Know Your Shit, Then Stay or Go

Divorced twice. Before 40. So perhaps, I am not the world’s foremost authority on doling out relationship advice. 

Or am I? 🤔

Breakup babble or the mere hint of it throws most couples into a Harry Potter style vortex of death cyclone. Don’t believe me? Try throwing up the idea of a prenup 90 days before the wedding and watch the twister in a trailer park tragedy ensue. 

Which, quite frankly, is a travesty in itself. No one spends the entire inheritance from Granny Mabel on a rustic backyard wedding while intentionally planning to tell their spouse to GTFO five years down the road. 

 Truth is no one plans for divorce or wants it. But guess what? Shit happens. And does it REALLLLY matter what that shit is???

No. It doesn’t. Because it’s YOUR shit. 

No one asks about the consistency of your stool or calendars your last bowel movement. Why? Because it’s not their shit.  

 

In fact, next time someone asks why I divorced that “amazing” guy, I might just ask them, “Well that’s a good question, first tell me about the size of the last deuce you dropped?

 Then, when they stare at me in utter disgust and bewilderment, I’ll just say “well, you wanna know about my shit, why don’t you tell me about yours first?” 

 *Insert Mic Drop Here*

The whole PREMISE, of getting married beside the ancillary perks like good-looking offspring, group health insurance, desirable tax breaks, and the occasional green card, is to swear your life to this person FOR. EVER. Well I don’t know about you but forever seems like a long ass time to me. Hell, I was in the Chick Fil A drive-thru for 45 minutes and nearly died of exhaustion. Why in the actual fuck would I want to spend the next 25 years with someone who makes me wish, even on occasion, that I was mainlining Drano?

 Okay – maybe that’s a hair overboard. 

Luckily, neither of my husbands were shitty humans. They were actually pretty great guys… just not great guys for me. Ouch that does sound superficial after reading it 😬; so, let me explain in non-asshole sounding terms.

Strong, lasting, relationships are not based on how hard you work, how good you parent, how long you’ve been together, or how much you both like Tiger King (Carole Baskin is batshit crazy btw). It’s about communicating, and being on the same page, and connecting on a level that, regardless of your differences, is true to BOTH your core values. I didn’t understand this sentiment either time I got married which made it difficult to see the underlying reasons why I was so unhappy despite having a husband who basically worshiped the ground I walked on. I spent months before my last divorce trying to figure out why I was such a failure at relationships when a friend sent me a post that read:

In order to make a relationship last, you really have to flow with a person as they change. A man was with his wife for 60 years before she passed. He said that through all that time, his wife changed so much it felt like he had been with eight different people by the end. But he said, the secret to making it last was that through all those changes, he never suffocated his wife with his own idea of who he expected her to be. Rather he loved, fully, every new woman she became.  

At first I was like goddamn right, I knew it wasn’t me. I changed over the last ten years and this bastard should’ve changed with me. Joke’s on you muthafuckaaaaaa!

 Then I realized I was wrong. Dead. Wrong. 

There was clearly a part to this geezer’s 60 year success story that I wasn’t reading because marriage and relationships are a two-way street. As much as he needed to check his mid-life crisis to accommodate her pre-menopausal hysteria, she would have had to do the same to keep this thing afloat.

In my opinion, it takes the same level of character, courage, and self-love to go through a divorce as it does to stay married for 60 years. What you decide though doesn’t make it right or wrong as long as you are doing it for reasons true to you and not societal, should do-would do bullshit. And, in the longrun, un-bullshit based decisions make it best for everyone involved even if others don’t see it that way in the beginning.

Don’t believe me?

Just think about the things you cannot change in people? The non-negotiables. At what point does it become okay to flip the die hard serenity prayer of “accept the things you cannot change” to “change the things you cannot accept”?

Now – should you immediately alter your facebook status from Married to Impending Trainwreck? Probably not. But you should work to better understand yourself, your partner, and IF this is what you truly want for the next 20 or 30 years. 

Now don’t overreact and word vomit insignificant shit about your husband’s inability to walk out the room when he farts or his incessant need to ALWAYS use the fancy towelsl in the bathroom (hey at least that dirtball is washing his hands).

Let’s talk about the hardcore issues that would cause many people to think twice about spending eternity with a mediocre mate. 

