Today’s post has to do with a choice that people all over the world have to make each day when relationships end. Whether it’s through divorce or another means, sometimes relationships end in the least favorable ways. As a result, lives are often shattered as the painful reality of a broken relationship sets in.
When those relationships produced children, it makes the end so much more difficult to deal with. Because when there are no kids involved, the parties can just go their separate ways and never have to deal with each other again. When there are kids however, it’s not quite that easy. All parties have to adjust to the new situation. The choice that each person has to make is: will I become bitter or better as a result of this broken relationship?
I don’t think that most people get married with the purpose of having kids and then divorcing. Yet in reality, approximately 50% of marriages in the United States end because husbands and wives come to the conclusion that it’s better for them that they go their separate ways. The reasons that these relationships end are vast. People are hurt and really have a hard time moving on. Some become bitter and develop deep resentment for their former spouse.
Perhaps you may know someone who is dealing with the ending of a relationship and there is built up bitterness and resentment. Perhaps you are that someone. Based on my experience, I know that it’s better to become better, rather than bitter. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with feelings of hatred and anger. You only destroy yourself in the process. That can even have serious health consequences.
If you feel that you were wronged, though it may be hard, try to forgive the offending party. Because you’re not doing it for them – you’re doing it for yourself. I write this as one who is very familiar with these emotions. But can I tell you something? When you develop a heart of forgiveness, it disarms the person who you feel hurt you. They have no control or power over you. It’s really a liberating feeling. Believe me, you don’t want your life to be controlled by feelings of anger and bitterness and resentment. You’re so much better than that.
Likewise, if you were the offending party, do your best to make peace with the one who you hurt. You cannot undo what’s been done but you can always do your best to make amends. If you need to seek forgiveness, then seek it. If it’s not accepted, then that’s fine too. You can only control yourself and how you handle each situation.
After I went through my divorce and I committed to becoming better instead of bitter, it seems that everything began changing for me. The things that I thought to be impossible started to become possible. I had a peace even in the middle of what was such a turbulent time. I realized that both my former wife and I had a role to play in the ending of the marriage. I asked her to forgive me and I told her that I forgave her. I didn’t get the response that I thought I’d get but that’s fine – it wasn’t really for her – it was for me. In order for me to move on, that was a necessary step and I’m so glad that I did it.
Today, I am happily remarried with a young son. My daughter from my first marriage lives with us. And I have a positive working relationship with my former wife in raising our daughter.
I also see The Upbeat Dad as part of me becoming better instead of bitter. Having experienced the pain and disappointment that comes with a divorce, I can now share with others how they can become better after a relationship ends. I believe that my life has greater meaning now that I’ve committed to move on and share with others how they can do the same.
Life has a way of teaching us lessons that we never really wanted to learn. I sure have grown from my experience. If you find yourself at a crossroads now where you’re faced with a similar choice, I hope that you choose wisely. Will you become bitter or better? The choice is yours.
Believe me – it is better to become better than to remain bitter. Think about this and make your choice.
Enjoy your day.
The Upbeat Dad