All friends are married 20+ years and everyone is resigned to having made a trade off. I can’t help but notice this when I see their eyes divert off to the horizon as they pause to make sense of their thoughts. I guess, it’s human nature. Even I once was like them, making relationship decisions with my head instead of the heart resulting in ignorance of the power of my intuition and the signs of divine intervention. I’ve come to know this the hard way but I’m not feeling selfish or guilty. After 28 years of marriage, I decided to divorce. I accept the emotional damage because it isn’t avoidable but necessary to grow for all involved. In my case, my divorce was inevitable.
For men I know, there is a prevailing theme. “Cheaper to keep her” comes to mind or they have open relationships (as long as no one embarrass the other), or they are in unusual relationships for the sake of image (one is gay, one is not) or they live separately,never to divorce. Some have young children, on their second marriage, or third (what we’re they thinking?). Oh, they weren’t!!! That’s right! Still others have a wife as a business partner with financial complications, so they don’t want to “lose everything” despite their “lifetime earning high six figures” wife (which would mean he would be entitled to half as well, or maybe not). Even if the other women isn’t after his money, will sign a prenup and he believes this, he is still in fear of starting over. Except in Hollywood where none of this matters! lol
Outside of Hollywood though, some men feel justified to have outside “distractions” as long as they don’t become “addicted” because they are convinced their wife is detached emotionally. But the drama doesn’t begin until they ask for a divorce. Most men I know avoid emotional confrontation like the plague and it’s easier to live with the status quo then to live alone.
I’m left with believing men have the toughest time doing the intense reflection it takes to make a move one way or another and the visualization required to anticipate their motivations to move on with their lives, whether someone is within their sights or not. My ex always said, no one leaves without another waiting in the wings. Yet, that was not true for me. The decision to leave slowly evolved over a dozen years until my spirit could no longer settle for mediocre when the relationship was thought to be at it’s best. I’m of the belief that a successful marriage isn’t measured by a timeline on a calendar and what matters most is quality over quantity.When having fun and learning cease, not to mention sexual attraction for only them, romance and deep attachment, it’s time to go. All of which has nothing to do with financial and may sound naive. Yet, here again, I’m a woman of faith and I believe the scripture that promises we all will be provided for, even more so than we deserve. If not for that belief, the vultures circling over my home for years would not have been held back by His hand.
Which reminds me of a court guard who once offered unsolicited advice when he saw me sitting in the hall of the Bridgeport courthouse. I never saw him approach me but he stood beside me, his back against the wall and started speaking to me as if we were already in deep conversation. He said: “It’s all about finding your happiness.” I looked up at him and the first words I spoke were: “Are you an angel?” So, as it was, I did the unconventional and left my marriage to find happiness in my middle years and up until the judges gavel dropped, my ex thought we would reconcile. Denial is never a friend to anyone.
So, here I sit in the Tazza Cafe listening to classic rock radio and like a time machine, I’m pondering the youth I’ve left behind, which now has led me to my dermatologist’s office to erase the earned wrinkles, both happy and sad. On surface, it’s superficial and yet, it is comforting to look in the mirror and see the girl I once was looking back at me after a few fillers and strategically placed botox. Even if only for a few months, the ” magic line eraser” makes me feel better. Here I am, a 54 year old young at heart woman who is thrust into the competitive world for lucrative employment against well educated, intelligent women and many more years on the calendar and I’m not ready to pass the baton. So, I take the leap of faith to earn enough financially not to rely on my children when the color no longer covers my white hair and the botox can’t defy gravity.
I don’t regret being a stay at home mom as I have the best memories which are by far more valuable than any material thing I left behind or never owned. Although I was always planning to return to my career when they were in their teens, I just didn’t count on him remaining a child himself. Life is funny that way.
Have you experienced divorce after a long-term marriage?
What lessons did you gain from the experience?
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