Divorce may be a choice but generally it’s a choice of last resort. Most people would prefer not to be faced with the choice.
In this last segment with Lucy, Lucy reflects on how people reacted to her divorce and how her life might have been different if she hadn’t chosen divorce. Here’s Lucy:
After knowing us and seeming like the perfect couple, people just were like, “I don’t understand why you got divorced.” When the reason is because you’re not having sex and you’re not a couple like that, that’s not an answer I tell people.
So, that was a tough one. I would just say, we just got married too young and weren’t right for each other. I’d say something like that.
I think that my dad probably took my divorce the worst of everyone. I have two brothers who are great and close to my dad but it was kind of a special relationship with my ex-husband and my dad. And my two older sisters are not married, so when I got married it was like, “Oh finally, one of my daughters is married.” Everything was right about what I was doing and it was just a disappointment to my parents, I think.
They couldn’t understand it. ‘Oh he’s not cheating?’ How do you stand in your parent’s kitchen and say, “Well, we never have sex, so that’s the reason. Really want to know?”
I did tell them and then, of course, they’re like, “Well, his sister’s gay. Is he gay?”
It’s the standard question that is a good question but I really don’t think he is. So, then I said, “No, so can we just drop it, because this is just making me feel worse by talking about it.”
Eventually they understood and it was OK. They were supportive of me throughout the whole thing. It was just weird and awkward.
I think the biggest message for anyone who’s getting divorced or thinking of getting divorced is it might seem like it’s going to be the worst thing in the world at the time, but I think it often turns out to be the best thing, because it let’s you evolve into the next thing you’re supposed to be doing.
If I had stayed with my first husband I would be living a different life. I feel like my eyes are opened up to everything that’s out there. The world becomes bigger, not smaller, I think, when you get divorced.
I think I’d probably have two kids and the second kid probably would’ve been the last time I had sex. I probably would’ve fallen into, “This is my life,” and just a state of, “OK, this is it.”
Luckily for me, with my ex-husband, even though it was painful, he was never a jerk. He really wasn’t and we were always civil and cordial to each other, almost to a fault, like, “If you would’ve cheated on me it would have been a whole lot easier,” but it was never like bad feelings.
I do not want to get divorced again but I think for anybody in a marriage that’s not good, I think being alone is one thousand times better than being alone in a marriage. Being by yourself is just so much better.
Don’t ever be surprised by what other people will ask you about your divorce. If the question seems intrusive or presumptive, don’t jump to the conclusions. Most of the time it’s simply because the person feels uncomfortable around divorce and hasn’t figure out how to offer compassion and support. You can prepare yourself for this by having a response to such questions ready and this will save you from sharing more information than you want.
Many of the people I’ve interviewed share Lucy’s view. At the time, divorce was the worst and hardest experience of their lives. With hindsight they came to see their divorce as a life-changing event that led them to greater happiness and a fuller, richer life but, and here’s the big but, none of that came easily. There was always a lot of self-work involved in getting there.
This is the last segment in Lucy’s story and I’d like to thank her for sharing her journey.
My next guest is Sandy Weiner from the Last First Date. Sandy was divorced almost six years ago after 23 years of marriage. She spent the last eight or nine years of her marriage considering divorce but stayed on the advice of an attorney, ‘for the sake of the chidlren.’ That’s advice she now wishes she hadn’t heeded. Before we get to Sandy’s story however, I have a series of terrific guest posts so stay tuned.
Photo Credit: 2013© Jupiter Images Corporation