Divorce

5 Divorced Women Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Marrying

Woulda, coulda,  shoulda, isn’t that how the saying goes? If I knew then what I know now would I have married the man I did knowing how badly it ended?

As women, many of us envision married life as having the white picket fence, 2.5 kids, Prince charming by your side, and living the American dream; happily ever after.

Then, you get married. Reality sets in. Many of us realize we got into a relationship that we don’t see lasting “til death do us part.”

I asked a handful of women in my network what they wish they had known before they got married.  I got a variety of answers, but what stuck out to me the most is that every single one of us wrote in one way or another that we wish we knew before we got married that we were enough. Every single one of us settled on someone because we didn’t think we were good enough to get treated and loved the way we deserved.

Below 5 Divorced Women Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Marrying

1. RM- Married 7 ½ years, together for 9

I wish I would have known how much work you need to put into a marriage every single day.  You have to treat your marriage as you would a full-time job.  You have to work at making your spouse the #1 priority even if you have kids. Plan regular date nights, have sex on a regular basis, go on trips together. Don’t let good sex cloud your judgment over the things that really matter in a long-term relationship, especially marriage. You have to be friends with your partner first. I never considered my husband my best friend. He would always comment that I always sounded so much happier when I was talking to one of my friends. Truth be told, it’s because I was. I was able to be myself around my friends. I wish I would have known that if your boyfriend seems to be a bit bossy, that will turn into full on controlling behavior as the relationship progresses. And with control means that you become a shell of a person you once were because you get beat down so much. You start to question your own worth. I will never ever allow a man to determine my worth again.

2. SS- Married 8 years, together for 21

The one thing I wish I’d know before marrying was that I would be ok being alone. For many years I stayed in an unhappy, codependent marriage because I was afraid. I was afraid of being lonely, afraid of being a single mom, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own financially, afraid that our son would think I’m a failure, afraid of all the unknowns. So I stayed, disconnected from life, going through the motions, not feeling a damn thing. I was an empty shell breathing. I remember frantically crying the day he asked for a divorce. Not because I was sad, but because I was scared to be alone. But I started to realize that I had to make a new beginning. My life was craving a new journey, one that was defined by me. I slowly started to feel the life radiate back in the soul. I began to feel free from the prison of my own thoughts and what I realized was that I was ok being alone. I was enough. I am at peace and I feel whole again. I finally found the freedom from my own insecurities.

3. EN- Married 4 ½ years together for 8

Looking back at myself, if I knew then what I know now, I would have waited longer to get married.  At the time I was sure about my husband to be and thought he thought the same about me.  What I did not realize was I was blind and did not know the real man my husband I married was until he wanted a separation.  It was through his inability to be serious during our separation did I realize I could not remain married to this man as it would have led to a miserable, false life.

4. MT- Married 4 years, together for 11

One thing I would have known before marrying; I wish I knew that I was good enough, so I didn’t have to compromise and settle for less. I wish I was confident enough to talk myself out of the relationship that was full of compromise. I wish comfort of being married never took over my desire to live free.

My ex-husband’s family was abusive towards me from the start. My ex was the youngest of 3, with 2 older sisters with very strong and narcissistic personalities. My ex was quiet and his way of coping with his family problem was to let them be, and not rock the boat. When I came into the picture, his family started to attack me by doing things that hurt my feelings or made sure that I knew I was never included in their family functions.

I was wishing and hoping that my ex would stand up for me. After 11 years of being together, he never did. I don’t think he knew how.

So I compromised. I told myself “This is it; I must make this work because this is what I deserve. I can never find a man better than him.” Deep inside I knew I didn’t deserve all abusive behavior coming from his family, but I was comfortable. We were married, we had financial stability, and we were doing ok. So I let the comfort of being married take over my desire to live free.

But at the end, I have no regrets. It was my opportunity to learn to get to know myself, love my imperfect self, fight for my freedom, and understand that I am good enough. I am not going to give this freedom up again easily because it was damn hard to get it.

5. JK- Married 3 years together 7

I wish I knew my worth…

I was 22 when I met my ex-husband.  I was so young and stupid and within a year and a half had an oops pregnancy, got married a couple years after and immediately pregnant again, but then about a year-and-a-half later, separated for divorce.

So… my worth… I wish I truly understood my worth. Of course, there are a million things I wish I would have known and understood better about my ex-husband and his family, but ultimately, it comes down to me. Nobody really taught me my worth, at least not the right people.

