staying with someone simply because you don’t want to be alone or because you are afraid of hurting their feelings will keep you stuck in limbo forever, waiting for them to change for you to feel happy again.
It’s a cliche, but true happiness originates from within, and it comes from having clarity about your future direction and your willingness and ability to take action and move forward towards your goals in life. You’re here to evolve and grow into your full potential and have an impact on the world around you.
Being in a relationship is a wonderful place to share life’s challenges, but ultimately it is up to you to overcome those challenges and become more than you were before in order to experience all of life’s satisfactions.
2. Being Single Is A Great Education
Many men lose themselves in their marriage. Maybe you can relate? Often, we can put our whole sense of self-worth and self-confidence into one aspect of our lives—being a husband, father, and provider. We place the relationship at the centre of our life priorities and back away from other areas of life, especially keeping a balance of time with friends or hobbies.
And when the relationship struggles, we panic, because we have given away our ability to feel secure and confident in ourselves as a man who has his own life and his own hopes and dreams. This is frequently a contributing factor to the breakdown of a relationship.
Splitting ways with someone is painful since you’ve lost a companion and trusted confidant. It can be difficult to accept that a chapter of your life is over. Keep in mind that it’s normal to experience sadness or loneliness. Use this time to take care of yourself, do things that matter, and spend time with people you care about.
As your internal experience of life changes for the better, what I see over and over again is that life responds to this new you, including how other people and women experience you differently.
The way you approach life creates opportunities for life to show you new, exciting paths to explore.
3. Do the Things You Used to Love
When you’re in a relationship, there are some things you may have to take a break from so that you can prioritise more important elements of life, such as leading the sex and romance parts of the marriage, activities with the kids, urgent DIY projects, etc.
Reconnecting with your old hobbies or passions is a great way to think about who you are, what you value, where you want to go in life, and learn more about yourself than you did before.
Once you get a better understanding of what’s important to you in life and start taking action in line with those priorities, your experience of life will change.
Spending time alone is a wonderful way to reconnect with what makes you happy and could be a wonderful invitation to learn how to find your identity through self-reflection rather than always through the eyes and opinions of others.
4. Learn How To Love Yourself And Others Will Love You Too
No matter how much work you’ve put into yourself or how far you’ve come in life, there will be days where you feel down, criticise yourself undeservingly, and certainly aren’t “loving” yourself.
These moments have valuable lessons hidden inside them if you learn how to follow the feelings and trace them back to their root causes.
Start with some empathy for yourself. None of us come into this life with a perfect plan (even though we compare ourselves with a made-up perfect version of ourselves).
We’re here to learn and grow.
Yes, you can find useful information about how other people have achieved happiness and success, but your personal fulfilment and happiness is the journey you’re here to take. And much of that fulfilment is derived from overcoming the challenges life presents as you evolve into the unique, deep, happy, and fun man you love to be.
Self-love starts with the deliberate practise of self-care in all of your daily decisions, from what you eat to who you spend your time with and how you take care of yourself. Self-love is an incredibly fun and satisfying ongoing practise that lasts throughout your life.
There’s always more to learn about yourself, about life, and what experiences you want to have next.
When a marriage doesn’t work out, we learn important lessons that can change how we think and act for the rest of our lives.
Divorce or separation is not something anyone plans for when they marry, but how you respond to this difficult experience defines who you are and the life you will build in the future.
If you’d like some support and guidance during this difficult time in your life, apply for a free 60-minute coaching call with me here.