Unhappily Married to Unhappily Divorced: The Grass Isn't Always Greener on the Other Side

“What do you want?”

I ask others this question all the time.  The most common answer I hear, “I don’t know.”  Well, here is a secret:  Knowing what you want out of life is half the battle.  When your vision is clear, then you can begin taking steps towards the vision.  Without the vision, you will remain stagnant.  How does this apply to marriage?  Well imagine this scenario.

You are sitting on the couch, drinking a glass of wine.  You have had a sinking feeling in your stomach all day but you do not know why.  A bing comes from your phone.  When you pick it up, you glance at the date.  Then it hits you—today is the anniversary of your divorce. 

The past year flashes through your mind.  You and your best girlfriends traveled to New Orleans for your divorce party.  You downsized to a nice but small townhouse that is decorated with all the things that make you feel lovely.  Now the ink on the divorce papers is dry.  Although your home has changed, you feel as empty inside as you did when you were a Mrs.  You are still struggling to find meaning in your career and climb your way out of debt.  You continue to choose eating a bag of potato chips instead of foods that are nourishing.  You still feel angry all the time.  Nothing in your life is actually all that different as a divorcee.  When you look in the mirror you realize that you are the one holding yourself back.  There is no one else to blame.

Whether you are contemplating ending your marriage or you are unhappily divorced, there is good news.  You are the only one who can really get yourself unstuck.  Sure, there are self-help books, gurus, and techniques that can give you tools.  But it is your determination to acquire and use the tools that will make any difference.  If you feel clueless as to a starting point, begin with this question:  What is the ideal vision that you have for your life?  If anything in the world were possible, what would you want?

Engaging in self-reflection before divorce is essential.  Failing to self-reflect before divorcing results in carrying the same baggage from the marriage into your life post-divorce.  Getting clarity about what you want can help reveal the gap between where you are and where you want to go.  This then allows you to take steps towards living your vision. 

Identifying a vision for your life will give you a direction to move towards.  Take the first step. Write down your vision today.