Although I thought I had high self-esteem and I definitely was an accomplished individual, good daughter, star athlete, great student, loyal friend, highly sought-after employee.

But, I was lacking the deep understanding of my worth and had no one to guide me into healthy, respectful, worthy, romantic relationships. I was missing the key importance of setting a healthy standard for my own match.

It took me time, help, discipline, and motherhood to value and better understand my worth.

We all make better choices when we know more and I believe it starts with knowing your own worth.  Truly understanding the meaning; having expectations for ourselves to challenge each other to be better and grow.

I am remarried now and have such a better understanding of my worth. I purposely have consistent conversations with my own children so they truly understand their worth so that they set healthy, appropriate, and fair boundaries and standards, and take their time.

I wish I knew my worth, we always need to start with ourselves, because knowing yourself makes all the difference.

In closing,

I believe my favorite fictional character sums it up the best.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

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Life

My Two Year Check Up

I’ve been neglecting my blog for way too long. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to write, it’s because I’ve had too much to write and I guess you could say that I got overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. But today is the day I have decided to write it all down. Lucky you,  my faithful readers! LOL!

I’ll start with my feelings as I quickly approach the 2 year mark of my divorce being final.  I am not exactly where I want to be emotionally, but I have come a long way. And that is something I need to remind myself of when I am too hard on myself.

I can truthfully say that I am almost to the “Meh” phase when I think about my ex, deal with my ex and look at my ex. I don’t think I will ever like my ex, and I know I will never respect him.  I am at the point that after he opens his mouth and tries to have his every annoying friendly chit chat with me I am reminded about all the reasons I was so miserable in my marriage. I don’t miss a God damn thing about that man and that I can say with 100% honesty. He’s still with fugly and all I can do is laugh at the absurdity of their dysfunctional “relationship.” He has zero friends, isn’t close with his family, and so therefore uses her for company. She thinks he walks on water and is so insecure she will take whatever she can get from him, so she accepts the tiny little kibbles he throws her way. Their relationship actually makes me sick to be honest. Two severely dysfunctional people trying to fill their emotional holes with each other’s insecurity. Chew on that for a few minutes. All I can say is GROSS. She can have his lying, cheating ass for as long as she wants. I am forever done with that POS.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I reflect on my own self-discovery and on a good day I realize how far I’ve come. I am not even the same woman I was when I was in my marriage. I have stepped outside my comfy box of contentment so many times; it’s actually becoming more of a habit. I started this blog; I am hiking mountains that two years ago would have put me in the hospital from exhaustion. I’m volunteering on a regular basis, where I have met so many new friends. I have a good life. I really do.

And here’s where I get real and really lay it out there. I struggle, and I have struggled a lot lately with my depression. I’ve suffered from this for years off and on and realistically I think it started after my mom died over 30 years ago. But it wasn’t until after I had my daughter that I started taking medication. The medication helps, but that damn black cloud of despair still rears its ugly head from time to time and the past few months that black cloud hasn’t gone away. I think a lot has to do with the weather here. I don’t remember having such a grey and gloomy winter in years. This year has been bad. I had my yearly physical a couple weeks ago and my doc upped the dosage on my happy pills and I started taking vitamin D, which I think is helping. I am starting to see my way out of the fog.

I’m exercising on a regular basis, which is the first time if my life I can say that. I exercise for my mental state now, as much as I want to tone up my body.  I guess you could say that exercise is keeping me sane.

There are days that I miss my dad so much it physically hurts. I cry during random times and even had to leave work early a few weeks ago because I couldn’t stop crying. Grief is funny that way. It sneaks up on you and most times it’s at a moment you didn’t see coming.

I am starting to accept the fact that I’m going to have bad days. I’m going to have days that I don’t want to get out of bed or I want to cry all day because I miss my dad. I can have those days. And I am no longer going to feel guilty when I do.

I also have good days. I will never take those good days for granted. I start each day with a grateful heart and remind myself of all the wonderful things I am so fortunate to have in my life. So many things that we tend to take for granted during our normal, mundane life. I have a roof over my head, I have all of my limbs, I’m healthy, my daughter is healthy, and a really awesome kid to boot. I have friends, a lot of friends that I am eternally grateful for.

Even on those not so good days, I’m eternally grateful to be here breathing and alive to take it all in.