I turned forty-three this month. My life isn’t even close to where I had expected it to be. At twenty I had it all planned out. A nineteen-sixties dialogue played in my head. That nuclear family was my Cinderella story. My Happy Ending. I would have the white picket fence, two beautiful children, a dog(s) and be the perfect Soccer-Mom. I painted the picture so sharply in my mind; there would be no doubt I would attain my dreams. And I did, I married the first Man that came along and swept me off my broken feet.
It didn’t work out.
At 35, I was unprepared for this life-altering moment; I had a plan! And this divorce was not a part of the glass slipper production that I had performed in my subconscious so many times.
Divorce rattles people shakes them down. It not only becomes a battle between you and your now estranged husband, but the family unit you once knew. People take sides, like Capulet and Montague sides! It’s a bloodbath of sorts. Everyone has an opinion about your life; dammed the moment you utter the words separation. So my glass house fell to the ground, and as it did, it seemed the world wanted to take a shard and cut me down.
My failures were for all to see, shamed into believing I was unworthy of the plan I had once carefully laid out before me. My marriage was failing, and there was nothing I could do to save it. What I needed was support, what I got was judgement.
Divorce hurts, and unless you have stood in the middle of a tear filled conversation while divvying up a lifetime of memento’s I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself. No one stands at the altar proclaiming their undying love for another with the thought of it ending in divorce.
I am not you; I chose to leave an unhappy marriage for the betterment of my children. Yes and myself. I do not need to apologize for that. Happiness is a choice, one that I made.
1) Do not sit in your glass house, while fighting with your spouse daily, in front of your so-called perfect children and so-called perfect life informing me I am doing it wrong. It is not your life; you do not know what is right for me.
2) Please stop telling me, I should have worked it out for the kids. I am not some monster with selfish aspirations that only thinks of myself. I thought carefully about how it would affect my children before divorcing my husband. I chose to do what I thought was best. Again, not your life.
3) Do not tell me to take him for all he’s worth. Have you ever heard the term, don’t bite the hand that feeds? I didn’t get a divorce to “make it rich”, I left because I was in an unhealthy relationship. If I am to teach my children anything, it will not be to take advantage of their Father, or anyone for that matter. Although I will teach them, that their happiness is important, whether or not it falls into the category of popular opinion.
4) Remember that divorce hurts when spewing your thoughtless opinions. Divorce is one of the hardest things I have ever been through, and that is saying a lot. Feeling broken down, lost and intense fear of what the future holds are strong enough emotions to be going through at the time. Telling me I failed is redundant, I already feel like a failure. You don’t need to pour salt into my already raw wound.
5) Stop taking my divorce personally. Look I didn’t get divorced to make you happy or sad. I divorced for me, to make my life better. My choice to leave has nothing to do with you whether you believe it or not.
6) Do not talk about my divorce as if you laid in my bed and knew the inner workings of my marriage. You did not, and you have no idea what my relationship was like. The term behind closed doors was coined for a reason.
Divorce was not a part of my plan; I didn’t want to spend weekends without my children. Or exchange rage filled text messages with the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life. Life doesn’t always work out as we planned; please try to remember that when you are so easily dolloping out your opinions on my life.
I am not where I thought I would be twenty years ago, and I am okay with that. Maybe you should be too.