I am currently on my second marriage, but you never know how things will work out, so feel free to send me a resume to have on hand in case the day comes that I am shopping for a 3rd husband…always good to be prepared…

But to the more serious question:

getting divorced was not easy.

Let’s start with the feeling of failure. I picked a crappy guy. I failed at what should have been easy- loving someone who loved me. When I was younger, I was very afraid of making mistakes, and I did not have much resiliency. I was not so great at bouncing back. So admitting to myself that I have erred so badly…it was a lot for me to take. I stayed in the marriage way longer than I should have because I couldn’t accept that I made a mistake.

Of course, my Mother was scandalized. To this day I think she still carries a veil of shame that both her daughters are divorced- she’s actually said “How bad was I as a mother that both my daughters be divorced.” For those paying attention, my divorce became all about my Mother.

Then, there was my Mother telling me to try counseling. To give him another go. to try to work it out. And while I know that many do jump out of marriages too quickly without putting in the work, this was not the case. My Mother was just couldn’t accept the divorce- her daughter was not supposed to get divorced. The worst part was, she knew he was a piece of crap. But my Mother is overly ruled by appearances- she doesn’t like the way divorce looks- and if you know my Mother you will know that she’s always right- in fact- she will make sure she tells you how right she is about everything and how she is the smartest person in the room, and one day I will appreciate how smart she is…

So the challenge became not only divorcing my ex husband, but getting over my Mother’s disappointment at my life choices.

With much self reflection and a ton of books from the personal growth section at Barnes and Noble, I was able to become a mainly functioning person. When I had a child my number one goal was to help her become a resilient, confident person. And my personal note to self was to never make her feel guilty if she makes a mistake, just be there to support her in whatever way she needs.

44 thoughts on “Bloganuary Day 14: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame

  1. As a 4X veteran of marital wars I sympathize. Finally found the key so successful living. Stayed single these last 15 years and relished every moment of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. High five CG ! I agree. Single works best for me too. I’ve had two husbands. The second one passed away in 2010. After a couple years I tried dating again and found most men in my age bracket and up to ten years younger, still want women to take care of them yet also feel they want to be in charge. (Younger men are often more enlightened and enjoy a partnership). But no thank you. I want to explore the world without anyone trying to rein me in.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know! A few years ago I did some dating and more than once heard ‘I always wanted to marry a nurse because of great pension and someone to look after me’. Yikes!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I burst out laughing when I read that your divorce became all about your mother. Why? Because I think your mother and my mother must be sisters! OMG I have lived through that. My divorce was all about my mom and also about what did I do wrong? They loved my first husband and so of course it was my fault. I too felt like a complete failure. I got married at age 20 to get some freedom. And what the heck does any 20 year old know about being married? My mom used to call my dorm at school and when I’d answer the phone she would breath into the receiver but not speak. I knew it was her checking that I wasn’t staying out too late. She finally confessed that she hoped it would stop any shenanigans Imight do. But, I didn’t do any shenanigans. Love ins? yes. Concerts yes, coffee houses yes, to see Peter Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix etc, but not shenanigans. . I’m a rebel yes, I protested , but i didn’t do crazy stuff. I was just a normal teenage girl. My mom was controlling with all her children but especially with me. I’m not sure why they were so hard on me. Maybe because if I wanted to do something I usually acted on it and successfully so. If I wanted to play music and perform, I did. I acted in school productions and she didn’t approve of actors, her biggest worry was that I’d lose my virginity before I was married. Sheesh! When I went to college I hardly even knew anything about the facts of life.

    It is So Interesting when I think about it. I was breaking feminist records being in the first female rock band in Fl. (She did enjoyed all the press My group got, she even got interviewed and congratulatory calls from the Rabbi) if I decided to run for a school office I would and I’d get selected, none of that pleased her. I think it frightened her. Anything I did away from home scared her. I was a high school corespondent, she liked that because I’d write up and publish an article and then once a week read it on the radio. She would get recognition for my notoriety and that in turn gave her recognition. But my diary? She couldn’t handle me having my own thoughts! I would have to continually find new hiding places for my diary because she’d read it. In fact she’d tear out pages she didn’t like. Seriously, she did! if I wrote anything negative about either her or my dad she’s cross it out or rip out the pages. I had no privacy at all. Eventually, I kept a decoy diary to trick her. That worked. Plus, she’d open my mail and read it before I came home from school. Or on Xmas break. I always felt pressure from her. I never lived up to her standards, which I saw as archaic. . So my plan for all that was …I rushed through college, (graduated in three years, married at 20 to my actor boyfriend, and then we drove to California to do our thing. (It was 1969 and we were feeling groovy! ) . I never would have married that young if I had freedom at home. But it seemed like a good plan at the time… and I have no regrets. I have a fabulous older son. But, now I think how sad and insecure she must have been. I feel sorry she lived her life that way. She was great when her children were little. She just couldn’t deal with us growing up and becoming our own person.

