I belong to a couple of divorced mom forums on social media, mainly because I write this blog here and want to see what women’s concerns are and to maybe find an issue that needs to be addressed via my blog. I don’t participate on the forums much because I’ve been divorced for 15 years, I think I’m pretty much over the whole divorce thing. But any issue that pops up now is usually more about my psyche than getting over a divorce. Bitch, I could care less about him leaving me now…
However, I’ve been asked to help others with the “How did you get through it all?” thing, and I will gladly lend a hand with that. Do I have all the answers? No. And yes, I may have been divorced for 15 years but I still learn new things about myself every day and how it effects my well being. Because of course after a year of divorce I thought I knew everything. After 2 years of divorce, I was a pro. Five years divorced, I definitely knew it all. Ten years after divorce, I got this shit down! Fifteen years after divorce, I’m good but now that the kids are leaving, I have a few moments of reflection and grieving of things I never did and sort of a “Now what am I gonna’ do?” thing.
So, being in a different place than say 90% of the women on these forums, I look at things differently. Yea, I get it, it sucks, I’ve been there. I wouldn’t want to relive those first few years for anything. And lucky for you guys that you have a place to commiserate. I didn’t. There was no Facebook in 2000-2001. I read your stories. I feel bad. But some of y’all need a right smack in the head. Yes, I said it. I’m always suspect of those that blame everything in the world on their soon-to-be-ex. “He’s evil!” “I was the victim of every abuse possible!” It’s about time someone told you that you aren’t completely blameless.
Yes, I said it. We all had a hand in the demise of our marriages. Maybe not directly but none of us were all complete angels. The greatest gift I ever got was about 7 or 8 years after my divorce someone told me to stop playing victim. Oh damn! You’re right, it’s not very becoming, I wish they’d told me 8 years earlier. And I really believe that in order to heal you need to own all your own shit. While yes my ex-husband was an alcoholic and had an affair on me while I was pregnant with our third, but I was forced to look at my faults in the marriage. I was incredibly passive-aggressive. I HATED confrontation (partly because I was afraid of him) but I would never calmly and firmly stand up for myself, I would just be passive-aggressive. I probably would have had an affair on me too. OK, no not really because I’m not equipped like that but you know, I’d probably enjoy somebody flirting with me or paying attention to me in a nice way.
It’s not to say I’m shifting blame or anything, it’s just part of the process of healing from divorce, owning your own shit. It also actually lessens the sting of the hurt they inflicted. It’s just that when I see some of these women’s posts I’m like “Do you realize everyone else in the world reading this sees the writing on the wall that YOU were the nutjob in the marriage and not him?” So then I vacillate between do I just let her vent or do I give her a slap like Cher did in Moonstruck and say “Snap out of it!”? Sometimes I just give a gentle, “Um, you might want to read out loud what you just wrote and see how stupid you look”. Not in those exact words but I might point out something like “I understand you were very mad about him cheating on you but you slashing his tires isn’t going to make a judge think you are a responsible sane adult that should have sole custody”
Ladies (and gentleman) I urge you to step outside the situation sometimes and see how everything evolved. Look at it objectively (as much as you can). See what you could have done differently so you get it right next time. And really try to refrain from telling everybody in the world your story of how you were the victim. I learned the hard way, it’s not very becoming and makes you look like a pathetic drama queen. Sorry, just sayin’…
This is not helping. Would you ask a victim of physical or sexual abuse where is their guilt, what part do they own in the abuse? I suspect your answer would be of course not! Then why ask that of a victim of emotional abuse (cheating IS emotional abuse). I think you are confusing victim and survivor. You’ve survived the horrendous situations your ex partner put you through, and good for you; but make no mistake, you were a victim of his deplorable actions.
Stop blaming the victims! It’s akin to excusing the abusers.