Divorce sucks, that’s just the reality of it. It sucks less if you don’t focus on the suckiness.
There is nothing better in my opinion than listening to Depeche Mode while writing about a dark topic as divorce. For some reason, this song “Welcome to My World” speaks to me when I wanted something catchy to open with. Then it could be just my personal demons.
Today as I was mentally preparing for my morning (God bless our family dog Duke because he let me sleep until 6:45) I discovered in my Inbox an article written by a mom for The Good Men Project. At first glance my thought it was written by a man but this was not the case. The title was what grabbed my attention and this is why thinking it was from a man’s point of view.
This is one of those writing moments where I very much wish my skills as a writer were better by making clear and logical points. Instead, this is where my words will make me come off as a total AHOLE.
The article that put me in this somewhat combative mode is titled “Life after Divorce: My Reality Sucks!” Why am I feeling defensive and have this need for a rebuttal? This is where being the “AHOLE” will come into play. The tone of the author in my view was blaming her former spouse of the situation she was in.
No matter if you are a man or a woman, divorce simply sucks! It sucks for the kids and even not to be glib here but even pets (I could not keep my dog after the divorce).
- Drain your bank account
- Max out credit cards
- Create destructive behaviors with drugs and/or alcohol
- Tear friends and family’s apart
- Reduce the time seeing your kids
- Ruin you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically
- Divide up a CD collection
- Fall into depression
- Possibly date a similar type person that your former spouse was and then back on the hamster wheel of relationships
This list can keep on going but lets not and say we did.
Listen, I truly feel bad for her and the situation because:
- I am human
- Been there, done that and got a t-shirt
However, playing the victim is not going to get you anywhere. Playing the victim is only going to create more negative thoughts and feelings. Playing the victim essentially will not help the kids.
The hope for the author in my eyes is: to take time to figure out what she wants out of life? How can she serve not only her family but others? Can this negative circumstance now become a positive one?
The article painted a picture that it was all the ex-husband’s fault that she was in the situation but we all know that relationships are a two-way street. The author paints a typical but grim picture of the financial realization of divorce “I have more expenses than income” that phrase becomes the new norm.
She gets creative when making meals for the kids “…I tried to hide eggs in everything so the children were at least getting a little bit of protein…” A tradition that my son Connor and I had while living in the townhome was on Sunday mornings. On the weekends that we were together the breakfast menu was pancakes. Just as the author would slip in eggs, my sneakiness consisted of bananas.
While Connor was distracted I would mash up bananas into the batter. About two years later the question finally came out of Connor’s mouth “are there bananas in the pancakes?” Of course, my response to him was “what?” and “um, no.” Even to this day, Connor does not like bananas. I blame myself.
Anyway, I digress.
As a corporate trainer, one of the topics that I enjoyed teaching was “Stress Management” Previously you read a list of the negative side of divorce. That is bad stress but are there positives to a divorce that maybe the author had not thought of? Possibly and here is a list that came to my mind. Yes, it took me years to find ways that divorce was actually a good thing:
If you do not have kids, maybe a new change of scenery.
Doing things that your former partner did not want to do. For example, skydiving.
Finding your next chapter.
When you do spend time with your kids there should be a realization that all they truly want from you IS time. Spend quality time with them. During the marriage, there could have been a sense that you will ALWAYS have time with the kids.
Do not take your time with your kids for granted (hard lessons I learned).
- Discovering who is looking for you in a new relationship.
- Finding your smile.
- Getting a pet #dogsarebetterthancats
- Feeling there is a weight off of you. This one in my head is a bit deep.
I want to be real as one of those clichés would say something along the lines of: If I had not gone through my divorce then there is a good chance I would have never met my current wife.
It is true. I honestly believe that GOD figured out a map to get Ann and me together somehow. That was one of the best aspects of my divorce was marrying Ann because she has the same passion for serving others. She is better at it.
Divorce sucks and we have established that but the point I want to make here is all about handling tragedy. The author in my view was encompassed in the mud and not seeing that there could be a way out of her misery. Whatever is in our head when it comes to worst case scenarios is not always the outcome. You could see in your mind that the world is ending but in reality, the situation is actually good.
To me, there are the times when going to my happy place is what works. One of my happy places is just closing my eyes and listing to music like, well Depeche Mode. Now go ahead and “Enjoy The Silence.”