Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

February 23, 2010

Divorcees..... damaged goods?

We have all met this person, or are related to this person, or have heard of this person..... the (wo)man who has been married and divorced 4 times, can't manage to stay in a marriage for more than 3 years, are ready to jump the broom again before the ink is even dry on the previous divorce decree; the serial spouse.  I think we can all agree that, more likely than not, he or she is doing something wrong when it comes to the state of holy matrimony.

But what about people like me?  People who may have just not married the right person that first time around for whatever reason.  Is there an automatic assumption about people in that situation that they must not be marriage material, that the failure of their marriage is proof of their lack of spouse potential?  Are we, in fact, damaged goods?

I (think) I had a conversation about this at an engagement party a few weeks ago (there was a lot of sangria involved, so details are fuzzy).  The conversation started out discussing the appropriate age for marriage-- young vs. older-- but as a divorcee over the age of 30, I had to put my two cents in regarding those of us who have already been down the aisle (and back) once.  Not only did I advocate that you should wait til after the age of 25 to do anything permanent (marriage, kids, tattoos) I also state the case that a divorce is not necessarily the mark of failure, but the mark of experience.  Sometimes knowing what doesn't work is just as important as knowing what does.  It's like learning to drive.... you may know the basics of gas, brake, turn signal, slow down on curves, but you may not know how to get yourself out of a snow bank unless you've actually run into, and had to get out of, one.  I know that simply pushing down the gas pedal doesn't work. I've learned from experience (and a little advice from mom, i.e. an experienced snow driver) that rocking the car back and forth in forward and reverse does..... but only AFTER I drove into said snow bank.

I have spent the last 2 years doing a lot of self reflection (mostly on this blog) to figure out what went wrong, how might I have reacted better to problems, and what can I do better in the future.  I see little utility in playing the blame game and thinking up all the reasons why your ex is to blame for all the evils in the world the demise of your relationship. Since the only person you can change and control is yourself, it is best to focus on the things that YOU can change about YOU, because in most divorces where the cause was "irreconcilable differences" both parties played a part in its undoing to some extent.  His or her admission of fault or change does nothing for your future relationships.

For example.... I am a rug sweeper.  Instead of addressing issues as they arose, I would always back down and sweep the issue under the rug instead of saying my piece, just to keep peace.  This then led to an unhealthy level of distraction seeking, which, again, instead of facing the issue, I found ways to distract myself from thinking about them.  I'm sure there are many others (which I've recounted elsewhere in this blog on many occasions), but you get the idea.  Now I make a conscious effort not to sweep so much under the rug (though I also know that not every issue is worth going to the mat on) and try and express myself more so I don't wind up in the same mess I was in before repeating the same mistakes.

I'd like to think of myself as being battle tested, and though I've had a few casualties, I think I've come away with some valuable lessons for the future. I know that every little (or big) fight isn't the end of the world, that you should have some "untouchable" subject matters and rules for fighting because you will HAVE to see this MF later that night and the next day, that every day isn't roses and earth shattering orgasms candle light dinners, that you may have days (or even weeks) where you just don't LIKE the other person, but that doesn't mean that the love isn't there and it's time to ditch the relationship.

I think many single people are afraid of marriage because it is harder to jump ship at any sign of trouble.  At least with someone who has been married before you know that they at least abandoned that fear once and they know how painful it is to get out.  Personally, I never want to go through that ever again.... been there, done that, don't want another t-shirt.  So the next time I get married, I'm going to do everything I can so I don't have to.

So for all my fellow divorcee's out there, don't get down on yourselves as you head back out into the dating world.  And to anyone out there who may meet a divorcee, don't automatically assume that he or she must not know how marriage works.  Most of us know exactly how it works..... AND how it doesn't.

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February 12, 2010

Tick......Tock........

When I was younger, I never really understood the big deal behind the biological clock.  Why were these late 20 and 30-something chicks all up in a tither about having kids?  I mean, it'll happen when it happens (as everything happens just as it should), right?  Modern medical technology makes age less of a concern, no?  And it always seems like folks are getting pregnant by accident all the damn time anyway, so just chill out.....

