Last week was incredibly busy and filled with difficulty as well as fun. The night after Joe's wake I was invited to my friend's birthday party. When I got home from the wake, the last thing on my mind was going to a party. I was emotionally spent and physically exhausted. I sat down for thirty minutes and then forced myself to change out of my dress and into jeans. I was going to a party- even if I didn't feel like. I promised my friend I would be there and Im a girl of my word.
There were 20 or so people there and I noticed a strange commonality in the air. All the women present were divorced, all of us except for the birthday girl. What are the chances of this. Im usually the one Easton person at the party who is Happily Divorced. The fact that I was in my town and everyone was divorced was even more interesting to me. My friend ( Happygirl ) for the sake of privacy- always tells me that she loves hanging out with divorced friends. I told her that I was going to write about her and she was thrilled with that idea. She has three small children all under the age of 12 and she is beautiful. Her husband is so fun and incredibly sweet and it seems to me like they have a wonderful relationship. I always thought she was just joking when she told me that she "loves" divorced women. On more than one occasion I have experienced something very different.
I think some married women are very threatened by a happy, successful divorced woman. I have been dropped from more than one annual party list since my divorce. I live in a small town and it is not difficult to figure out which list you have been dropped from. This aspect of divorce was the most difficult for me as I never in my life anticipated that the friendships that I enjoyed would be altered. It truly was the most disappointing aspect of my divorce. It shocked me that the people I needed the most had stopped inviting myself and family to functions.
I quickly regrouped and surrounded myself with wonderful women both married and divorced. I know now who I can truly trust and who is my true friend. Tough thing to learn but as I stated before- divorce can be threatening to married women. I know some happily married couples but the majority have pretty sizable complaints regarding their marriages. I mind my own business and wish the best for everyone. However, the other night threw me off. Why would my friend only befriend divorced women. I asked her and she replied that "we were more interesting and friendlier than the married women in town". There has to be more to this as I reflect on her comment.
Women that are divorced have a difficult plight. They are raising children alone and in many cases struggling financially. They still have to deal with their annoying ex husbands and it is not easy in many situations. I have to say that my divorce was much simpler than most. My ex husband lives across the country. I have sole custody of my children and Im doing great. I am the exception to the rule. Divorce for the majority of the population is extremely difficult and traumatic. I have my difficulty however the main stressors are not present and I thank God for that daily. What is the appeal happygirl? I don't get it.
So the party was all divorced women and no divorced men were allowed per her husbands request. What the heck... is this some sort of fantasy that they to wanted to play out. No single men allowed, there were men present but they all had either a girlfriend or wife. I joked with happygirl and her husband and they admitted that it was divorced women only- Perhaps he is extremely jealous- she is a pretty woman who is upbeat and nice. Maybe this was his deal... no wait a minute- she told me that she enjoyed the company of divorced women better. Maybe she thinks we are living large and completely free and she idolizes the idea of such freedom.
Perhaps it is because we are a friendly bunch. Who knows but at some point it will make sense to me.
I had a great time but I don't enjoy listening to the stories of court, finances, new wives and other annoyances that accompany divorce. I like helping women feel positive and strong. I don't focus on the negative in any realm of my life. Im happy when my divorced friends go back to school or get engaged or buy a new home. I enjoy seeing my divorced friends flourish after the cloud of despair has lifted. One of my best friends has moved back to NYC, is engaged to a successful, wonderful man and has a great new job. Her daughter is flourishing and Im delighted for her. We went through our divorces back to back. We are so close, like sisters and it is because we have that bond of experience. Im thrilled for her and her new life, she looks wonderfully happy.
The commonality of divorce is that we are all single. We truly can not be lumped together because truth be told- we are all woman and we are all extremely unique. Married or not- cheaters and pleasers- mothers and wives- girlfriends or lovers. We all have similar struggles, dreams and disappointments. Like attracts like- If you think everyone around you is bitter and mean perhaps you should change the lens on your glasses. People are as nice as you are. No matter where you live or travel- How you treat others will come back to you. I really believe in Karma. Don't judge people by their marital status. You have no idea what goes on when the door closes. You may decide to opt out of your marriage or your spouse might walk out that door one day as he or she is in love with another.
This is the only way that you will comprehend all that happens when a family is divided. Have compassion and kindness in your heart. Do not judge or stereotype divorced people- - you have no idea... you can't even imagine and one day- believe it or not- It might be you who needs to be included rather than excluded. xo