Death To the Divorced!

I’ve been trying to expand my horizons so I will sometimes click on other people’s blogs when something interesting comes up. Not long ago I clicked on a blog post that was a rebuttal to another post which was mocking a movie that the author thought celebrated divorce. Of course, I had to track down the original post, and that author was indeed decrying divorce. There was a second blog entry, also talking about the perils of divorce. The author seemed to be irked about how casually people divorce but the commenters were even more critical.

Can’t have divorced people thinking they might be doing anything especially bad, after all!

… just another attempt to make mommy and daddy feel better about wrecking undeserved havoc on their children.

It serves no purpose except to make parents feel better for not honoring their vows and putting their kids through Hell.

The movie ends with the lead character talking about how sometimes it’s better for the whole family if mommy and daddy don’t live with each other. Apparently this was added to make actual divorced people feel less guilty after watching divorce wreak a path of destruction throughout the film, where the parties harmed the most are the ones the most innocent. Can’t have divorced people thinking they might have made a mistake, after all.

Those were just a few of the comments. So nice to know I’m putting my children through Hell and have wrecked undeserved havoc on them.

One of the commenters linked to his blog which was even more harsh in its attitude towards divorce. This one went so far as to suggest that perhaps divorced people should be taxed at a higher rate to make up for “polluting” society.

I’m not a fan of divorce.  In fact, when I got married I took my vows very seriously and I had no intentions of ever walking away from my marriage. There was a very brief period of time when CF’s drinking was out of control and he once again quit therapy that I thought, “I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.” There were moments after his emotional affair that I wondered if I could forgive and forget, move on and rebuild. I will even cop to having a few moments of righteous anger when I definitely thought about leaving. The reality is I would have never done it. I was committed. I didn’t believe in getting a divorce and truly felt that with the right attitude I could overcome pretty much anything. If he couldn’t or wouldn’t make me happy then I would find things that would. My attitude was he was the person I picked and for better or for worse I would stand by him until the end. In other words, I’m not one of those people who believe you change partners whenever things get difficult or the butterflies aren’t fluttering in your stomach any longer. I’m not a big believer in the whole, “I’m just not happy; therefore, I deserve to divorce you, shatter our family, and go find someone else.” I do realize that sometimes that is the reality. Occasionally, two people are so utterly mismatched that no matter how much they try they will never be able to make it work.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are issues with addiction, abuse, and/or adultery. The Bible clearly states that adultery is grounds for divorce. I know that some churches will counsel the cheated on spouse to stay and fight but if God tells me I can get a divorce I’m going to go with His counsel and not some man’s. I think that if you are dealing with abuse or adultery you are completely within your rights to leave. Sometimes things just can’t be fixed. Living with an alcoholic or a drug abuser can be draining; you never know what to expect. And to live with someone who might one day gamble your home and savings away? No thank you.

Sometimes one person in the marriage simply walks out the door. There is no fixing that.  I mean sure, you could refuse to divorce. I guess you could never get around to filing and if the disappearing spouse doesn’t bother with filing either you would remain married. It’s not exactly my ideal way to live and it’s fraught with potential land mines should your legally wedded spouse do something stupid, but it is an option.

I suppose these very Christian bloggers might give you a pass if you divorce for one of the above reasons.  Maybe not. The problem is they don’t usually differentiate.  Divorce is ugly and horrible and evil.  Period. That seems to be their motto. Someone commented that divorce is always a moral failure. Another suggested basically ostracizing divorced people and linked to an article that supposedly proves that having a divorced person in your social circle leads to a higher likelihood of divorce in your own marriage, as if there is some divorce bug which you can catch.

Well, I’m sorry but I’m not a horrible, evil person, and I’m not contagious with divorce cooties. My husband was cheating once again; any moral failure was on his part. My conscience is clear. It was very apparent that he had one foot out the door. He had given her thousands of dollars, 2 iPhones and was paying her cell phone bill over the summer and he had another bank account I didn’t even know existed until I got the notice from the investment company letting him know they had transferred the rest of the money from his stocks into said account. I would later find out that checking account was a joint checking account and he had given her free access to half his paycheck. He was interviewing for jobs in her state for crying out loud!  There was nothing to save. I had to go into self-preservation mode and make sure my children and I weren’t left with absolutely nothing.

I’m not a fan of divorce but I’m also not a fan of trying to shame others because they are divorced. I think that way too many people  throw in the towel too easily but that’s their cross to bear. I also think that although divorce is not ideal for children it is not the end of the world for them and we need to stop with this shaming of single parents.

I did the majority of the work with my two kids the entire length of my marriage. Their dad went to work and provided for us and I did pretty much everything else.  One year Picasso had to write a thank you note at Thanksgiving. He thanked me for cooking for him because otherwise he would starve. I realize it was an exaggeration and CF would have fed his kids, but the way they looked at their lives I did the day to day work; their father was absent and uninvolved. Their father may have abandoned them but that is no fault of mine. He chose to cheat.  He chose to move out of the state. I had no control of that. My kids have one sane parent. I am there for them and I will do my best to never let them down. Ideally they would have two sane, fantastic parents but one is better than none and sadly, I know too many kids who don’t have even that one.

