Failure: The Best Thing That Happened To Me

Posted: September 8, 2015

A young woman talks about how her failure in marriage brought her to a better space, and how it opened her eyes to new things in life.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

J.K. Rowling

Of all the things I have done, letting go of my marriage was the most difficult thing to do and my biggest failing. No don’t get me wrong, I am not depressed nor was it a happy marriage. That relationship was like a rot in the plant from day one – the kind where you have to cut out the affected portion to save the plant. It was a very painful choice to make, but in the end had I not made the right decision, well the decay, would have spread not just to me but to my son as well. But that is not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is why I am happy that I failed.

When they say a strong relationship cannot be built on lies and deceit, I should have believed them. I tried though, even when I knew that anything that does not begin well will for sure end badly. I tried hard to please, change, accept and then salvage the situation. That my marriage was a situation that needed salvaging should have been my first reason to quit. But I kept egging myself on. Then slowly the realization began to hit me, I was losing.

That is when I began hold on tighter, made so many more adjustments that I failed to recognise myself and I began to carry the onus of things that were not mine to bear at all. Finally at a friend’s wedding, there was that one moment when I knew definitively that I had not succeeded in trying to save the tree from being cut. What had to end had to be ended, and what could be saved had to be saved. Physically I never went back after that day. Mentally it was a whole different story.

The heart refuses to accept defeat easily. After all, we are all wired to try and try until we succeed.

The heart refuses to accept defeat easily. After all, we are all wired to try and try until we succeed. So even though the mind decides to abort, the heart keeps wishing that something will change. I kept praying, because I did not want to be called a failure. Hope is a strange thing; it can be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness, sometimes even at the same time. In this case it was my failing.

It kept me hanging on anticipating a reaction, a fight. The only thing I got was indifference, and that made think of myself as a loser, the biggest bum in the history of mankind. Why? You ask. Well I knew exactly what I was doing, and the way I was feeling was wrong, but then I refused to get up and walk away from that spot.

That is why it is important to accept failure, to help you to get up and move on. Failing by default is just no way to live. We try to succeed, sometimes in spite of knowing that what we are trying to achieve is not possible. I tried for two years, before I could accept the reality. Whether that was the right thing to do is debatable. But I tried and I failed.

I kept offering way too many second chances to a person who did not deserve even one. And I held on, until I realised that I was the only one. After that, walking away was the easiest thing to do. Yes I am a loser but then, I can say I tried; I exhausted all likelihood and opportunities that is why I failed – not because I tried, but I tried everything and there was nothing else left to do.

I realise that being unsuccessful then was the best thing that could have happened.

I realise that being unsuccessful then was the best thing that could have happened. Imagine living in a loveless, unhappy marriage, imagine adjusting to getting abused, and imagine living a life I had not wanted to live, imagine having to do all this for the rest of my life. That is exactly what I was choosing to do, every time I did not want to fail. And that is why this defeat is the best thing that happened to me.

Accepting this failure helped me learn and see what I was doing wrong my whole life. Living in the fear of failing, is like living life by default. This helped me switch off my Auto pilot mode, and made me realise the importance of working towards my passion irrespective of the risks. So failing is the best thing that could have happened to me in this case.

Was I being daring when I tried to make my marriage work? I think I was. Am I a failure because it did not? I think I am wiser and better for it. I think I have learned a lot from my experience, and it opened my eyes to so many things that I hadn’t accepted. I think my failure turned me into a learner, and that is such a good space to be in.

First published here

Cover image via Shutterstock

Jaibala Rao is a Writer and a Poet whose life revolves around the people she

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8 Comments


  1. While you might call it as a failure of your marriage, the same could be called as a success of your individuality, the success of your confidence happiness and life… good luck!

    • Jaibala Rao

      True what you say, but society still views it as a failure at some level. It has been a though road to accept it for what it was, a push in the right direction.

  2. And why should you call your personal success, your individuality and the best decision to have moved your son away from an abusive atmosphere a failure just because society, rather some parts of society think so? I am quite offended by the use of word failure.. While I am proud of your decision.. I believe by calling it a failure, you have devalued yourself and every girl who decides to walk out of an unhappy marriage.. Abusive or not.
    This decision has ensured a mentally stable childhood for your son.
    It is your success not only as a Woman but also as a Mother.

    • Jaibala Rao

      When I say failure, I have spoken about failing in my efforts to save the marriage. I haven’t labelled myself a failure at all. I totally agree with you when you say I succeeded at at being a mother and a woman and that should always come first. I failed at conforming to society’s image of me and moved on to a better place in life where I put myself first. I am just saying that the road to get here was not easy because of what I believed was the acceptable Idea of success then. I was defining myself by society’s standards and eventually began to live by my own. I was in no way demeaning anyone who decides to walk out of an unhappy marriage. In fact I hope that people read this and trust their instinct much sooner and do not struggle and fight to save an Unhappy Marriage like I did.

  3. I know you know what I think of this post, and it was a pleasure to read it again here. 🙂

  4. Wow..again, this seemed like me. You took 2 years, i took 6. Tried desperately, did everything to make it work for the sake of the kids but it did not matter at all. Reached the threshold and now there is no looking back. But i too would not want it any other way – i know i tried and i tried my best. Will not have any regret in future. But if it is just not meant to be, then it is not. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jaibala Rao

      I am so glad that this resonated with you. I agree for giving it our best shot, we will never have regret. Some things are just more worthwhile when we give them up and stop trying. Thank You for reading, I wish you a great and happy life 🙂

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