Your husband fingerbanged Amber from Accounting… goddamn Debbie spent $36,000 on a psychic named Madam Lotus Moon… Carl chews oatmeal with his mouth open… nose candy burned a hole in Ben’s nostrils and now he looks like Voldermort…  they violated the fucking Paris Treaty…

I. Don’t. Care. It’s all your shit and the only one who gets to decide what is best for you is YOU.

As soon as you start spewing your beef on the street, people will start judging you REGARDLESS of how you handle it. Check this – same story, different plot twist…

  1. “Did you hear Debbie is getting a divorce? Apparently, she spent her husband’s  life savings on a voodoo witch in the French Quarter.  I can’t believe someone would throw away 15 years together for money (gasp – the greed) AND they have two kids!” 
  2. Did you hear Debbie and her husband are staying together? Apparently, she spent her husband’s life savings on a voodoo witch in the French Quarter. I would never stay with someone who I couldn’t trust with my money. I would have ditched his ass in a heartbeat!” 

Reality Moment…

People are willing to either stay and tolerate things you’d never dream or leave for reasons you couldn’t fathom because of their upbringing or values. If you’re plagued with arguments over finances because Debbie’s dropping G’s on backstreet charlatans and her husband is investing every earned penny washing windows, it’s not gonna end well. They have differing values… like, massive ones. But here is the caveat. Some will stay anyway and that’s where it gets, in the words of Run DMC, Tricky tricky tricky tricky. 

People can NOT change who they are at their core. If Debbie grew up getting everything on a silver platter without working a day in her life, even without realizing it, she probably prioritizes freedom and expects to have what she wants. Whereas, if her spouse grew up in an Oklahoma trailer park and works 70 hours per week praying for the day he finally gets a break, he may be more inclined to build that nest egg. Pretty opposing sides here; but, CAN they cover their tracks for a hot minute and claim their fame to “change”? Undoubtedly. Will it last? Unlikely. We’ve all seen this play out: 

Debbie buys the equivalent of basic grade Mercedes in back alley sorcery. Her husband justifies staying because she is the stay-at-home mom to his two kids under 10. Plus, they do have a split-level in the suburbs, a kickass friend group, and Debbie is an overall good person. Leaving would just demolish her, and this was likely just a poor decision on her part. Surely, they can work through it. 

Cue the drums – bum bum bahhhhhhhhh…

Seems fine and dandy for the six months, the first year, three years, whatever. Debbie carefully restrains her buying impulses, and her husband monitors that AMEX down to the penny. Then shit hits the fan. No let me rephrase that. Walrus shit hits the fan going 842 mph and splatters all over the white walls of that stunning split level and everyone in the room including their tight knit friend group and the two kids. Yea – that’s DEFINITELY more accurate because that’s the long term effects of burying conflicts related to core values. 

 Allow me to explain what REALLY happened here. 

 Debbie spent what felt like an eternity resenting the fact that, while she stayed home with these two whiny kids, she can’t even buy eggs without her husband making a passive aggressive comment like “didn’t the psychic tell you we were also low on milk?” Debbie soon thinks, “This is a fucking joke. If this cheapskate plans to question me about every godforsaken transaction, I may as well just do it anyway.” She then saunters back to the Old Town Road and drops 36 benjamins in the pruny palm of Madam Lotus Moon. This doesn’t sit well with the hubby considering he just endured 360 sleepless nights obsessing over every transaction in his Chase account just to fill the financial hole she created. 

 Hello resentment, my old friend. 

 Enter telltale signs of resentment and disgust. Resentment is the venomous lava that festers until the volcano finally erupts. And once that baby blows, it will impact everyone in its path. 

 The failure to set long term mutual goals at the beginning of the relationship yielded a Trail of Tears sized misunderstanding for the future with no mutually satisfactory solution. In the end, Debbie and dear old hubby-poo wasted another two years of their lives going through the motions, growing further apart, and blaming each other for the veritable breakup of the marriage. The molten lava that remained morphed into increased problems with co-parenting, asset divisions, and lost friendships. 

 So WTF am I saying?!? 

  • If you’re being true to who YOU are, then staying together for reasons no one else understands IS okay.
  • If you’re being true to who YOU are, then getting a divorce for reasons no one else understands IS okay.

Just keep your shit to yourself for your own sanity. Crying over 3 margaritas and 2 vape pods to a couple besties about your douche canoe life partner is understandable. Remedying the situation through a 2,000 word, cry me a river post in your Community’s Buy Sell Trade Facebook group is not. The Judgy Judge Judy’s of the world will condemn you no matter what decision you make simply to make their problems seem less intense.. 

So look at your life, your future, understand your partner, and make a courageous decision for YOU. It’s a long, long life. And the sooner you figure your non-negotiables about what YOU require to be joyful, the sooner you can start laying the foundation for relationship success.

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