16 Things Divorce Teaches You About Marriage

You love differently — and usually, a whole lot smarter — after divorce.

Below, HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook share some of the things they wouldn’t have learned about marriage and relationships had it not been for their divorces.

1. “If a relationship is problematic before marriage, it will be problematic on steroids after marriage. You’re at your best when you’re dating — before any real stressors like health issues, finances, kids or in-laws take hold. If your relationship is tenuous during the honeymoon phase, it’s only going to get worse down the road.” –Jodi Meltzer, Mommy Dish

2. “I didn’t realize how easy it is to get married — and how very difficult it is to get divorced.” –Sandi Farris

3. “I wish I had known how unrecognizable the relationship would eventually become, and how deep my wife and I would have to look within ourselves to find the kernel of love that brought us together in the first place. Nobody ever really told me that once we got deep inside the maze of married life, our life would become unfamiliar.” –Mike Hodor

4.

5. “I wish I had known that I wasn’t going to be good at marriage. That it isn’t for everyone.” –Danille Worthen-Miller

6. “Don’t marry your best friend. You can have many best friends. You need your partner to be loving, passionate, thoughtful, caring and sexual. It’s not all about having things in common, unfortunately. That spark needs to be there. You can’t fake passion and sincere sexual attraction.” –Cindy Yacina Abert

7. “Live your life fully as a single person before you get married. In my opinion, the rush to have kids and make financial investments with a life partner puts the pressure on couples to say ‘I do’ before they really should.” –Julie Egri

8. “I wish I had realized I’d be a different person at 32 and 42 and 52 than the person I was at 22. I wish someone had told me that I’d grow and change — and that the person I chose to marry needed to be someone who would embrace growth and change along with me.” –Lisa Lavia Ryan

9.

10. “I wish I had known marriage was going to be a learning experience, largely about myself. Some of that learning may have been hard but it’s been well worth it. Lasting love is never guaranteed. If a marriage does end before you plan, you have to try to be humane, civil and keep learning as you go.” –Bill Lennan

11. “When you have children, the difference in your upbringings will matter. A lot.” –Alison Ring

12. “I wish someone had told me earlier that you simply can’t change (or ‘improve’) a man unless he really wants to change himself. The greatest lesson for me has been realizing that I need to appraise and focus on a man’s positive qualities. As the wise saying goes, ‘We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.'” –Christine Amour-Levar

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14. “No matter how bad one person wants to stay married or how much love one person has for the other, if you both aren’t willing to make it work, your marriage will fail.” –Heidi Beale

15. “You are never responsible for anyone else’s feelings. Ever. And don’t let someone blame you when you know you did nothing wrong.” –Satu Korby

16. “I wish someone had told me that keeping a marriage alive and vibrant takes time and effort. The initial glow of a new relationship wears off and you have to put some work into it. You have to keep dating your spouse. Make the effort to communicate so you can fix the little problems before they become big problems.” –Chad Stone

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