It seems to me that after you experience divorce, that is, become a divorcee, you also become a magnet for those seeking “friendly” relationship advice. Since my divorce, I have never had so many married friends approach me expressing their own personal marital woes. Can we say smoke and mirrors?
So, what do you say to these helpless worshippers? Their eyes pining upwards toward yours, in dismay, you (well I) certainly cannot leave them hanging.
So, I tell them what my mother told me almost four years ago–
“It’s time to evaluate. There are thirty days in a month and if over half of those thirty days are spent in argument/fighting/retribution, then you seriously need to consider your life.”
So, I did the addition and I recommend it to my pleading friends as well. If you’re in the negative then…
I guess this doesn’t necessarily mean divorce, it didn’t for me, marriage counseling can always be the next step but most I find have already given that a fair shot. So, then I move to my next bit of advice.
It isn’t easy (divorce that is). So, consider wisely. This isn’t a life and death situation, in any sense of physicality, but it may be with regard to the soul, your soul. If he doesn’t pick up his dirty underwear, empty the dishwasher, or clean off the toilet seat–you may want to hire a maid and get a good job with long work hours, instead. No, but seriously, divorce isn’t easy and making that jump will most certainly change you in every way possible, good and bad. It will also present a little addition to your life. Something I like to call the “what if factor.”
What if he had been different?
What if I had been different?
What if the timing had been different?
What if that whore from the Nordstrom shoe department had never been working that Wednesday afternoon when my husband, on a whim, decided to go peruse for a new pair of penny loafers?
You’ll always wonder, what might have been? What dreams might have come AND could things have worked? This is what you sacrifice when you choose divorce. You sacrifice ever knowing. However, consider this, whose to say things wouldn’t have been different anyway because with every circumstance, every change, there comes a differing outcome. So, maybe the Nordstrom girl wasn’t there that Wednesday, instead, five years later your hubby gets run over by a truck crossing the street–either way, you’re alone with accompanying heartache. It’s all a matter of relativity and the passage of time, leading you this way and that, all dependent on varying occurences. I think Robert Frost put it nicely, “And both [roads] that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black / Yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.”
So, finally when I have exhausted all the aforementioned then I end with this, “secure your finances before ever mentioning the word divorce.” Trust me, it’s not being deceitful…it’s being smart. If you have to, stick it out, until you have what you need to leave. I’ve encountered many friends, with young children, no assets, no education, their husband(s) owning everything; having reduced them to the life of: housewife. Just make sure you leave when the time is ripe, oops, I mean right. 😉 It never hurts to get a little legal advice prior.
A good friend from back when I was married emailed me the other day concerning a matter similar to this post’s topic. I thought it funny, she, after all these years, my divorce from her husband’s friend, had returned to me for some semblance of hope. My final words to her, “I’ll be praying for you and your little family.”
That’s how my advice column will always end, always.
A divorced whit.