Today starts a new series of posts with stories from T. I connected with T through Jolene’s blog, To Be Determined and whose story I featured a few weeks ago. T also keeps a blog – Life as a classroom – and after reading a few of T’s posts I contacted her and asked if she would share her story for Since My Divorce. I caught up with her on the phone while she was driving to visit her beau and we started by talking about what T regarded as her most significant accomplishment since her divorce.
It’s probably just realizing, and this is a recent realization, that my marriage wasn’t a failure. The idea behind my blog is to discover who I am – that’s why I call it the Quest for T. My problem was I’m a pleaser. I tend to want to be whoever the other person wants me to be. So coming out of a divorce, I was referring to it as a failed marriage. And my last relationship, as a failed relationship.
I was seeing myself as a failure because I couldn’t please rather than recognizing that we each served a purpose to each other and then the purpose was served and it was time to move on. It wasn’t necessarily a failure.
Recognizing that I can learn something from every encounter, every experience and every relationship is pretty significant.
As girls we tend to model our relationships with our spouses based on our relationship with our dads. I came from a relationship with a man that I could never please and I never thought I could do anything right. I think I carried that over to my marriage thinking, ‘I’m going to make this relationship work and I’m going to please this person.’ It was a huge disappointment to realize I wasn’t as perfect as I was trying to be.
However, I can’t regret that my divorce happened or that my marriage didn’t last because I don’t know that I would be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through that.
I’m still a pleaser but I’m aware of it now and I wasn’t before. I didn’t know why I felt so low whenever my ex husband would say, ‘You’re not doing this right’. We got into a huge fight one day when we first got married over the way I cooked oatmeal. I thought it was the biggest slight to me, I thought ‘how dare you insult me?’ Now when I do it, I’m more aware of it or I’ll do it and then I’ll get frustrated and then I’ll recognize within a few hours what I did.
Have you heard the expression “Never regret anything that has made you smile?” I like that – some people look back and say ‘I married the wrong guy.’ Apparently you didn’t – you married somebody you thought you loved. You married someone you thought you were going to be with the rest of your life. You can’t regret that.
I like T’s message – it’s similar to Kristen’s Married, Divorced, No Regrets. T got me thinking about all the negative words associated with divorce, like failed marriage, broken marriage, broken home, broken family and even to say “the marriage didn’t last.” I’m going to try extra hard to make sure I don’t use these negatives when I’m writing – you can help me by leaving your suggestions for positive ways to refer to things associated with divorce. What are the words or phrases about divorce that really bug you?