02/03/2015 02:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Marital Loss Doesn't Make You A Loser


Even though you would never tell a friend that they were a loser for not being able to make their marriage work, you have no problem saying it to yourself.

Beating yourself up for not being able to force someone to love you, be loyal to you, be attracted to you or even to be happy is insane.

At what point in your marriage did you take on the responsibility for your partner's decisions and actions? At what point in time did you decide that one of your greatest accomplishments in life was being married?

I have a daughter and if I told her that she would only be considered a success if she got married, stayed married, and never got divorced from that one partner she would feel nothing but shame if she couldn't meet that life goal.

I wouldn't say this to her or any woman and I hope you'll agree.

Sure it's devastating and demoralizing to lose your partner and your marriage, but this loss has nothing to do with you as a human being.

Your value is not based on your marital status as much as it's not based on your gender, sexual orientation or skin color.

You've developed biases around marriage and what it means to get divorced because it's been instilled in you by the cultural milieu in which you live.

You're not a loser; You just lost out.

You've been taught, and ultimately brainwashed to believe that marital failure equates with your self-worth, and even worse a perception that being divorced reduces your quality of life.

Yes, research shows that married people are "happier" than single or divorced people, but this isn't because they're married. It's because they have a support system and a sense of connection.

You don't have to be married to find this sense of happiness.

It's beyond okay to be upset about the loss of your marriage and partner, but it's not okay to believe that those endings mean your life is over. It may be over as you knew it, but this is only one chapter that's ending.

After this you might stop believing in your fantasies of forever, and you may question the purpose of marriage overall.

What you should come to understand however, is that marriage is very often an antidote to being single and a way to feel better about the harsh reality that we're all alone.

Sound depressing? Well hopefully this puts the devastation your currently experiencing into perspective.

The only difference between you and all the other people that remain happily married is your self-perception.

Believe in yourself, your situation, your worth, and your ability to remain true to who you are regardless of your marital status.

You're only a loser if you accept defeat, and that's something you never have to do.

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