DIVORCE
12/10/2015 05:36 pm ET

14 Things You Can't Really Know About Marriage Until You're Divorced

"Love isn't always enough."
Jamie Grill via Getty Images

People who go through divorce usually come out the other side a lot wiser about love and relationships. 

That's certainly true of HuffPost Divorce readers. Below, our bloggers and followers on Facebook reflect on the hard-won lessons they picked up while divorcing.

1. "I didn't realize it means nothing if someone can talk the talk but not walk the walk in your marriage. Vows are just words and energy expelled into air -- it's the actions that define the marriage. Saying I love you means zilch if the person saying it doesn't make you feel loved." -- Laura Lifshitz  

2. "Loving and marrying someone doesn't mean that you have to continually perform for them to earn their love and respect. I am worthy of love and respect for just being the man that I am and furthermore, bad treatment is never acceptable." -- Matt Sweetwood

3. 

Trevor Williams via Getty Images

4. "In a good marriage, you need to have the freedom to be yourself, to have and hold differing points of view, and most importantly, to know that compromise doesn’t mean that one person wins and the other person loses." -- Ellis Bell

5. "Love isn't always enough." -- Susan R. Grace 

6. "I learned that getting into a co-dependent relationship is the worst thing you could ever do to yourself. Learn to be your own person, do your own things and never need to depend on anyone." -- Jess Gottschalk 

7. "Until I got divorced, I didn't know how many of our friends were actually friends of my marriage. In other words, they were friends of both my wife and myself. Some felt they had to choose sides, but I have made a conscious effort to reach out to many and now the bonds with my friends are stronger than they've ever been." -- Chad Stone 

8. 

gehringj via Getty Images

9. "Divorce wasn't some grand epiphany but I learned to be honest with myself and those around me about the things I already knew." -- Cindy Withjack 

10. "Fight as hard as you can. Don't give up until you know both sides are done trying." -- Tiffany Schuldt Elwood 

11. "Divorce is hard. Marriage is harder." -- Pamela L. Smith

12.

Katrin Ray Shumakov via Getty Images

13. "Marriage is a constant merging of all the little moments, not so much the big ones. At all times you are either adding to the marriage with good intention, humor, kindness, support and warmth -- or you are eroding it with criticism, resentment and impatience." -- Susan Sommercamp

14. "Ending a marriage takes guts. It's not always the easy way out. So many people are just holding on and going through the motions, settling out of fear even when they know they aren't receiving the love they need. They're patting themselves on the back when they know it isn't right. Getting a divorce takes guts."  -- Merry Ann 

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