failed marriageIn some of my recent blogs, I’ve spoken about the words we chose, and the meaning we put on things. A woman wrote to me the other day, and said, “I’m 62 years old, and I’ve had three failed marriages.”

Three failed marriages?

How many of you out there feel your marriages failed?

Marriages don’t fail. The whole marriage didn’t fall apart because it failed. There is no such thing as failure anyway. The marriage ended because two people couldn’t be together anymore. Two people decided they were with the wrong partner. Two people outgrew each other. Two people learned the lessons they needed to learn and moved on.

I never look at anything as a failure. I look at things as lessons I’m learning along the way. I’ve been married and divorced. The marriage didn’t fail. We just couldn’t connect or please each other anymore. We couldn’t relate to each other’s deepest needs, wants, and desires. But it didn’t fail. Fail is such a harsh term. It suggests you did something badly. It suggests you messed up. It suggests you weren’t good enough. It’s negative.

Every single relationship has a lesson to teach you. Every relationship has it’s challenges. Talking about relationships as failures means you didn’t learn anything. You’re essentially telling yourself you weren’t worthy of success. If a relationship doesn’t work out, it’s fine. If a marriage doesn’t work out, it’s OK. It really is.

Divorce Doesn’t Mean You Failed At Anything

It’s fine because there are so many lessons your partner will have taught you. There are so many things you‘ll have learned about yourself. So start speaking in more positive terms. Tell people you were married before, you learned some amazing lessons, and your ex was fantastic but it just wasn’t meant to continue. Failure isn’t about not getting something right. Life is about trial and error. Some things work, and some things don’t. It’s all about how you frame things, and how you react to things in your life.

When things go wrong for you in life, you can do one of two things. You spend the rest of your life letting it define you. You can carry your divorce around with you like a scar, consistently there to remind you of something that didn’t work out as you’d hoped. Or you can take whatever went wrong, and let it help you become a better, stronger person. From now on, I want you to change the way you react to adversity completely.

Instead of looking at things in terms of their outcome, I want you to dig for the lessons to come out of them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a job opportunity that doesn’t turn out as you hope, or a relationship that doesn’t go “the distance.”

Whatever it is, the moment it turns against you, I want you to sit down with a pen and paper and write down everything you’ve learned about yourself. Then I want you to be grateful for the knowledge and the experience. Every lesson is valuable, and everyone that comes into your life has something to teach you. Embrace the lessons, and let them define you, not the outcome!