First, I am in awe of and truly inspired by happily married couples. The ones who’ve made it work for 20, 30 and 40 years and are still in love? Nothing warms my heart more than seeing these couples. When I was first divorced it seemed like these couples were everywhere. I couldn’t make a trip to the grocery store without seeing them. I was envious, too. I felt gypped out of love when I saw them laughing, smiling and holding hands.
I felt left out of a deep secret when I saw the silent ones who seemed to communicate with their body language. Words weren’t necessary as they navigate seamlessly through their routine.
Was it a question of true love, hard work or simply ‘conscious coupling’? Maybe these couples managed to choose the right person at a young age. Maybe, just maybe— it wasn’t so much ‘work’ as knowing how to’ play’. Either way, the envy has morphed into admiration for me. I just wish it was reciprocated.
I truly wish the smug, married people would look at divorced people with the same respect.
I know some happily married people who are delightful and we can spend time together without there being a glimmer of judgment on the fact that I’m divorced.
On the other hand, there are too many smug married people who feel superior to us divorcees. Somehow, they’ve made it work and they can’t understand why you didn’t . They view you as lazy, giving up and even selfish.
Ahem, excuse me but I guess they didn’t get the memo that it takes balls, brains and lots of guts to change your life. It takes heart to make lemonade. Divorce isn’t for the weak. Divorce isn’t for the selfish.
With Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest announcement of ‘conscious uncoupling’ there was a backlash. There was a social media blitz, attacking Gwyneth for her ‘romantic’ attitude toward divorce.
She was making it look easy (like everything else she does). In response to this, one of my favorite bloggers who has nothing to do with divorce posted about the issue. She is a lovely woman and I applaud her bringing up the issue on a fashion and beauty site.
The reactions in the comments section confirmed my notion that happily married people are judgmental. They don’t seem to have compassion or a clue about what we go through during a divorce. They skip over the fact that many of us have given it ‘everything we’ve got’ before coming to the last resort of divorce.
The smug marrieds wax on about the ‘work’ it takes to make a marriage last. That’s great but we only have one life, so do we want to spend it working after we finish our actual work? Isn’t there supposed to be joy in a relationship and a marriage? Scrolling through the comments it was beginning to sound a little like sour, married grapes…here are some (anonymous) quoted comments…
“My opinion is that the rhetoric is a brilliant way to try to justify the easy road. There are some things in life that NEVER CHANGE, and that is having to face difficulties, doubts, etc… that come on any given day…We all want to be loved, we all want a sense of security, but many just don’t want to work and grow old with the same person.”
“Sadly, our son is divorcing and it breaks our hearts. Neither our son or his dear wife have worked hard enough to save this marriage. With two precious children, married only eight years, WHY haven’t they given it their all?”
“It bothers me to think these ideas could become more mainstream and adopted by the young generation as it’s an “easy way out”, a cop out in my book. Hey, EVERYTHING in life worth having is worth fighting for and working hard for….few things just fall on your lap”.
“Unfortunately what we are seeing these days is a reflection of our throw away society, a lack of responsibility for anything, this is not an uncoupling, but a divorce, it gave me a bit of shiver seeing the casualness being used on these terms….Marriage is a commitment which brings joys and pains, it is the pain that people want to avoid, and at the first hint of it they want to run away from it. Easy? no, I should know ,I have been married for 41 years”
“ It (marriage) is hard. And frankly, sometimes it just plain sucks. And sometimes there is abuse and you have to leave. (Please do if you are in this situation!) But for most of us, it is just a matter of dying a little or a lot to ourselves, our desires in order to protect and nurture the marriage”
“It has become too easy for people to walk away from their families and commitments without a real regard for the magnitude of their decision and the consequences for other people, not only spouses, but children as well.”
“This trend is a product of instant gratification and lack of persistence..that’s all.”
Cop out, irresponsible, throw away, instant gratification…I don’t think so! In fact, just the opposite is true. It takes responsibility, integrity, grit, guts, strength and hope to undertake the difficulty of divorce.
Besides, I wonder how many couples are consciously married after 30 years?
The flip side of this and I think the cause of the sour marriage grapes, is the possibility that the people who work so hard on their marriage have deep rooted regrets. Maybe those regrets cause them to dislike divorce. It makes them feel uncomfortable. If you can do it maybe their partner can too and then where will they be?
I have to add that there were many wonderful comments too, for example, I applaud this woman’s honesty…
“I am happily married for 27 (almost ) years, but I do fantasize about another life, I do wonder what it would be like to have another romance…to experience another person.”
When we start assuming divorced people are lazy and selfish aren’t we only speaking to our own fears that our wife or husband might be just that? Who knows, maybe they’re thinking about leaving.
Note to smug, married people, think twice before you judge because not every marriage is as loving as yours. You only see the surface of the iceberg that is someone else’s marriage. You know nothing of the hidden parts and what lies beneath that shiny surface. Rather than thinking about how the divorced have ‘given up’ think about the loss they have suffered. Before assuming a Divorcee views her marriage as a throw away, think again about the courage it takes for her to get up every day and deal with that change.
In the meantime, Smug Marrieds can ‘work’ toward their next anniversary to celebrate their sacrifice and long term commitment. We, the divorcees will smile and congratulate them and even be a little in awe…
Have you experienced judgmental comments about your marital status? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!