If you’ve been divorced more than once, the idea of giving up may have crossed your mind. “It might be easier to just decide you are done with marriage and proclaim you will never, ever try it again,” says Janice R. Love, author of Divorced and Still Highly Favored. “But even after divorcing two times, I still believed in marriage.” Her message to men and women who have ended more than one marriage: “Don’t give up on love or on yourself just because you have failed once, twice, or even three times. When I finally remarried, I was thankful for not only a second chance, but a third chance,” says Love. Here is been-there, done-that advice from women who’ve walked down the aisle—and ended their marriage—more than once.
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“If you’ve been married more than once and are in a bad marriage, don’t stay just because you’re afraid of how it will look. Some people might judge you, but you can’t let that affect how you make big decisions in your life.” —Michelle Poston Combs, divorced three times
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You’re not a failure.
“People think that their marriage didn’t make it because they didn’t try hard enough or because there’s something wrong with them. And if you’ve divorced more than once, well, it’s even easier to blame yourself because there’s just one common denominator: you. In fact, your parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, and perhaps even potential new romantic interests may tell you that it’s your fault. But don’t believe it. Longevity is not the only measure of a marriage’s success. After all, haven’t we all seen unions that last ‘until death’ but are devoid of love, sex, or respect and full of anger, contempt, or passive-aggressiveness? Why would those marriages be considered successful? Whenever you’re faced with judgment from others, or even from that voice inside your head, please remind yourself that healthy, happy, and fulfilling marriages don’t end in divorce.” (When you are ending your marriage, steer clear of these 11 things divorce lawyers say you should never do.) —Vicki Larson, divorced twice, coauthor of The New “I Do”
Watch men and women spill the honest truth about exactly what they think about cheating:
You can’t fix anyone.
“Don’t go into a new relationship thinking you can help someone to live up to their potential. They are who they are, and you have to accept that. I also recommend that everyone do a background check on new partners. It’s sad to say, but not everyone is who they say they are. For less than $50 you can do an online check—after all, we use Yelp just to check someone’s credentials to fix the sink.” —Dee Dee Marcelli, divorced three times, Hollywood makeup artist
Finding a way to embrace the experience changes everything.
“Yes, I’ve been married twice, and I’m not ashamed of it at all. I truly wouldn’t be the woman I am today without those life lessons. Though the circumstances of each divorce were different and painful in their own right, I’m appreciative of the experience. In my first marriage, I simply married entirely too young, but from that union came my two beautiful boys. Throughout these experiences, I’ve become so attuned to myself, learning to embrace my strengths and humbly accept my flaws.” —Genise Shelton, divorced twice, reality star on Bravo TV’s Married to Medicine
Forgiveness is essential.
“Everything has a season, and for now, it’s OK to be alone. And for me, forgiveness was key in being able to move forward. The healing started when I started to forgive not just my ex, but myself. Healing is an inside job.” (Ready to get back out there? Here are 8 things you need to know about dating after divorce.) —Beverly Harris, divorced twice, blogger at Beverly Hills Insider
The article 5 Women Reveal What Getting Divorced Multiple Times Taught Them originally appeared on Prevention.