No matter what age or stage of life, the curiosity to know what the heck is going on in the mind of someone of the opposite sex (who is in relatively the same position as you are) never ceases to exist. Divorce is no exception. In fact, I know so many men who say things like, “What’s up with these divorced women? I just don’t get them.” So, I thought this blog post, written by a divorced woman might shed some light into what one divorced woman is thinking.
I will say this. I feel like many readers on this site might draw the assumption that the author of this post just up and left her husband because she wasn’t happy. It’s easy to judge and draw conclusions about people, but remember, no one was living in her house (or the home of anyone who got divorced) to know what the specific circumstances were. With that said, here is the perspective of one of the countless divorced women out there!
A Trip Inside a Divorced Woman’s Head by Marci F. Adilman
If you’re into music like I am, you might hear lyrics from a song that resonate with you (or you wished they resonated with you!) and then chuckle at the irony. I heard David Byrne of Talking Heads on the radio singing “Once in a Lifetime” the other day and found the lines very timely:
You may ask yourself, “How do I work this?” / “Where is that large automobile?”
And you may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful house” / “This is not my beautiful wife”
And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”
“Here” is a most interesting place for me, an energetic baby boomer sharing a compact empty nest with an aging cockapoo. I often find myself channeling memories of the Lincoln Park studio apartment I had in the ‘80s, fascinated that 30 years have passed and I’m back to single living.
There is a proud sense of accomplishment, however, that sets me apart from that 20-something work in progress to who I am today. And even though that fairytale of living happily ever after with a husband and 2.5 children did not have the Disney-style ending I assumed it would, our divorce did not crush my spirit. It certainly brought me down to a level of soul-challenging pain I hadn’t been privy to before—it would for anyone ruminating over the loss of a 25-year marriage. But I knew I had to leave a life of vanilla, of continuing misdirected priorities, of fewer and fewer cherished special moments.
Anyone over 50 can see the typical milestones of life looming ahead: retirement, precarious health, losing dear friends and loved ones, children becoming independent. What you don’t want is to be alone to experience those things, and you really don’t want a partner who can’t comfort you. So, if divorce was your answer like it was mine, then you’re on your way to living an authentic life.
Ideally you have a fair amount of youthful spirit left to last through a new happy ending to your story and lots to look forward to. And, if like David Byrne, you find yourself asking “How did I get here?” you may have one answer in those early months of separation, and then a very different one in a year or two. And both may surprise you.
14 Experiences the Newly Single Person Knows to Be True
1. No trouble finding an available seat when flying—there’s always a middle seat with your name on it.
2. Feeling pressure to look decent even when running out for a minute since you never know who you’ll run in to.
3. “Netflix and chill” takes on a new meaning as the perfect answer to your alone time
4. Those little “sushi for one” packages from the grocery store more and more solve the “What’s for dinner?” debacle
5. Running the dishwasher maybe once every 5-7 days
6. Being hard-pressed to fill an entire load of laundry
7. Hearing “You’ll meet someone when you least expect it” practically daily, allowing you to perfect your eye-rolling technique to new heights
8. Subconsciously directing your eyes to everyone’s left-hand ring finger instead of their eyes, like a normal person
9. Dreading the weekends instead of looking forward to them
10. Staying at work later since no one is home waiting for you
11. Heart palpitations upon seeing emails either from your attorney or Match
12. Receiving a wedding invitation for you and a plus 1, which brings on a different kind of worry
13. Very strange sleeping patterns
14. Overeating one week, then barely eating the next … or having a “liquid dinner” and Twizzlers for dessert
Marci Adilman is a born-and-bred Chicagoan, full-time copy editor/proofreader, and occasional feature writer. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Iowa and has participated in workshops at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival on humor and feature writing over the years. She is the divorced mother of a grown daughter and son, and a devoted aunt of 5 nieces and nephews.