Yes, I Actually Learned Something
And something besides “don’t get married again.” Like I haven’t heard that before. I didn’t go into marriage, either time, thinking I would get divorced. Who does that? Oh wait, I may know a few people.
Let’s just be clear. Divorce sucks. It’s brutal. It’s like cutting your tongue off with a rusty knife in 115 degree heat in Las Vegas while the slot machine you just walked away from spits out a cool $5,000 to the lucky sap that sat down behind you. Only not quite that good.
I can’t recall how many times I heard that my divorce (either one of them) was a “learning experience,” that I was “better off now,” and next time “would be the charm.” First, what kind of bullshit learning experience is having your marriage implode and losing your life’s partner and home? Second, no shit. Third, seriously people? Don’t ever tell someone going through a divorce that the next time will be better. Peeps going through divorces want to machete anyone getting married and that includes themselves if they ever seriously consider marriage anything other than a form of capital punishment.
You might think I had learned the important stuff after Divorce No. 1. Nope. I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything. I learned that if you have cold feet before the wedding, you probably shouldn’t go through with the marriage, no matter how embarrassing you think it might be to call it off. I learned that you can get divorced without arguing or fighting over anything. I also learned that when your friends and his friends advise you not to marry him, you probably shouldn’t.
I didn’t have these issues the second time around. Too bad because maybe if I had, there would be no second divorce because there would have been no second wedding. Irony is a cruel master, isn’t she?
But there was a second wedding and this second divorce, instead of maybe being easier because, you know, I had suffered through it before, was harder. I had invested more time, energy and emotion into this relationship and that made everything more difficult for a variety of reasons. I also had the aforementioned comments coming in, along with other gems like my ex being a better man for the next woman, thanks to me and the always classic “well, at least you got to be married.” Really, folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
So while I was dealing with the divorce-apocalypse and its aftermath and trying to find the silver lining that is supposed to be present in every situation (well, besides the silver lining that I was no longer in an unhappy marriage), I stumbled upon this little bit of wisdom.
Are you ready? It’s actually pretty simple but we never think about it. Most of the time you’re told to forgive the other person for the wrongs they have done to you but never are you told that it’s okay to forgive yourself. That’s the nugget of information that was like a light bulb blinking on over my head. It’s really not that important to forgive your ex. Do it if you can or want; or don’t. Sometimes people that don’t ask for forgiveness don’t deserve it. But you have to forgive yourself.
It took me a little while but I did it. I forgave myself for some of the clothes I wore in the 80s (pleats anyone?) and for the love affair I had with my curling iron. I forgave myself for thinking that I could karaoke like a mofo after a few drinks and that super short hair was my friend. So why not forgive myself for loving freely and fiercely and working hard to have a successful marriage? (Okay, maybe those things aren’t so bad; I just need to be wiser about who I choose to give my heart to and how long and hard I’m going to fight a losing battle.)
So go ahead, ladies. Forgive yourselves for those questionable fashion choices or gold fixtures you put everywhere in your home or, most importantly, that relationship that didn’t work, for whatever reason. You deserve it.