I know I have lamented my situation countless times on this blog. I am disappointed that my kids are going to live out the rest of their lives in a “broken” home and with their father out of the picture. The reality is they are probably going to be okay. Things will change for them and they probably won’t have all the frills they used to have but they will survive. It is not the ideal situation but then again it never was.

I found out after I told people about the impending divorce that some people felt very sorry for Picasso because he frequently would admit that he wished he had a dad who would play basketball with him or throw a ball around with him. He knew his father was lacking and he wasn’t shy about talking about it. I stayed and it still didn’t help. People still felt horrible for my kids and knew what a disaster CF was as a father.

I never wanted this. I wanted to grow old together with the person I picked 20+ years ago. He wasn’t perfect but then again, neither was I. I was willing to accept his faults. The last thing I need to do is go and read crap from “Christians” who think that I am somehow polluting society and that my children have no hope. I don’t need to read that I’m some sort of moral failure or that people shouldn’t hang around me lest their own marriage falls apart. I sure as hell didn’t deliberately wreck havoc on innocent children. I simply decided I was no longer willing to eat that particular flavor of shit sandwich that CF was all too willing to hand me. I already feel bad enough about what my kids are going through and if I could have prevented it I would have.  I had sucked it up for years before all of this, so take your judgement and shove it up your ass. Or, put a slightly nicer way: Come on, Christians. Love your neighbor, even if he or she might be one of those icky divorced people.

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33 thoughts on “Death To the Divorced!

  1. One of the things I’ll always be grateful for is that there was no internet when I got divorced. I was probably one of the people guilty of being unhappy and it led to divorce. Except that’s only a partial story; I was unhappy, I wanted to go to marriage counseling, he threw me against the wall and hit me multiple times, and marriage was over with the first punch. An intact family might have been better, but 2 separate parents and my kids seem to be okay as young adults (now 29 and 30). Both are marrying this year as well, so it has apparently not soured them on marriage. I’m just glad they both waited until they were a little older before meeting their future spouses and taking that step.

    Sam, you’re a good person and a dedicated parent. Your life has been upended by xH and you’re doing brilliantly with resources available to you. Your husband abandoned you and your children; there is no universe where you can be to blame for the poor choices he made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I know. I was just struck by how judgmental these bloggers were. It’s almost like they didn’t know of anyone who divorced for reasons aside from being unhappy. At the same time I’ve got 3 girlfriends who are all going through (or have finalized) a divorce right now and all of them are dealing with infidelity; one dealt with abuse as well.

      I don’t think anybody who has divorced should be shamed or ostracized. It was just striking to hear everyone who has gone through this being described in such shallow terms. Oh golly, I divorced because I wanted something different, something more. That’s how they seem to view all divorces. And btw, I wouldn’t think of your divorce as one where you divorced because you weren’t happy. You wanted to work on it; he became abusive. That would absolutely be a deal breaker for me! You divorced him because he was physically abusive, not because you were unhappy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems to be yet another symptom of our very polarized society these days. Too conservative, not conservative enough. Too liberal, not liberal enough. Because your upbringing does not allow for a lot of comfort with openly gay people you’re homophobic and intolerant. Etc., etc., etc. I know I am oversimplifying very complicated problems, but at the same time, things WERE very different when I was a young adult and the culture and period I grew up in shapes my values and outlook. Yes, I can grow and I can change, but do not condemn me because my belief system and values differ from your own. The age of the internet, when you can burn someone anonymously and from afar, has impacted and allowed ignorance and judgment to spread unchecked and unchallenged. It’s truly sad.

        I gotta say, while I am reading and following your journey and cheering your from my sidelines, I love what you’ve been writing these last few days. Even this, where I am trying to pay you a compliment, I’m couching it with “but I still enjoy reading about your life’s trials and tribulations even though I really want them to be better and for your to triumph over xH.” Hopefully you know what I mean!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This made me laugh. I know exactly what you mean! I’m always doing the same thing. Oh, I’d better put a disclaimer here. Oh, does that sound too black and white there? It’s difficult when you are only communicating with the written word. There are no inflections and you can’t see facial expressions.

        I also know what you mean about the anonymity allowing for people to be so mean. They will say things online they would never say to someone’s face (well, I’m sure some of them would!).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. While I love, Love, LOVE blogging, everything I post, every comment I leave is precisely what I would say to you in person. If I have nothing constructive to say, I find another blog to read. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This, Sam: “Things will change for them and they probably won’t have all the frills they used to have but they will survive. It is not the ideal situation but then again it never was.” Nope…living in the lie-sham of your marriage was no better for them, and no more Christian than moving through your divorce. This is such a good, strong post. I love Jesus…I am a Christian…and the church has so messed us all up in the marriage dept. At the end of the day, it takes two to make a marriage, to keep covenant. It takes one – only one – to kill it. I admire you so much!!! HUGS.

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  3. Oh my God. This. I also always said “I don’t believe in divorce.” I was absolutely certain I married a man who would be a life partner. That we could handle anything that came our way.