    My mother felt she was always right too. And she always let me know what I did wrong.I agree that’s challenging and hurtful . Pretty much anything that wasn’t in sink with her ideas or opinions was just wrong. . It is difficult to stay confident with an overbearing mother isn’t it? . I guess my acting and music helped me compensate for feeling stifled at home.
    However my parents were the opposite of yours. They were mad I wanted to see a therapist after getting divorced.. They had no concept that I was dealing with being a single mother, working multiple jobs to survive.. All while dealing with feeling like I failed at marriage and hurt my parents by failing … yet it was my world that came crashing down. My father didn’t understand therapy. My mother was just embarrassed because she worried about what her friends would say. But therapy helped me not bIame myself because my husband cheated. I too didn’t put unreasonable demands on my children either LA. I think that generation was unrealistic in their demands or expectations. I, like you, did not lay guilt trips on my children . At least not intentionally that’s for sure. Oh dear… I got carried away… the bit about your mom made me think about mine. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The parental guilt trips!! Why do parents have to do it to us?! I love my mom, but really, the angst!! Be proud of yourself for doing what you needed to do to complete yoirself

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow, Lesley! And wow, LA! Whenever I think I have Mom Problems, I just need to hear about your upbringing(s). I’m sorry you had to deal with and overcome all that.

      (By the way, Lesley, I sent you an email. I hope you aren’t mad, LA, that I’m putting this in your comments but I hadn’t seen a post of yours, Lesley, to comment on.)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I am grateful that my mom was understanding when I got my divorce. The fact that she wasn’t thrilled with my choice probably helped her but as a devout Italian Catholic I’m sure it was hard for her. She had always told us that once we were out of the house we couldn’t come back home, yet the first thing she asked when I told her about the divorce was if I wanted to move back home. I know she loved my current husband a lot. We lost her this morning 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Divorce is not an easy solution, and you clearly didn’t take it lightly. I’m glad it worked out well for you. What I didn’t know is that divorce is all about how it affects you parents.🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve forgiven my mother, because she was never going to understand what she continues to do to me. But, I also keep a certain distance because I don’t need to torture myself…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry, I missed this yesterday for some reason. I am going to hold most of my thoughts after reading the other comments first, and thankful that I did. We both know mothers come in all forms. Some are truly lucky with who they get, others of us are not and the unlucky deal with it for their entire life, rather mom is around or not. You know you made the right decision and because you are strong and smart you hold onto that no matter what comes at you from others. Your greatest achievement though, is making sure you parent in a much different way and you are doing just that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny because many think I think too much about parenting, which I guess I do, but because I have a reason. If you’ve had a loving parent who accepted you unconditionally you can’t understand those of us who grew up not feeling this way. I was afraid to be a parent because I worried that I wouldn’t know how to do it….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! I knew I wanted children yet there was that fear as well. I had to do better than my mom. I had to be different. I also had little understanding that the person I hoped to help me learn and co-parent would be even more messed up than me… and unwilling to learn how to be better.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. Just wow.

    Of course, you helped me realize my mother had a few issues like you’ve mentioned regarding my getting married young. I know any life decisions we make are hard on parents, but the lesson I took away is to make your child’s special days be about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are people, like my mom, who manage to make everything about themselves. It’s why I distance myself to a certain extent. I get that she doesn’t know any better, but it doesn’t mean I need to subject myself to it

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Divorce is tough. The hardest decision is whether to leave or stay. I struggle with my decision to stay in my marriage. My husband isn’t a bad person per se but together we can be very toxic to each other. However, I have a 6-year-old so I always go back to the “I can’t do this to my son”. If I could guarantee happiness upon divorce, I would leave in a heartbeat, but with a kid in the middle, it’s never so simple. Anyway, I hope your current marriage lasts. I can’t imagine what you went through in your divorce, especially with your mom not making things easy. There is no shame in getting a divorce

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Too many of your followers, including me, had mothers from the same family. The smartest amongst us learned not to be like them, at least consciously, as much as possible. Most of them I think were also narcissists to some degree. Hilarious. (FYI that’s what I’m going to write for bloganuary prompt about what make me laugh i.e. the stuff that really causes me pain that I want to hide!)

    Liked by 1 person

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