Divorced Girl Smiling has been in existence for 14 months, and during that time, I’ve done my best to offer divorce advice not only in an inspirational way, but I constantly strive to be impartial, nonjudgmental, and of course, funny, at times to lighten things up.
What I want you all to know is that I’m listening! That means when you send in your comments, I read them. I hear you. I try to respond to some of them, but time constraints and work sometimes prevents that.
Well, now I am responding! Here are three comments you made, along with my answers.
Divorcing with no children
I am in my late 40′s, married almost 22 years, and no children. It see so few conversations that deal with women who are in a similar position. If people feel alone and have children at home, imagine the loneliness of realizing you are completely alone in this situation. It seems like none of the blogs address this. I really feel like an outlier. Is that so?
What you seem to be asking is, “Is divorce less of a big deal if you don’t have kids?” Here’s my answer: NO!
I apologize if I give that impression in my posts. I think because I have children, I write what I know. What I can tell you is that I can’t imagine your breakup being easy after 22 years together. I am so very sorry.
However, I would like to address your comment about loneliness. People who have kids have that same loneliness you have, even when the kids are around. Not because we don’t love or appreciate our children, but because every divorced person feels that void of having a spouse, a partner, a friend with them, and it’s a void children can’t fill. You can also be married, and if it’s to the wrong person you probably feel loneliness.
I just had to add something to this as a man who’s wife just left him 4 weeks ago and asked for a divorce. I have given my heart, soul, mind, and body to my wife. It hurts more than anything I have ever dealt with. I am in the armed forces and had to deal with a lot that would make people cringe. So hear me when I say that just leaving and saying I want a divorce is the wrong way to end a marriage. Go to counseling together and talk about your issues, date each other again, make sure you both do everything humanly possible, especially when there are children involved. Now there are good reasons to end a marriage but what I am talking about is for those men and women who don’t have no reason other than, I don’t love him/her anymore, or they do this or that and I just can’t take it anymore.
I’m mad at her for abandoning me and the kids, our family that we spent ten years putting together. If a divorce is in your horizons, do everything you can to save it no matter how you feel, but if you put everything you have into it with your spouse, and if it still is not working then yes talk about divorce. You will find yourself more at peace, and it will be a much smoother/amicable transition.
First of all, the tone of this apparently shows what a rational person you are, and I applaud you for that. This doesn’t sound like so many angry, bitter, irrational messages I receive. This is smart and thoughtful. Not to mention, you are in the armed forces so I want to give you a big hug and say thank you for what you provide everyone in our country every day!!
I am so sorry your wife left you. I truly am. It is very painful, I’m sure. Are you telling me your wife wouldn’t even consider counseling? That’s so sad to me. You are correct when saying “date each other again.” Marriage is a constant effort, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. But when people forget to water their plants, they die. Same goes for marriage.
I am wishing you all the best and I have faith that at some point, you will realize that things happen for a reason and you will end up very happy. Just keep being a great dad and do things for yourself, as well!
Child support money NOT used for our children
I pay $2000/month to support 2 teenage children. My ex-wife has never really signed them up (or allowed them to be signed up for music lessons, SAT prep classes, art classes, or any one the myriad things most functional parents do.) Yet she works in a profession that earns her a high 6-figure income. She rarely seems to purchase clothing. She has saved less than half of the amount that it would take to send them to a state university.
It doesn’t take a particularly savvy accountant to sort out the fact the check I’m sending her is not going to support these kids. I love my children dearly and don’t resent in the least what I do for them; but the money I send to their mother – I will resent in perpetuity, because it is plainly observable that it is disproportionate to their actual and realized needs.
Okay, so this is a tough one for me, being on the other end, i.e. receiving child support. I feel like what you are feeling is very common, and I’m sure you must be frustrated beyond belief. Here’s what I can tell you as a single mother. With two growing kids who are eating me out of house and home, a mortgage, bills, even school expenses, I think there are a lot of things I spend money on for my kids that my ex really doesn’t realize, only because he isn’t here to see the checks I’m writing. Again, I can only speak for my situation, but my child support check isn’t paying even half of my kid expenses.Even with MY income, I struggle financially. And I don’t resent my ex for it, I’m just saying, that check doesn’t go as far as you think.
