(I literally deleted all the pictures from my wedding and with my ex, so here is a nice picture of me on the beach instead)
Where does one begin with a subject like this? It’s hard to not feel like a damn statistic, because everyone who has been divorced has a deeply unique story that is so much more than contributing to the statistics of divorce rates. I constantly hear society bitch about how people these days don’t fight for a relationship anymore. This could be true for some, but what if the divorce rate is so high because people are choosing to not live in misery? Marriage is not this forever binding contract, even if the government and religion try to make you believe it is. Marriage is a commitment that can be renegotiated. The contract can be broken. If the relationship is not healthy, you’re allowed to leave.
I wish someone would have told me years ago that I was allowed to leave a relationship if it was constantly hurtful.
It blows my mind that couples from generations before mine have chosen to stay with their spouse just because they are married. That there seems to be no other reason. This makes me wonder, what if they took the time to truly evaluate the relationship and their life, would they stay? The blanket response of, “well we’re married,” alluding to the concept of having to work it out feels concerning for me. You work it out because you want to, and if you don’t, you don’t have to do anything. You get to leave.
The vow, “for better or for worse,” and the societal guilt trip of “easily giving up on relationships” warped my mindset into staying with a person who was hurtful. I believed that I had to stay because if I tried hard enough then maybe it would work out. If I tried hard enough we could obtain a healthy relationship.
I also personally had the programming instilled in me, through my parents, that once I made a commitment I was not allowed to quit. Which could be a great lesson to learn about perseverance growing up. To not quit just because something is difficult, hard work reaps results, etc. etc. BUUUT since my parents never talked to me about sex, sexuality, or relationships I carried this “never quit” mentality over into how I operated within my marriage. I literally had the mindset of, I made a commitment, and if I leave that means I gave up, i.e. quit. Which again, perpetuated the choice of staying with a hurtful person.
I felt the societal shame of being another person who was married at a young age and then got divorced a few years later.
I can hear the echoes in my head now, “You’re too young to know what you want in life.” Cue the major eye roll for anyone on the receiving end of those types of comments. Young people (or anyone for that matter) do not need your projected judgment! If you are genuinely concerned about a person’s life decisions how about having a heart to heart with them instead? I promise it will have a greater chance of being received.
I also grew up in the Midwest right in the heart of the good ol’ bible belt. Living by the checklist of life is major there, I feel. Get a good education, find a good job, get yourself a good spouse, create some good children, buy a good house, and go to church, be a good person. That is just the good ol’ ways of the Midwest, that means you made it! And newsflash, most of this happens for people in the Midwest when they are… *gasp*…. young! Then if you’re 30 and have not “achieved” any of those things from the list, society is also quick to jump down your throat about it. I guarantee two of the most asked questions in the Midwest are, “When are you getting married?” and “When are you going to have kids?” When society was previously so quick to judge youngins about being “too young” for things like this. The irony is bitter my friends… real bitter.
You will never win if you are trying to please society. Instead, do what is right for you!
I did not come to Earth to live a “good” life. That is not enough for me. That does not make my soul explode with euphoria. The checklist… ya sure, it sounds nice, it’s what the media feeds you as this picture-perfect life, but what happens when you’ve checked off everything from the list. Are you satisfied? Is your soul being constantly fed from the magic of life?
Even though I have been breaking away from the societal norms and shedding this innate need of following the “shoulds” of society, this checklist mentality still got to me! I fell for the pressure, the idea, that I’m getting older, I’ve been in a relationship for a while, we seem to be committed to each other, so let’s get married and have the security of marriage. LOL WHAT?!
My midwestern ass got married solely because I thought that was the thing to do and it made logical sense with the way of thinking I grew up on. I chose to go with the group think herd instead of reflecting on what the fuck I wanted for my life. Lesson learned, thank you universe.
Anyway, here we are, married and divorced before the age of 30!
I just want people to know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Be proud that you DID NOT stay with the human who wasn’t right for you. Remember that all the chatter and outside opinions of society is background noise that you have the power to turn off. Society isn’t out here living your life, you are. Honestly, no one cares as much as you think they do. People just like bitchin’ and having something to say. Don’t let that pressure you into thinking you’re not living an aligned life.
What is interesting is that I no longer feel this pressure. I’m about to be 28, I’m single, I’m starting over (in every sense of the word), and I don’t feel behind or that I’m missing out. I feel free. This is where I’m meant to be. I was never meant to go through life mindlessly checking things off and being stuck in the “good,” or captured by fear. I came here to live a fucking great life that I constantly feel excited about. When people ask me how my life is going I do NOT want to merely give a shrug and say “it’s good” or “can’t complain.” No, thank you. And my response was exactly that when people would ask me how married life was.
You can listen to me talk about this a little more on my podcast, in Episode 45. Moral of the story is… you’re allowed to leave. Fuck what anybody says. Divorce happens and let it be okay. If something doesn’t feel right, trust it. If there are patterns of hurtful behavior that are not changing ask yourself if this is what you want to live with. If the marriage is a reflection of unalignment then it will not matter how hard you work for the relationship, it will always be a disaster. So, stop draining yourself and evaluate whether or not you’re in alignment. Then leave what does not serve you! It may not be easy, but you always have a choice.
When we see the light in ourselves, we create light in others.