This week, the popular singer, Ariana Grande released a new song: Thank U, Next.  It explains what she’s learned from her many high-profile relationships and is an instant smash hit.  Among the lyrics are these:

One taught me love

One taught me patience

And one taught me pain

Now, I’m so amazing

I’ve loved and I’ve lost

But that’s not what I see

So, look what I got

Look what you taught me.

Later in the song, she explains what she’s gained as a result of those losses:

Spend more time with my friends

I ain’t worried ‘bout nothin’

Plus I met someone else

We havin’ better discussions

I know they say I move on too fast

But this one gon’ last

‘Cause her name is Ari

And I’m so good with that

She taught me love

She taught me patience

How she handles pain.

Listening to this song made me think about the deep pain you’ve endured in your marriage and the loss of the relationship as well as the losses you may be going through as a result of the divorce.  It may be too soon to say, “Thank U, Next”, but I assure you that you will in time. I tell my patients, “In five years you’ll write him a thank you note.”

You may be suffering now.  You may be in a very dark hole that looks to have no way out.  I want to promise you that when you regain your footing, you may think: how did I ever survive in that marriage? The only way to go forward with generosity and grace is to think about what you learned about yourself in that relationship; both what you liked about yourself and what you didn’t. What did your marriage teach you that you never want to repeat and what are the character qualities you value about yourself?

Every relationship in our lives is put there for a reason.  Those reasons may not be apparent at the time but if we learn something about ourselves, they weren’t mistakes but lessons.  I invite you to do an inventory of what you’ve learned from your marriage or marriages that has made you the amazing person you are today.  In that way, you too can say, “Thank U, Next”.