When I was going through struggles in my last marriage I, as any woman would, reached out to others. I still remember the words of one of my closest family member’s at the time.
“Well YOU married him!”
At that time, I felt horrible having this said to me. Not only did it tell me that this person was clearly not standing by my side in support, it also made me feel guilt, and shame.
Guilt that maybe the marriage failing was all my fault. Shame that I could not make it work.
Upon many years of retrospect, and having time to mature emotionally, I clearly realize that this person was stunted, short sighted, and probably had a big chip on their shoulder. Their words reflected far more upon them, than me!
Yes in fact, I did marry him. People change, sometimes they change together, and grow closer, and sometimes they grow apart. That is simplifying issues obviously, as there were multitudes of problems, issues, and the man I married was not entirely to blame. No one person is ever fully to blame.
Yet we still deserve to have someone we can count on, to lean on, to reach out to for support. To hear us whine, bitch, and moan, until we get through things. I hope every woman going through divorce that is reading this has someone they can count on for support.
For those of you going through divorce that do not have someone, or worse, have someone who would say such a thing like this… I want you to know that you deserve support and should clearly cut this friend, or family member loose!
Saying a thing like that to a married woman going through martial struggles is like saying “Well you gave birth to them” to a woman whose child gets a serious physical illness, or starts having problems in school, or behavioral issues.
Saying a thing like “Well you married him!” to a woman going through separation or divorce is like saying “You should have taken better care of your health” to a cancer patient.
No shit! We all know there are ways in which we could have done better, tried harder, been more diligent. So? We are human, humans make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn, how we grow, and how we evolve.
These hurtful, unacceptable words are not value added to anyone, other than perhaps the jaded, ill intending person saying them.
Often when in a marriage that is falling apart, you are not the only person feeling gutted. Most often the other marriage partner is as well. Marriage is hard work, a two way street, and it does not fall apart for no good reason. Both people deserve love and support from those they should be able to count on the most.
Since my divorce, which was nearly 10 years ago … I know both myself, and my ex are living happier lives, and both of us are living lives more true to who we grew to become as individuals.
Yes, there were children involved, and yes this family member did have reasons for concern, but the first thing you want to do, if you are a family member reading this who has a loved one going through a divorce, is to give them love, support, encouragement, and kindness. The last thing you want to do is make an enemy of them, or lose their trust in you!
If you are a family member, or friend of a person going through a divorce, put any jaded feelings aside, put away your own issues on the topic, even if you feel your divorcing friend, or family member is in the “wrong”, even if you are not clearly seeing both people in the marriage have a part of the blame, set it aside, and be as supportive as you can be.
You may need this friend or family member on your side one day! If not for a divorce of your own, certainly for something else.
Are you currently struggling with divorce or separation? Have you ever had someone say things like this to you? I would love to hear your comments.
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