Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why did you get divorced?

It's a question I'm still asked occasionally, often by people who assume I must not have tried hard enough to keep things together; people who are hoping their question will result in an invitation to unload tangential bits of advice and wisdom.

I have my list of standard answers, my easily digestible half-truths. Because there's really no simple answer to that one, is there? Not unless I came home to find my husband screwing my sister on the dining room table, anyway (which I didn't). That would be a pretty straight forward equation. 1 + 1 = divorce.

But for most of us it's a much more complex algebraic equation; one in which there is no definitive answer in the quest to solve for y. I could tell you that we were young when we met and just grew apart. I could tell you that he was a self-centered ass who was all take and no give. I could tell you that I sunk into a depression, isolated myself, and looked to him for more support than he should have been expected to provide.

All of these things are true. All of these, I've found, are answers that people are willing enough to accept without too much question. And any one of them, perhaps, would have been enough to eventually drive us apart. But they are not the real answers. They each played their part in the divorce, true. But they are merely symptoms of the real answer.

The most simple answer, the truest answer, is this: I got divorced because I got married.

The question here ought not be "Why did you get divorced?". The real question is "Why did you get married?".

Once you know the answer to latter, you'll feel no need to ask the former.


...and cut to commercial.

I'd intended to answer that latter question in this post, but it's late and I'm tired. So, the end. We'll call this Episode One. Tune in tomorrow for Episode Two: So... why did you get married?


BigLittleWolf said...

Yes, and yes. Insightful post. It's so much easier when you can point to a single incident or publicly comprehensible reason for divorce, and so much more difficult when you cannot. When it was a hundred little uncomfortable things, and then a series of terrible things, and none of it is easily explained.

I think there's probably more of that (the latter) than we realize.

I also believe it should be harder to marry, and easier to divorce. A little more like pulling the band-aid off quickly, rather than slowly and more painfully.

Nicki said...

Wow. So true. And I know why I got married. I was bullied into it. (I had already had the foresight to ancel the wedding, but my ex-father in law was scary military...need I say more?)

We stayed married for fifteen years. And because I left the marriage with two AMAZING kids, I can't regret it too much. As Mir would say, it's not a regret, it's an experience.

Let's not beat ourselves up too much. You left with a pretty nice souvenir, too, right?

adrienzgirl said...

That usually is the right question to ask.

My answer to that: I was young, and stupid, and rebellious. I didn't see myself growing old with him, or anyone for that matter. I was too busy being free spirited to actually think about whether a marriage was the right thing to do or not!

Cat said...

I got married because he seemed safe and secure and he was in the military and I thought I'd be taken care of. And I thought I loved him.

I stayed with him as he got kicked out of the military and quit job after job.

I got divorced because he accused me of planting microchips in his freckles and chased me out of our house while aiming a gun at me when I was 4 months pregnant.

My needs? Not so important. My son's safety? Not something I'll ever, ever take that kind of chance on.

humpsNbump said...

I love this post. "I got divorced because I got married." That's all that needs to be said. If you responded to a question like that, anyone who has experience a dysfunctional relationship, breakup, whatever would understand.

~ humps

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