Be Kind To Yourself During Divorce

Take it easy on yourself, Adele said so. Known for her emotionally relatable ballads, Adele has garnered a fanbase of avid listeners who look forward to her tear-releasing tunes. Her latest single, “Easy On Me,” not only fulfilled fans, but introduced a fairly untouched topic to mainstream music: divorce. There are plenty of popular love songs that chronicle the beginning of a love story through growing old together and finding ‘your person,’ however many love stories are not that linear. A simple observation of your own love life, those of your friends, and those of your family would give you a more realistic view.

The reality is that people change. Connections change. Life is dynamic. The person you were when you chose to enter a lifetime agreement with another is not who you are now, and your partner is likely not the same person you married either. Of course, the dream is to grow together as you evolve, but it is not uncommon to grow apart either.

In “Easy On Me,” Adele opens the song with the lyrics,

“There ain’t no gold in this river
That I’ve been washin’ my hands in forever”

As quoted above, she references sifting for gold in running water while yielding no results. It is likely that the river represents her marriage. In literature, water often acts as symbolism for emotions, so, more specifically, the river is a metaphor for the emotions within her marriage. Meanwhile, gold is often symbolism for love, passion, and magic. As she sifts for the emotions that once made the relationship satisfying and connected, she is coming up with nothing.

Her next verse reveals some of the challenges encountered in her marriage,

“There ain’t no room for things to change
When we are both so deeply stuck in our ways
You can’t deny how hard I have tried
I changed who I was to put you both first
But now I give up”

The above verse is straight-forward but loaded with the sour experiences that many married people are afflicted with amidst a breakdown. There is a feeling of hopelessness and acceptance that no matter how hard she tries, the marriage cannot be salvaged. In a last ditch effort, she has even changed herself and sacrificed her needs to resurrect her family unit to no avail.

Despite the unforeseen breakdown of the relationship, the looping chorus offers great inspiration for anyone whose life mimics this art,

“Go easy on me, baby
I was still a child
Didn’t get the chance to
Feel the world around me
I had no time to choose what I chose to do
So go easy on me”

Although it appears that the plea is asked of the spouse, it’s worthwhile to consider that Adele may be speaking to herself and soothing the feelings of failure and disappointment within. If you are finding yourself in a similar predicament, go easy on yourself. Who you were when you chose your partner, when you embarked on your marriage, and/or when you made mistakes within your marriage, is likely not who you are today. Go easy on the younger versions of yourself, they were doing their best with the limited experience that they had.

‘Successful marriages’ do not always end at the end of life. Sometimes, they end in divorce. The person that you eagerly joined hands with at the end of the aisle, may have been perfect for that stage of life (and you for them). However, the forever marriage frequently depicted in the media is not always what long-term relationships look like. Though divorce is not glamorous or well-documented in popular art, this does not mean that your experience is uncommon, and “Easy On Me” may give you a glimpse into that reality. Adele’s previous albums journal the emotions of heartbreak, then entering a marriage with the belief that she found her person and happy ending, and now her upcoming album centered around her divorce. Sound familiar?

If you find yourself in this position, you’re not the only one who believed that you found the one and it didn’t play out like the movies and music. This journey may be under-discussed but Adele’s latest release pulls back that curtain of what many are experiencing, and hopefully if divorce is what’s best for you as well, you feel even an ounce more inspired to take that leap for yourself.

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