My advice to you is to ask your ex, talk to her. I know that’s difficult but if you go about it in a nice way, and just say, “Could we maybe talk about why you aren’t signing up the kids for these classes? Or buying them new clothes?” Let’s be honest, she’ll probably get really defensive, so be prepared. But isn’t communicating worth a try?
If you have any questions or comments that you’d like me to address with some divorce advice, please reach out!
I agree with the lady that stated the perception seems to be that divorce is less significant when there are no children involved. My sister divorced with 4 children and, as overwhelming as that was, she was never alone. I am now alone at 44 after taking a KEY role in raising my special needs stepson whom we had full custody of. (It won’t be me he visits on holidays though!)
I too am frustrated that the perception seems to be that it is much harder, and no less lonely, if you have children. I beg to babysit just for the company!
re: My wife gave up to soon.
I so understand the feelings this gentleman has. After 6 years of marriage my husband just decided he was done with our marriage. After 4 counciling session in which he spent the entire time complaining about my housekeeping and talking about nothing of substance. BTW: while I might not be a neat freek or OCD about my floors shining, my house is always clean with minimal disorder but not perfect. I also worked outside the home 9 hours a day and had a baby to take care of. I resent him most for just giving up. In no way going to 4 sessions constitute trying. Even the councilor pointed out that while I seemed to be working very hard to adjust my own personality to accomodate some of the things that were causing him anxiety he was making no attempt to compromise and he AGREED with her. He never even brought up the fact that he felt like he cared deeply about a female friend of his. The shiny new penny to hold up next to my tarnished self. Maybe we would have ended up divorced anyway but to just not try has left me so resentful of him. Upon announcing he thought we should get divorced I came back to him a few days later with some options for marriage retreats and he presented me with a workbook on do it yourself divorce from the internet. There was never a discussion about divorce he just decided. In the end that shouldn’t have surprised me as he made all his decisions that way. I just resent him so much for it.
I’m really glad to have found your site – it seems to be what I need right now 🙂
I’ve been divorced for almost a year now… and I was the one who left, after 4 and a half years of marriage and one daughter later. The marriage itself was getting toxic, so bad that I felt I was losing myself completely… it was borderline emotional abuse. It took about 6 months between me finally standing up for myself (but giving him two more chances), and finally leaving.
I’ve even been able to remarry (a couple of months ago), to an incredible, wonderful man who loves me and my daughter with all his heart and – in this short time – has been everything I ever wanted and needed in a life partner.
And yet… with all that, I find myself missing my ex a great deal. We were each others’ first times (we come from a conservative religious background), we moved across the world together, set up our first home together, and had so many high and low points. I was the only person who truly understood him (maybe better than he understood himself, sometimes).
I had spent the last year of my marriage extremely angry and resentful, but within this last year since the divorce, I’ve come to forgive him and to understand him even more in some ways. Within the last few months, I’ve found myself reliving many of our good memories and feeling almost homesick for him, missing him deeply. I’ve even tried forcing myself to think about all the crappy stuff that went down in our marriage (and there was a lot), but I still can’t help missing him so much.
I would never, ever go back to him, but… I find myself worrying about him, caring about him; he recently remarried as well, and a part of me feels extremely protective of him, and doesn’t want him to get hurt the way I hurt him by leaving.
We don’t have much contact (his choice, because he felt it would be too hard for him), and I don’t even know anything about his new wife – not her name, nothing!
I find myself thinking about her a lot, wishing I could at least speak to her (for myself as well as for my daughter, who doesn’t know about this woman either – also my ex’s decision)… is it weird of me that I want so desperately to get to know her? To be friends with her, if possible? Am I just displaying serious signs of an unhealthy ability to let go of my ex?
We live about half a world away from each other (literally) so there’s no way for me to inject myself into his life (I know, that’s a bad idea anyway)… I’ve been struggling with these emotions quite a bit recently, and am shocked at how strong they are – stronger even than I felt in the immediate aftermath of divorce.
So, I dunno… is what I’m feeling normal? Or do I really need to work harder at letting go (which I thought I had, but evidently have not!)?