It wasn’t until she separated from her husband that writer Gala Darling really started to learn about how to be happily married.
“Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce. That would be sad. If two people were married and they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.” — Louis CK
I got divorced in 2015, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. That’s not to say that I regret getting married — simply that getting divorced was a very positive experience. In the past two years I have completely flourished, grown, and changed beyond my wildest dreams, and I’m also in a relationship with a man who fills my heart in a way I’ve never experienced before.
When my husband moved out, everything transformed. I had what I called “the summer of (radical self) love.” I travelled to Italy and Morocco with two of my best friends, I went out dancing all the time, I filled my house with flowers, and dressed up every day. I started dating and met a bunch of really great guys who made me feel like all was not lost. I began to reclaim and rediscover myself, my sexuality, and my identity.
It’s been a while now, and I’ve had time to unravel what caused my divorce. While it would be easy to point fingers and be accusatory, I think what it simply comes down to is the fact that we both married the wrong person. There were warning signs, of course, but when you’re young and your boyfriend proposes to you, it’s easy to ignore the signals. After all, getting married is exciting! Right?!
It’s a crazy thing, really. I never wanted to get married or have children. My desire was always to be independent: I wanted to travel the world, write books, maybe live in Europe, take lovers. Having someone else in the picture never really mattered much to me. And I had never fantasised about a wedding or a Cinderella-type dress. But somehow, when my then-boyfriend and I started talking about getting married, everything changed.
If I could go back in time, I would gently caution my younger self. I would pay attention to the fact that I was more excited about planning a wedding than I was about planning a life together. Instead of thinking about how “cool” our wedding photos would be, I wish I had thought about how our future would look. I would strip it back and take my time.