I’m a happily divorced person. Don’t get me wrong–I love being married NOW but getting a divorce was such a learning experience that I can’t help but think about it with good feelings. Was it tough to go through? Absolutely. But it was worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing because it’s made me a better woman and wife to my forever husband.

You Were Married Before?!!?

Yes friends, I was.

At the ripe old age of 23, my ex-husband and I secretly eloped six months after knowing each other. Sounds dreamy, right? Or hella unwise. When we got married, we did it in secret because I already knew that my friends and family would NOT be ok with us getting married. They were right and I knew it.

So why get married when I knew I shouldn’t? I was immature and was searching for something that I thought marriage would provide. I was wrong. I learned. We’ve both prospered since.

Our divorce wasn’t one of those angry, hateful ones. Sure, there were some mean things said about me behind my back but when we’re hurt, we lash out. He’s now happily married with a child and I am too. He’s a great guy who deserves a world of happiness.

That marriage and ultimately divorce taught me so much about myself and marriage that it’s worth sharing here now.

Divorce isn't always the end--for me it was the beginning of chasing happiness. These 5 lessons helped me have the happy marriage I have now.

5 Lessons My Divorce Taught Me

Set rules for your marriage.

It can be really hard not to fall into the trying to please everyone with your marriage. Living up to societal expectations for what a normal marriage is supposed to look like is ridiculous. No one is in your marriage so other people’s rules for marriage shouldn’t govern yours.

Don’t be with someone for their potential.

My ex-husband has always been an amazing person. But when we got married, I saw who he could have been and not who he was in that moment. If he never changed, I wouldn’t be happy in our marriage and that wasn’t fair to him. When you commit to someone for a lifetime, you should commit to who they are in that moment. If they never change, will you still be happy with who they are? I can wholeheartedly say yes to this question about my husband now.

Don’t settle for misery.

Towards the end of our marriage I had an a-Ha moment: I was too young to be so miserable everyday. And the other part of that is that HE deserved someone who was happy to be with him! Our Creator didn’t want us to have companions in life for the sake of misery. Yes, it loves company but you know what else loves company? Happiness.

Make a bed you can sleep in.

This is the most broad lesson ever that can apply to so many things. But the important thing is that you make decisions that you can wholeheartedly support. People are always giving marital advice but ultimately you need to make decisions that will make your marriage work. Spouse cheats on you and you can work through it? Excellent. You argue and you need to sleep it off and not talk? Cool. Need to live in separate houses in order to thrive? Yes! Make your marital bed a comfortable one.

Not everything is worth being mad over.

Can I tell you guys a secret? My husband and I rarely fight. It’s not because we don’t disagree and it’s not because we’re perfect. It’s because we recognize that some of the time we’re upset, it has to do with US and not the other person. In my first marriage we were always mad or fighting. It just wasn’t worth it because nothing came of it. Are some things worth it? Absolutely. But if you’re always mad, why are you together?

I would happily do divorce again if it got me to where I am now.