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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1 Comments:

Anonymous Divorce Records said...

very nice written!!

March 15, 2010 at 4:20 AM  

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Adventures in Divorce: Divorcees..... damaged goods?

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.

Labels: