Lately, I’ve been running into a lot of divorcees. It’s not that they weren’t out there all along but now that I have joined their esteemed ranks, it seems they are everywhere: standing in line for the ladies room, at the library, having lunch at the next table or waiting to have their oil changed at Jiffy Lube. It’s similar to buying a new car and suddenly realizing how many others drive the same model; it makes you feel like you’re part of a trend. And it’s fun to compare war stories with others of my ilk and realize how much we have in common; as a matter of fact, it’s kind of comforting.
What has surprised me most, however, is the fact that so many of these women’s ex’s are still angry and bitter about their divorces. I can really relate to this because even though my ex-husband lives many miles away, I keep hearing how he’s still bitter-ever-after and believes I was the one who single-handedly tanked our marriage. Although this infuriates me, my way of dealing with it is to make light of this recrimination, telling its bearers that he’s has morphed into “my bitter half”; I find this helps me feel better almost instantly.
But this does lead me to wonder what I should say to the huddled masses of divorcees who share the same problem. Aren’t we just a tad bitter too? And isn’t this to be expected? I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve had a season pass to bitter-fest ever since my marriage took its final bow and it does tend to leave a bitter taste in my mouth when I think about it. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get rid of these feelings because, like a fungus, bitter likes to hang out in dark corners and fester and honestly, I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to shine a light on it just yet.
I guess I’ll have to put this on the list of things I need to work on and one of these days, when I can’t stand another minute of it, I’ll do something about it. But until then, quite honestly, I’m happy to accept the part of me that’s all about the bitter and the angry because it’s the fuel that has kept me rolling forward on many a day when all I wanted to do was wallow in the sadness of it all. Even though I’m long-since divorced I still have a bitter half, but now I realize I don’t have to drive clear across town to see it – all I have to do is look in the mirror.