    But he messed up, and when confronted about it, he lied. Eight years later the pattern repeated itself to a much higher degree.

    And I find I can’t live with that.

    But everywhere I look, there are these subtle messages implying that it’s my fault. That marriages can survive and thrive, if only *I* work hard enough. Forgive often enough. Give up any of my old dreams of a love built on respect and faithfulness.

    And that’s bullshit.

    I was right here while he was being unfaithful. I was working hard every day to create the future we said we both wanted. I was all in, choosing him every day, despite the times he let me down, because that’s what marriage is.

    But instead of carrying every thing I gave him, he set it all down and walked away. And he didn’t even have the decency to be honest about it.

    That’s not on me. I’m not a heartless she-devil intent on wreaking vengeance while I burn down the world. I’m just a person with a shattered heart and soul, choosing to be the one who puts me first.

    Because no one else will.

    Thanks for this post. Apparently I had some strong feelings about the anti-divorce / cheater apologist stuff out there!

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    1. Don’t listen to those people, Fuzzball. There are far too many people who expect betrayed partners to take responsibility for their role in the demise of the marriage, who expect the betrayed parter to forgive if the cheater wants forgiveness. Nope. Sorry but that’s not going to happen. He made his choices. Now he gets to live with them.

      Since you’re pretty sure you aren’t going to reconcile I would recommend you head over to Chump Lady. Her motto is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea but reading over there has really helped me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not stuck, Secret Keeper. You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. Nothing you’ve done justifies him cheating. I would encourage you to go check out Chump Lady and start thinking about getting your ducks in a row if you decide you want to leave your cheating husband. Don’t listen to those people who would condemn you; more than likely they have never been through it or anything that would even lead to a person choosing to end a marriage.

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      1. It’s so complicated and scary. I’m beside myself and overwhelmed. I don’t want to mess up my kids. I’ve kept this a secret for 20 yrs and tried everything to fight for my marriage. EVERYTHJNG. I’m the only one who doing any work. Thank you for the encouragement and direction. I really appreciate it.

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      2. Hey! I saw you over on Chump Lady today.

        I think we all have those fears, especially about messing up our kids. One of mine is doing fine; the other is not doing terribly but she’s not really happy with this new change either. Honestly, if we had been able to stay where we were they would both be perfectly fine. It is not ideal but you are not condemning your kids to a life of crime, teenage pregnancy, drugs, and failing grades either.

        I try not to give too much advice because I think everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do and when they’re ready to do it, but I covered this in an earlier blog post. If you are the only one doing all the work you are fighting a losing battle. He should be doing the work and suffering the consequences, not you.

        P.S. Check out the archives over on Chump Lady. A lot of the time you can kinda tell what the post will be about because of the title. Her posts on Genuine Remorse vs. GNR, parenting after divorce, no longer shaming single moms, and reconciliation are all pretty great and I found them very helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. 😀 I think that’s the biggest fear for a lot of people going through this.

      I wish I could say my fears have been unfounded and that I’m optimistic a year later but the truth is I was in a state that required a one year waiting period. A year after finding out I’m not yet divorced, I’ve had to sell off or leave behind almost everything we owned, and move yet another 600 miles in with my mom (in case you haven’t read much of my story he moved us 2000 miles across the country only 2 years ago). I share a bedroom with my mom, my daughter is not happy, and so far the only bright spot is my son is adjusting well. Plus, the STBX has conveniently had a breakdown, lost his job, and is not paying me a dime. Every single time I have felt even a tiny bit optimistic he has found a way to knock me so far down into the abyss it feels like there’s no coming back from it.

      So, I’m not counting this year. I’ll see where I stand around this time next year. Maybe I’ll be able to say, “Two years later and life’s not so bad.”

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      1. I’ve only read a bit of your story and look forward (????sadly, i guess) to reading more. I enjoy your matter of fact writing style. It’s amazing how Ex’s seem to know exactly when you start to stand back on your feet so they can immediately knock you back down. I was fortunate enough to meet a woman who was also going through a divorce and we have become best friends even though her divorce caused her to move 2,000 miles away. Having that support, for me, and having someone who can relate to my pain has been huge!

        It sounds like you are an amazing mother and I’m glad your son is adjusting well. I hope your daughter finds happiness…and you too.

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  4. My parents got divorced when I was 11. My two younger sisters and I turned out fine; all 40+ years old now. I thought I’d learn from my dads mistakes and do the marriage thing a bit better than he did, so far so good except; man; a relationship takes a lot of very hard work. I’ve got to a point I can’t point fingers at my folks, or anyone else that can’t make it work. Solution? Of course there isn’t one, but I’m starting to feel like we had it more right thousands of years ago when a family wasn’t just the parents and the kids; it was the entire community…

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  5. Gosh, i needed to read your blog! I am in no mans land with my marriage at the moment! My husbands addictions and affairs have cost us dearly but i am getting on with life, enjoying the freedom to travel and visit family and friends. i am 8 months into a gap year which i promised myself when we separated last summer. At 60 and semi retired, there’s an opportunity to do things that i could not have done in any other decade. Appreciate your direct honesty… Cheering you…E

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