I’m getting divorced. I didn’t want to get divorced but seeing as my husband has split (it’s been a few years now), it is probably time for me to face the music. I don’t want to be single but there’s no dignity or integrity in staying married to someone who has created a whole new life for himself.
Roughly 2/3 of divorces are filed by women. It’s easy to read into this that women are the initiators of divorce but that may be a convenient stretch. How many of those filings are attributable to the simple lack of physical filing on the part of the husband (as in my case)? I’ve witnessed numerous husbands who border on despondent yet stay married. Is it possible that men just don’t take the initiative to file for divorce even if they are in sex-less, life-less (I don’t generally believe in love-less*) marriages?
At some point maybe I’ll reduce myself to articulating, on this blog, the ridiculous lengths I went to to “save” my marriage. Well, it’s saved! I’m still married but I have no husband in the flesh. He’s gone and we are only a partnership in that we share children together (whom he sees when his schedule allows) and we still share a bank account. For starters, the book Divorce Busting by Michele Weiner-Davis was my main resource and I spent a great deal of time on the forums of Divorcebusting.com . Go ahead, check it, get a good laugh at the expense of desperate left behind spouses seeking communion, support and advice from virtual strangers. Once in a while a couple makes it back together and the gaggle of hopeful romantics (translation- delusional broken-hearteds) dine on crumbs of evidence that maybe, just maybe it will all work out.
I don’t want to be a fucking divorcée. I don’t want to inherit all of the characteristics that accompany that title. But, am I any better off being the estranged “left behind wife”? I’ve resolved that the answer is no.
I do believe that men and women screw each other over pretty evenly. I don’t know a man or woman who hasn’t come through divorce wounded and with great difficulty. I just know that who actually files does not indicate what the circumstances were that led up to the divorce nor does it indicate who is suffering more.
I’m still a fan of marriage and a huge proponent of keeping our commitments to each other. I still believe that children thrive in intact households. I still wish that marriages could be held together by the will of one but, I’m proof, they can’t (beyond just staying married on paper).
*Overall, I truly believe that in the majority of marriages if you loved someone enough to marry them (Brittany Spears and her ilk excluded), you will always love them to some degree even if you convince yourself otherwise or try to revise history. It’s okay. You can love someone and not even speak to him or her for the rest of eternity. That’s just my opinion of course.
Oh, one more thing, I linked to the Divorce Busting book and website because I think a) they can help people stay together before the shit hits the fan and b) they did help me find some solace in not being alone and knowing I would survive regardless of the outcome of my marriage.