Then I turned 31.

At 30, I still wasn't too concerned about the issue.  Granted, my son will be in college in 2 years and my daughter will be in high school in 3, but thanks to this effed up road I've taken in my life those factors still didn't outweigh the fact that I am still a relatively young women, and the vast majority of women in my circle-- including both my sisters-- had kids in their 30's or have yet to even have children.  So realistically, I'm comfortably within the norm.

However, as I'm rounding the bend and heading toward my 32nd birthday this summer, I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried just a little bit.  Ok, maybe quite a bit.  I'm remembering how much trouble and discomfort I had with my daughter when I was only 21..... I developed high blood pressure, had constant excruciating headaches, and had to go for extra tests and screenings (including carrying around a jug I had to pee in for 24 hours... ugh) to make sure I didn't develop preeclampsia, a potentially life threatening condition.  Fast forward 10 years, when generally you start to notice that you don't have as much energy and "snap back" as you used to, combined with the fact that I still have blood pressure issues..... it has me hearing the tick, tock, tick of that bio clock myself.

Aside from the health issues, I also have a number of situational factors that cause me concern.  First, as mentioned, I have a SERIOUS age gap issue with my existing kids, though toting a diaper bag to my son's freshman orientation is not as serious of a concern, particularly considering how early I started.  The bigger concern, however, is relationship timing.  I at least am over the first hurdle..... I do have a beau, I love him dearly, and I could see us together for the long haul.  But I want to be married before I have anymore kids.... do it "right" at least one time out of three.  However, he plans on going to grad school soon.  So take my age this year (32) add on 3 years for a master's program, and that puts me at 35, the magic age when pregnancies officially become "high risk".  Yes, both of our mothers had kids past the age of 35 who are perfectly fine.  But I am not looking forward to the major bodily ass whooping that pregnancy is going to increasingly lay on me as the years go on. 

I don't want to put any pressure on him or give him any kind of "ultimatums" (which I hate), but facts are facts, worries are worries, concerns are concerns, reality is reality.  He tells me it'll happen when it's supposed to happen..... no, it'll happen when I decide it's gonna happen due to a little thing called an I.U.D. that has to be removed before any show can get on the road.  There's no "Oops!  I guess this was just supposed to happen now!" possibility going on here.  My womb is protected like Brinks. 

I told myself that 35 was my cut off, that after that I'd just have to be happy with my two wonderful children and that there'd be no more womb fresh babies for me.  I know this is something for which I have no choice but to wait and see what happens, and whatever happens I'll just have to accept it.  But, like many, many, many realizations in my life, now that I'm in the situation I see the dilemma and hear that clock.

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February 11, 2010

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Um yea..... so I know that I said that my last post was my LAST post, but after a convo with another fellow divorcee blogger, I decided to make a comeback.

Sort of.

The reason I abandoned Adventures in Divorce was because I felt it was mired in negativity, so I wanted to start a new blog with a more positive focus and leave all this divorce mess behind.  Well, sometimes it helps to be negative, or at least get the negativity out so you can move on to something positive.  And the fact is, I'm still a divorcee.  Period.  I still have occasional baby-daddy drama, I still have amusing and frustrating stories dealing with two household parenting, I still have interesting tidbits about the process of moving on and rebuilding.

I realized that this isn't over.  The seas may have calmed a bit, but I'm still out here sailing in the wake of this monumental and life altering event.  And I also realized that while my stories may seem like they are filled with bad energy to me, they may offer some help and comfort to others going through similar situations.  They also serve as a reminder of where I've been and how far I've come.

So here is my compromise:  I'll bring back the archived AID, but my main baby is still going to be Idiosyncratic Thoughts of an Unheeded Prophetess so I can write about things other than divorce and dating.  But as noteworthy AID-esq things or ideas occur, I'll post occasionally.  Okay? Okay.

Welcome back, loved ones.

Adventures in Divorce: 02/2010 - 03/2010

Adventures in Divorce