This is an interesting question and I'm sure for many, could incite interesting or thought provoking responses. I think everything in our past is an influence on who we are and also helps to shape our minds and behavior. I was in a marriage for three years that was abusive and while I carried many regrets for the experience, the blessing from same was my son who is one of my dear friends now too. I chose the marriage and I also chose to leave the abuse, not just for myself, but the effects it was bringing on my son who was three at the time. The experience has made me a stronger person, but I was also a stronger person when I entered that marriage, a marriage that nearly destroyed me. It didn't kill my spirit though. It changed the way I define problems and when I have a challenge, I always tell myself nothing is a problem compared to the effects of that marriage. It enhanced my character, my level of compassion; it heightened all my senses. The effects were the benefit of the experience, but I would never want to relive it again. Great question. Thank you.