Dear Miranda, The Truth about being a Divorcée.

I was going to comment on your post but then I realized I had quite a lot to say about this topic. As I read about your plight with people who like to assume you know nothing about relationships I couldn’t help but get that twisting angry feeling in the pit of my stomach. Words like that are all to familiar to me and just about every divorcée.

I have to admit that this subject has a bitterness to it that comes from the fact that I was once one of those stupid ass people who thought that the only words worth any value were those of the golden couples who had been married for 70+ years. It was only during the process of my divorce that I was awakened to the fact that a lot of “happily married couples” actually gave really shitty advice. Not to mention a lot of them actually weren’t happy at all. They were married and comfortably miserable… just like I had become (“Thanks for the advice on enduring instead of living,” she says sarcastically). Funny how suddenly all the things a divorcée could have told me and maybe helped prep for before I got married suddenly sounded a lot less stupid.

As a matter of fact it seemed to me that divorcée’s all the sudden had the BEST advice. I’m not talking about the divorcée who is angry and hateful about all men/women and just generally bitter. That should be obvious enough. But the divorcée who seemed to be pretty even keel. I mean really NO ONE knows the answers because every person is different and every couple doubly so, however some of the basic stuff a lot of couples struggle with I could have heard.

Funnily enough, according to this article, Terri Orbuch, PhD., a psychologist at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and a professor of sociology at Oakland University, who is also a family and marriage therapist and an author of five books on relationships… happens to agree. She says couples who want a happy relationship and to STAY married should get their advice from people who are divorced!

Not shocking news to me now, but it probably would be to your friend. Unfortunately it is as though every aspect of your relationships gets stamped with a big fat red “DIVORCED” emblem regardless of if it had anything to do with the divorce or not. The reasons for your divorce are irrelevant. The things you went through in your relationship together are tainted and suddenly worthless. In short people often don’t understand things until they go through them themselves (aka till it’s too late).

It’s one of the hard things about being divorced that no one ever mentions. You get to watch others struggle and make the same mistakes you/your partner did and know for a fact that even if you reached out to them, even if you knew something that might REALLY help, their is a fair chance they wouldn’t listen and you will be stuck watching them flail.

The up side to this (at least for me) was that it REALLY opened my eyes to judgements that I was making about people and made me even more open then I already was. I value the advice of my elders now more then ever and even if I disagree with advice that is given to my, I don’t shrug it off but instead value it and think deeply about it.

I love you. Welcome to the club of watching others make mistakes (this must be what it feels like to be old). Sorry you have some thick headed friends. They will learn eventually.

-Catie

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