No-Fault Divorce

12/22/2010 05:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When does what is considered the worst thing that could happen to you--and this is even if you're the one who wants it--become the best thing that can happen? Can you look at divorce as an opportunity? Yes, divorce can be an opportunity. A wake up call. In my experience, one has been truly asleep, napping or just plain out of it if divorce comes as a surprise or a shock.

My marriage--this world I created, lived in, supposedly wanted--was over, done. I wondered if it had ever truly existed. Yet, in the midst of this devastation, a light, a beacon of hope--aha--freedom. But freedom from what, whom? I didn't know at the time, but in the back of my mind was a surety that I had known this day was coming, sooner or later. I just didn't know it was coming so quickly.

Life tells you and teaches you something all of the time if you choose to listen. That learning can be in the form of your soon to be or ex-spouse. Believe it or not, you don't have a problem with him or her, you have a problem with you. Maybe you're not seeing clearly or perhaps choosing to look away, sticking your head in the proverbial sand. Maybe you decided to focus on someone else and not yourself, looking for someone to fulfill you when that's your job.

Nobody gets up one morning and decides to divorce. They get up and whatever has been rolling around in their hearts and heads congeals and out it comes. Enough. I can't do this anymore. The game plan has changed. But did you change? Did they change? Or did you just go along until going along got you someplace neither you nor your spouse wanted to be, with both of you thinking 'how did we end up here?'

Maybe you've been pretending to be the happy couple, but something doesn't ring true. If this is the way it's supposed to be, why doesn't it feel good?

People get married for a lot of different reasons. Maybe your reasons changed, became obsolete. Maybe you pretended to be someone else or maybe you just didn't know fully who you were. How can you be intimate, truthful, honest with someone else when you're not intimate, truthful and honest with yourself? How can you love someone else if you don't love yourself? Don't take a clear look at him or her. Look at you. What can you learn and use to grow from this experience?

Remember that you once shared a bed, a life, a heart with this person. Do you really want to hurt them? Do you really want to cheat them in a divorce? Punish them? Do you realize the only one you will hurt, cheat or punish is yourself? In two years, five years, ten years, will any of this matter?

Wake up to you. Look in the mirror and see yourself. See how your spouse is a reflection of you. Maybe you can't save the marriage and maybe you don't want to, but you can change yourself, and consider that that's what the divorce is telling you.

So, put the shoe on the other foot, sleep on the other side of the bed. Learn the tools you need to get your life on track. Don't blame anyone, not even yourself. No one is at fault. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.