Failing: The Best Thing To Happen To Me

“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’s 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. 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 me 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 succeeded, 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 trying 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 it 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. 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.

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31 thoughts on “Failing: The Best Thing To Happen To Me

  • Every word of this post seems to come deep from your heart – the numerous feelings and emotions you went through, the moment you knew what was the right thing to do, and the strength with which you face every new day and experience. Maybe you are being a bit too harsh on yourself by considering it as your failure, but then you alone know what you went through and felt. All I can say is that you are a truly strong person to see all that experience as a stepping stone to discovering a new you.

    • Beloo, I am so so glad that you read this. This is an account of how I felt and was made to feel sometimes. But then I realised that the only thing that is true is what I believe, so did I really believe all those things. That is when I finally realised that I am a much better person than all these negative feelings. Ultimately it is our perspective that matters, and I am learning each day.

  • Here’s the thing – You did not fail. You tried when you thought it was the best thing to do and then you walked away. Failing would have been continuing to change something that wasn’t in your control, failing would have been letting your son feel the same pain, failing would have been changing yourself to the extent that you would have lost yourself. In my eyes, you succeeded. You succeeded to win yourself back, you won your son’s future and what childhood memories he’ll make. You made yourself proud.
    Not every one can succeed like you did!
    Jailbala – loved your honesty with this post. I know it is not easy and I am glad I know you virtually! Hugs!

    • Parul, Big Bear Hugs back. That is so true, though I am looked at as a failure by a lot of society, this is what I have actually achieved. Also it has made me rethink and reassess a lot of things I was doing, what I was thinking, the way I saw myself and habits I had. It is an honour to know you, I wish we do meet soon.

  • I wanted to hop on your blog earlier, but something came up and I couldn’t.. and now, here I am.. I will never forget this post Jailbala.. And you are NOT a loser.. writing this post, realizing that it is a bad marriage and taking a step forward to make things right, to bring your life on the right track is something that requires lot of guts..
    You have all the respect from all of us along with the endless support..

    Stay connected..


  • I don’t see this as a failure at all. You fought, and fought hard. You exhausted the possibilities that were within your control. At the end of the day, that is all you can do.

    It takes a lot of courage to put down your feelings into words on a public forum. But I am sure this post will be an inspiration to many, who are going through similar situations.

    The J.K. Rowling quote is one of my favorites, and very apt here.

    You are one strong woman. Wishing you the very best for the future.

  • You fought to save your marriage, and you did it with all your heart. And, that, I believe can never be termed as failure. You are a brave woman, indeed. You made the right decision and got out of a bad marriage, and now you live life the way you intended to (if I am not wrong). So. how can that be called a failure? You passed the test with flying colours, Jaibala, and I am sure your family is proud of you!

  • I would not call it a failure, you tried adjusting and it just didn’t work out for whatever reasons. So, you tried the other (and only) option and you found peace there…so was natural for you to move on.

    Happy for you! We all face tough times in life, but at the end, the learning counts.

  • I don’t think you failed at all. Going against the norm, against all that’s ‘expected’, specially of women, to successfully reclaim your life – that’s not failure. You’re one brave person. Glad you shared this.

    • Tulika, I think this was important for me to share for me. Going against ‘expected’ does require a lot of faith and belief in yourself. Thank You for your kind and uplifting words 🙂

  • I bow down to the sheer fact that you could write it down. You are one brave lady and I’m sure you are happy that you did the right thing. Inspiring write, Jaibala. Nothing I say will bring you peace, but keep smiling. Be happy.

  • Jaibala, this is very inspiring. I know some folks who are actually holding on to their marriages because, they feel they will be worse off without a husband. Primarily, social acceptance and financial security. I have even wondered if they are being selfish. But, the end result is a marriage that is rotting day by day, and a person who is being smothered day by day. Sometimes, I wonder who is the winner here.

    And it takes lots to accept failure.

    • Actually Lata, no one wins in such a situation. Everyone is miserable. Having said that I do understand the emotional and mental trauma of these people in accpeting that. Its what is ingrained in our minds. Accepting a failed marrige is tough, but it is the most difficult thing that most people especially women will do. But once you accpet and learn, it does get easier. We need to give ourselves permission to fail.

  • When failure is a part of life and we can learn from it and rise to better versions of ourselves, it is always the best thing that can happen to us. So glad you could put all this down and I know how difficult it is to bare our personal lives in public. Kudos to you for doing so with such finesse and honesty, Jaibala.

    • This post has been a WIP for a year now. I wanted to write, but like I said it has been you and a few others that finally gave me the courage to post it. Its, all about how we look at things. I was seeing things upside down for so long. The change and learning for me came after such a long time. There was this moment when I knew I was reading the book upside down and turned it the right way. That is what made me learn and grow 🙂

  • You were and are very strong and did your best. It takes the greatest effort to cut off relationships. It’s never easy. Just by reading your words I can feel how tough those times must have been. Marriage is not the responsibility of one person. If one failed, the other by default fails. But, I will not consider you a failure. My admiration for you have doubled.

    • I would say, it was confusing time and was a constant struggle between doing what was percieved as right, and what was right for me. Finally I realised that I have to give up one for the other, and I sure was not going to give up on myself. I agree when one partner fails, the other fails by default just like it take two hands to clap. Thank You Rajlakshmi, its wonderful to have such great people around me albeit virtually 🙂

  • Relationships are tricky. It is easy for a third person to think of 100 solutions but only the two people in it know how to make it work or not. Like you said, sometimes you just know that it is over. I appreciate that you made the effort to salvage it. That way you don’t have any regrets later. Also it is a learning, maturing experience which enriched you. So you are better at the end of it all. I am glad you wrote this post.

    • True Rachna. About making the effort there are a few who think I shouldn’t have. But then like you said because I did, I haven’t a single regret now. If you chose to learn from it, no experience or effort can be a waste in life. Yes, this experience has helped me grow to be a much better person than I was. Thank You so much. Its because of people like you that I had the courage to finally finish this post that was a year in the making. 🙂

  • My comment is going to be slightly different to the rest perhaps. Yes, you used the failure as a stepping stone, but knowing you personally, I”m not happy that it took you so long to get where you are today. Think not of the failure, but about standing up and kicking butt again. And that you’re doing now. So maybe in some ways, the failure of that marriage (which was a good thing, in my opinion) was the kick you needed up your backside.

    • You know what I knew this and I agree. It has taken me so long because I was dwelling on things thaf were unimportant. And like you said it surely was the kick I needed to realise a lot of other things too. 🙂

  • Yes, failure is said to be the stepping stone of success but only when we learn to accept the failure on the first place. But sometimes success is misunderstood too. What others think aa successful might not be the case with everyone, isn’t it?
    It takes courage to write out your heart and especially about the tough times. Reading this I totally admire your courage.

    • I agree success means different things to different people. But the measure of failure in society is the same, I think. Each person needs to define his own failure and success, and each person should be allowed to carve his own definitions. Thank You Nibha 🙂

  • Yeah. To accept failure in life is important.

    Whatever happened, it egged you to stand up and get on with life.

    Your marriage might not have been a success, but it was a stepping stone.

    It made you who you are today, and who you are today will help S to be who he wants to be in the future.

    I admire you for this post, as well as for what you did. And I know you know that.

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