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Many people like to associate the term “failed marriage” with divorce. This term leaves many people feeling shameful or guilty about choosing divorce rather than go on in an unhealthy marriage. By saying a marriage failed, we suggest that those involved in the marriage are failures themselves.

Calling a marriage that ends in divorce a failure, however, does not get to the heart of what a marriage is. A marriage is a complex relationship that starts out of love and positive intent. Plus, a lot of good can come from a marriage that ultimately ends.

While the positive aspects of a marriage that ended will vary from person to person, there are a few that we think may resonate well with our readers.

The first is that it allows you to move on to a situation that is better for you. If your marriage wasn’t working, divorce can help you refocus on yourself and what is best for you. Without your divorce, you may have put off much needed self care.

Next are your children. If you had not chosen to get married, your children might never have come along. Knowing that your marriage — even though it ended — was essential for the existence of your children can be helpful in seeing the value in it.

Finally, you likely learned and grew as a person during your marriage. You and your ex may even have had many good years together. Thinking of your marriage as a learning experience that contributed to who you are today is a good way to see that it was not at all a failure.

We could name countless reasons why divorce is not a sign of failure. If you are divorced or are considering divorce, we hope these reasons help you reflect on your own situation and see success, not failure.

Source: Huffington Post, “13 Reasons A Divorce Is Anything But A Failure,” Brittany Wong, Aug. 3, 2015