5 Myths You Believe About Divorcees (Hint: They Are ALL Lies!)


What is up with those divorced people? The bold truth behind the myths.

I could write a blurb here about "divorcism" and its ill effects on our society. I could talk about the "looks" divorcees get as soon as we say we're divorced. I could talk about the fear in our friends' eyes when we first tell them we're getting a divorce, but I won't for the following reasons:

  • I made up the word divorcism (I think).
  • I know divorce itself has really ill effects on our society, but so does staying a bad marriage.
  • The other stuff is just kind of boring to read about.

For me, the truth is that we all have choices to make in our lives. There are times when the person we're meant to have children with is not the same person we're meant to grow old with. So what? Is it really that big of a deal?

Our society, and especially our court system, make it a very big, ugly, painful, and hairy deal. While I am not out to change the court system (am I?), I would like to debunk a few myths about those of us who do get divorced:

1. ALL divorcees are sex-driven maniacs. Okay, as most of us know you can't generalize and say "all" about anything. Beyond that, well ... no comment. No, this is not an invitation to that sex-stalker guy who calls me every few months pretending he is a client. Don't even think about it!

2. Divorcees covet your marriage. Going through a divorce gives some, not all, a super-sensitive relationship radar. More than likely, your divorced friend is not coveting your marriage; they are seeing lots of issues.

Since opening up their own "relationship radar," they can pick apart the tiniest thing and turn it into a reason for the relationship to fail. Obviously, this is due to the skewed view one takes when going through major emotional upheaval.

This does not mean your friend thinks you should get a divorce (or maybe they do, but hopefully they are not telling you this daily); it just means they are in a hyper-aware relationship state and are questioning all connections. 

Think about how traumatic it is to sever that primary relationship connection. It's as though the person you vowed to spend your life with died, and you killed them. You start to look at most relationships in a way that makes you question them.

If they do covet you (married folk), it's probably due to your LACK of emotional upheaval, not your actual marriage. If you have an amazing relationship with your twin soul and there are no issues between you whatsoever, maybe they do covet you. Great for you. Write about it so the rest of us can learn from it, please.

There are very few couples I could say that I covet. All relationships have issues. When your life is in upheaval due to your issues, you are not really looking at other marriages thinking, "Wow, I wish I had that."

It might be more like, "Wow, I am glad I got rid of that," or even, "Whoa. Never did that; never want to do it."

I went to a wedding when I was in the beginning stages of my divorce. It was a beautiful wedding and the couple seemed happy. But I remember thinking, "If they only knew." I felt the same way on my wedding day.

That is what I am talking about. That type of jaded view of the world becomes your reality when you are in the process of a divorce.

Marriage is hard when it's good, but it's 1,000 times harder to deal with while you break it up. Throw kids in there and it is close to impossible. Survivor has nothing on divorce.

I wish a reality show about divorce existed, where they teach divorcees how to go through the process in a way that is kind (Survivor: Divorce Island).  They choose from kind, attentive attorneys who have the best interest of both parties in mind, and do not take all their savings and 401Ks.

They have counseling on hand 24/7 and continuous communication with a mediator, which makes it impossible to get ugly. I just got bored writing this part ... I guess a show would not work.

3. Divorcees want your spouse/significant other. For me, one broken home is my lifetime max. I think I'm done with that show. Why would I want to go through it again with someone else? Just because I got divorced does not mean I want the same for anyone else. It is a really sucky thing.

Plus, remember the #2 listed above and the hyper-sensitive relationship radar? I can see all of the faults in the marriage; I see the cliffs and sharp edges and sudden drop-offs. I am not picking up your junk; I have plenty of my own, thank you very much.

This does not mean I do not think it is right for you. Another thing I learned—and this is going to sound really crass—is that we marry what we can tolerate. My tolerance is at an all time low right now. 

4. Divorce ruins you for another marriage. Okay, reading all of what I wrote above probably looks like this is true; however, I still believe in marriage. I believe in working at it and making it good; I believe in deciding, everyday, that I choose to stay in a relationship and will work to make it last.

I could get really cheesy here and talk about how I believe in love, hope, trust, hearts, and flowers, but I am just not feeling it today. (I do believe in those things, though. Do not let my snarkiness fool you.)

Now, when I see young couples without kids getting married, I am still a bit like, "yikes." Whatever issues you haven't dealt with before you have children is greatly exaggerated after you do have them. Remember frying ants with the maginfying glass? Yes, like that.

Once you have children, you do not have the time or patience to deal with or deny pre-existing conditions. The unresolved issues exist and stare you in the face every day, waiting for you to hash them out after you get a full night's sleep; waiting for you to get that last load of laundry done; waiting for the holidays to pass; waiting for when you finally can't take it any longer and you explode on the other person.

Otherwise, I think after kids is a great time to get married. You already know about the way children completely decimate your former life of freedom and selfishness, and you accept that they are always going to do that over and over again.

You are wiser, more sleep deprived, and more wrinkled, but much, much wiser. Plus, I really believe that our children teach us how to truly love each other. 

So, no, divorce does not ruin you for marriage ... at least not permanently. I haven't met any other divorcees that feel they never want to do it again, either. I think the biggest thing divorcees say is, "not anything like the last marriage." Hopefully we can all heal ourselves enough to live up to that.

5. Divorce is contagious. This makes me giggle. When you announce to your friends that you are getting a divorce, there are many mixed reactions. These reactions may take the form of tears, denial, anger, and/or questions. 

There are also the friends who get scared when you tell them. Terror streaks accross their face as you watch them attmept to reign it in. Their face becomes a mask of confusion or denial. Those reactions are tough to watch.

Here is the truth. Remember the saying about the bridge that your Mom or Dad always relied on when you were a kid, and your friends were making poor choices? You know, the one that goes, "If your friend jumped off of a bridge, would you do it too?"

This, of course, creates an internal dialog about deciding what is best for you, or letting you know you won't win this time. Parents like to use death as an example because not much else scares kids. Death, oh, and creepy clowns. Of course, other things scare kids but we seem to like using death to add anxiety. What does that say about us?

Hopefully you learned that lesson in your youth. If hearing your friend is getting a divorce scares you, you need to take a good, long, hard look at what about it scares you. Are you really happy in your marriage? Do you need to work on your own relationship?

If you tell yourself you're scared for your friend, but your internal reaction was pretty serious, you REALLY need to look at your own junk. Sorry, it's true.

This does not mean that divorce is contagious; it just means that it brings up issues for everyone it touches. It is one of those emotional triggers that very few can escape unscathed. 

The best outcome for those bothered by an another's divorce is to appreciate what you do have, fix what you can, and really notice where you need to work on things. The biggest issue in relationships is communication. Are you clearly communicating what you need and want? 

Time to start. I mean, you don't want to end up like us sex-starved, spouse stealing, marriage coveting contagions, do you?

If you do not know how to communicate, hire a great Co-Active Coach ... like me!