Don’t Marry Til You’ve Been Divorced

Getting divorced really bites the big one, folks. Even in the best possible circumstances. It is my professional opinion that it be avoided if at all possible.

At the end of July 2011, I left my husband for prolonged cheating and being, in a very general sense, a hateful human being. I went through the predictable stages of grieving/being a bitch and attacking the people closest to me, but thankfully it was short-lived and I was able to move on in my usual fashion.

Confession time: I have a knack for walking away that surpasses odd and approaches morbid. As a rule I am fiercely devoted, but once a partner (or really any kind of commitment) has given me sufficient reason to flip the bird and stop trying to fix things, I tend to do just that: I cry a few times, have a cathartic and potentially noisy breakdown, and then very quietly whittle everything about that ex out of my life. This has usually led to said ex being highly disturbed over my apparent ease in moving on as I lose my ability to care about them.

I’ve often wondered if this was a symptom of having had my heart broken at a very young age (the church I grew up in decided it was sinful of me to have a male best friend and then banned me from interacting at all with one of the first real companions I’d ever had – I blamed myself for years), or of being relentlessly practical about spilt-milk situations, or of maybe being a mild sociopath, but regardless it has proven fairly useful during the course of the proceedings. Thanks to this tendency along with the fact that my spouse and I had almost no mutual property other than a flashy TV that I didn’t want anyway, did not yet share finances, and had no children together, I’ve been lucky enough to make a much cleaner break than most reasonable people.

Still, I was very sad to find out yesterday that due to a series of miscommunications with my lawyer, the proceedings that I thought were almost complete are actually  still long from over. Even with my shrug-it-off super powers, this news was pretty devastating. I’ve spent the last nine months picking up the pieces and trying to move past the embarrassment of what is in my eyes a massive personal failure; even though I’ve barely seen my ex since we split and even though the marriage at this point is only on paper, it’s amazing how much that single piece of paper can loom and throw its weight around. I’ve moved on from him in an emotional sense, but I can’t shake the feeling that I won’t move on from the situation itself until the paperwork is over and done with.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my marriage was a very sudden affair. I did exactly what my mother warned me not to do: I got married because I was bored and because getting married was an achievable goal. I’ve always wanted to be wife/mom, but in retrospect I realize I rushed into marriage because I was tired of being in a no-man’s-land of objectives after leaving college and making making no observable progress on my writing (my only other major goal). I just wanted to commit to something and have it pay off. So while I came by my enthusiasm honestly enough, it was still an ill-considered decision.

If you’re considering marriage, I definitely do not mean to dissuade or disparage, but do give your affections and intentions a good hard scrutinizing. I would still like to be married for reals someday and do the mom/housewife thing, but I have a lot to keep in mind before I try it out a second time. Such as my wedding-related Pinterest board.

Shameless, I know.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Marry Til You’ve Been Divorced

  1. Sophie E Tallis says:

    I always remember a comment a wise old friend told me, “A wedding does not a marriage make.” In other words, so many people get so utterly fixated on the wedding part, on the whole dress, table dressings, gifts, ceremony of it…that they completely forget about the marriage part! As a result they drift into marriages too casually then find themselves trapped. So I completely agree, that while marriages still have their place in society and can still be worthwhile ventures to embark on, they shouldn’t be entered into lightly and anyone considering getting married, does need to reflect seriously and scrutinise their reasons for doing it. Very interesting post!

  2. Proseia says:

    Thanks for reading! I am a little hesitant to post what amount to journal entries, but this was on my mind all day – had to get it out of my system, I guess. But yeah, I tried really hard the first go round to avoid the dress/wedding hype – had a very simple ceremony with only a few folks, wore a dress I already owned, etc – in an attempt to make sure I was doing something I really wanted and not just get wrapped up in that one day…in the end, though, it was the idea of ‘being married’ that made me rush, I’m afraid. So I figure next time I’ll keep a close eye on that impulse and try to enjoy the actual wedding part a little more. Either way, it’s not happening again for a while. =P

  3. Nathan Kunkel says:

    The preacher at my brother’s wedding told my brother right before they walked the aisle, “I have no doubts about this marriage; Jennifer is more excited about you than the wedding.” It got me thinking about a girl I talked marriage with in college; thankfully, we learned we could never work fairly early on (she yelled at me a LOT, but I probably deserved it). If we had not had such a big falling out, I probably would’ve coasted along with it until marriage (it did sound exciting), then realized my mistake. No doubt I would like to get married someday, but it’s gonna take awhile; it’s easier to put a marriage together than it is to split it back up.

    • Proseia says:

      Hey Nathan! Definitely true about it being harder to split – still, I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out. You’re a good guy, though – it’ll happen eventually. 🙂

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