When something disconcerting, hurtful or wrong occurs in your relationship, there are usually are three options that arise.
1. Acknowledge event, but don’t address it 2. Acknowledge and address the event 3. Pretend it didn’t happen and act like you are fine when you aren’t
The healthiest choice would be number two, acknowledge and address the event. However, it is the manner in which you do this that can ultimately affect the outcome.
Generally, when we’re hurt our emotions take over and our response could vary from anger to being withdrawn. When acknowledging something painful and addressing it with the person that has hurt you can be difficult at best. The key is to address the event itself and not attack the person.
If necessary, wait to address the person and event until you have time to process all of the emotions and circumstances. Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem.
Once you’re in a place to have the necessary conversation, it’s helpful to be in a neutral space, plan for enough time and privacy.
Try and place yourself in the other person’s shoes as you discuss how you feel and why. It’s important to think about how you would want somebody to address you, if you were the one that created the hurt. This is not to minimize the event, but to have beneficial, helpful communication so that the event or behavior is not repeated.
Options number one and three, acknowledgment without addressing and pretending the hurt didn’t happen, only ultimately hurts you.
Healthy relationships thrive on open, constant, mature communication. No partner is perfect, there are bound to be misunderstandings and hurts. The key is that both partners are willing.
Marriage is supposed to be forever, but as statistics show, it’s a 50–50 crap shoot. Marriage can be such a source of joy, but it isn’t always easy, and it’s not supposed to end. Divorce is hard and then it’s over, but the scars never go completely away.
Repeating a pattern of choosing the same type of partner with the same dysfunctions or emotional issues is relatively common from first to third marriages. Self-awareness and good therapy can help a person avoid making these same mistakes.
Many newly divorced people don’t take enough time to deal with the pain and loss, heal and reflect on what went wrong in the relationship. Instead of taking the time necessary to grieve and recover, some divorcees rebound into a relationship to avoid being alone.
Some people are so afraid of being alone they will stay in an unhealthy relationship/marriage. Learning to be and live alone is paramount is learning about yourself and what you may or may not need or want in your next partner.
Typically second and third marriages don’t have children to help bind the relationship, as most children are born into the first marriage. Children of previous marriages can cause complications and create chaos, thus potentially destroy second and third marriages.
Why is there such a deep culture of “Divorce Shaming” when approximately half of all marriages end in divorce? It takes an enormous amount of courage to risk your heart again for a second, third or whatever time.
If the marriage fails, it doesn’t mean the couple should be shamed for its demise. Ideally they will take the time needed to evaluate what went wrong and why, analyze their actions and patterns, and address any shortcomings and make positive changes. Are you not entitled to love again and have another marriage if you want one? You are certainly not predestined to live in a loveless, abusive or dysfunctional marriage for fear of “Divorce Shaming”.
I have this friend Donna; who met her first husband at 19 and married at 22. He was the “life” of the party until that “life” fell into alcoholism. Donna’s divorce number one ended with two small children. Donna then rebounded into marriage number two. She married a man she already knew and trusted and with whom she felt safe. But she later discovered he had been addicted to drugs. He was over six years clean and sober when they married. Then he fell off the wagon twice during the last few years of their marriage, which led to divorce number two. Five years later, Donna’s third marriage was to a man who had to undergo drug testing for work. She thought he was the safe choice. However, Donna was wearing “denial goggles” with regard to his level of alcohol consumption.
Donna had unwittingly chosen three addictive personalities without addressing the common denominator in all these marriages, which was her. Breaking her negative pattern of selection took therapy, self-acceptance and accountability for her decisions. During her therapy it was noted that the failure of these marriages was not entirely her fault. It was at that time Donna finally learned to become unashamed. Her ex-husbands had addiction issues that were not addressed, as well as issues that were hidden from her until after the “I Do’s” were done.
Donna felt “ashamed” and stayed longer in all her marriages than she should have for fear of judgement and failure. She hated herself for being a poor role model for her children. Her friends even convinced her to stay, saying things like “There aren’t any good men left at your age” and “Who would want you with all that baggage?” Those words sunk deep into her psyche, heart and soul, which were already badly broken.
Who has the right to judge? Who has the right to “Divorce Shame” anyone else? Would you shame a child for bed-wetting, especially if they did not or could not understand the root of the cause?
Does “Divorce Shaming” stem from religion and guilt? In the Bible it states that marriage is forever, yet David was committing adultery with a married woman and then had her husband killed to boot. Not only did God forgive David; he anointed him a king.
I know many couples who have had separate bedrooms for years, live like roommates and probably want to stab each other in the neck with a steak knife. (Just kidding.) Many grown children have stated they wished their parents had divorced when they were growing up. They hated listening to them berate each other, yell and fight continuously. The irony is their parents always stated that they stay together for the sake of the kids. Huh? What?
So if you are or have been “Divorce Shamed”, let it go. Maybe your lessons make you a better partner, lover, husband or wife. Why would it be considered shameful to try again? Only your own fear will hold you back. Words have no power unless you give it to them.
Divorce Shamers…shame on you. Not everyone gets the first marriage that lasts forever. Some do, some don’t. But no one on earth gets to judge, ever.
Remember role models, upbringing and expectations play a large role in whom we marry and why we divorce. Some people have solid foundations at the beginning and some have cracked and broken ones. Bottom line is we are all human and we all deserve to have love, give love and be loved.
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