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Dealing with Divorce

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by PrettySquareGal, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Hi, Ladies. I am newly divorced after a decade and a half of marriage! As I adjust to my new "status" I am having a hard time with unwanted attention. I no longer wear a wedding band and am wondering if that is a part of it? I'm not dressing any differently. I've also been dealing with some opportunistic chumps who think that because I am newly divorced that they can now make a move. I've also been teaching myself how to do more things around the house.

    How did the ladies of the past deal with divorce when, at those times, it was a big scandal?

    If you are divorced, how did you deal (or are you dealing) with the transition?
  2. Divorces were harder to get in the Era than they are today, but they were by no means uncommon. My great-grandmother kicked out her no-account drunk of a husband in 1917, divorced him, and went to work in a shoe factory to support her kids. She did remarry about six years later, but she remained a very independent soul. She didn't give a fat barrel of spit if tongues wagged -- she knew was best for herself and her kids, and she did it.

    The experience taught her the danger of ever allowing herself to be physically, financially, or emotionally dependent on any one person, and I think that's a worthwhile lesson to learn. When I had my own break-up after fifteen years, I was already a pretty independent sort, but that didn't make it any less stressful emotionally. I spent a lot of time reading about independent women of the Era, which I found very inspirational -- I always recommend Marjorie Hillis's 1937 best-seller "Live Alone And Like It," which, although it's targeted to young metropolitan women, has a lot of wisdom for women of any age on how to live your life on your own terms.

    As far as unwanted attention goes, the way I walk, talk, and carry myself sends a clear message that I'm not looking to be "swept up and rescued." Most of the men around this town are either scared to death of me or think I'm funny -- either way, they leave me alone, and that suits me just peachy.
    queen of jacque and St. Louis like this.
  3. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    As always, great to hear from you. The internet means so many more wagging tongues so I do need to stop giving barrels of spit away, or feeling obliged to share anything at all. :eek:
  4. And always good to see you around the Lounge. I know you well enough to know you're going to get thru all this just fine, so chin up, confident stride, and ever onward!
    queen of jacque likes this.
  5. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Thanks, Lizzie. :eek:
  6. Vera Godfrey

    Vera Godfrey Practically Family

    I am not divorced, just separated.

    Is the unwanted attention coming from people who knew you before and know you are now divorced? If not, I would say the lack of wedding ring makes them think you are fair game. If so, they are just being, as you said, opportunistic. Either way, I know it is annoying to you!

    Good luck! And don't feel like you need to explain anything to anyone. Nobody's business but yours!

  7. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    My mother was the first woman in her tiny German village to get a divorce. She had to deal with endless gossip and scandal-mongering, but she prevailed by getting herself a GED and then a nursing license. Of course, then she married my Dad, God rest his Soul, who was in many ways exactly like her first husband.

    Good luck, dear Square Gal. You sound like a lady with moxie and humor. The transition can't be easy. Wish you all the best.
  8. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Thanks, Ladies. Every day gets easier but not without quirks and kinks.
  9. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    I separated with my husband of 10 years this past January. I filed in February, but not actually divorced yet as of today. I went out and began dating immediately. I had a few flings and even seriously dated a guy for 3 months, but I haven't experienced any unwanted attention because my lack of wedding ring.

    My biggest issue was adjusting to "unmarried" life. I had depended on my husband for 10 years so when I moved out on my own -- I had no idea what was happening. I was also emotionally abused the last year or so, so I am still "deprogramming" from that. I'm only just now beginning to realize I enjoy my own company and I don't need my ex-husband to fill the hole I had created. I'm actually moving to Colorado in October because the negativity in Philadelphia is just too much.
  10. Vera Godfrey

    Vera Godfrey Practically Family

    Sorry to hear that, Amy Jeanne!
  11. Likewise. But good to hear you're landing on your feet. Rediscovering the pleasure of solitude is one the best things anyone can do.
  12. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    It's been 10 years and I'm finally being ME. Part of this is my love for vintage. My husband pretty much squashed all my sewing, music, movies, interests. Told me my dresses looked like "clown outfits" and if I listened to "too much" 30s music he would tell me "You're getting too far into it again!" Movie night was 99% his choice. Once in a while he'd throw me a bone and let me pick, but it would be used against me, eventually ("We ALWAYS watch YOUR movies!")

    The severe emotional abuse the last 1-2 years was so familiar to me that I didn't even know it was happening. Now that I'm 8 months departed from it I can see it clear as day. And part of this is getting back into things *I* love and not having ANYONE put me down for it.

    Sorry.....rant over!
  13. You can *never* listen to too much 30s music.
  14. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I'm still adjusting to my new economic "station" as I come across the unexpected, rate increases and income reduction. I even learned that being divorced raises your car insurance.
  15. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    That rant sounds like beautiful praise of the merits of being divorced! Be yourself always!
  16. DonnaP

    DonnaP Familiar Face

    Good for you trying to do more around the house! It can be pretty scary trying to figure a lot of this out. There are a lot of great resources on line, youtube videos, all sorts of stuff that can be helpful. I had to snake a drain last week and while it really wasn't that difficult, it helped to look it up online and I was so proud of myself when the drain was clear.

    As far as unwanted attention, I'd just be firm and don't worry about being mean if you need to. You've got a lot to sort out, but it sounds as though you are on your way.

    Also, feel free to rant!
  17. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    He pretty much controlled everything I did down to the food I ate, the TV shows/movies I was "allowed" to watch, what I wore, how I did my hair, what I was allowed to sew (he needed to "approve" the fabric choice and pattern toward the end), how I drove my car, what I was "allowed" to like, etc....

    One thing I refused to let him take away from me was my love of music. He CONSTANTLY put it down and actually made it a point to HATE everything I liked (because he couldn't control it!!!) One reason I could keep my musical interests was because I could listen to it at work and/or in my car -- places he wasn't so he couldn't "monitor" it.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  18. You have made the best move you'll ever make in your life by getting him out of it. Take a big, deep breath, and reclaim your self!
  19. Amy Jeanne, I am very happy you got out of that relationship. Controlling people like that often get worse and worse, as you mentioned he did. I've seen too many women become a prisoner in their own home being threatened with or on the receiving end of violence. I am glad you are safe... please make sure you stay that way. Controlling people often don't let go easily.
  20. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    There were times when he became very belligerent toward me and I thought he was going to hit me. He called me the "C word" more time than I can count or just said "F you" to me. The mental gymnastics he did to make everything unpleasant MY FAULT was astounding. Even things OTHER PEOPLE did were MY FAULT if he didn't like it -- and he'd totally trace it back to something I said or did. I was trapped no matter what I did.

    I was told I wasn't to work, either. He made me refuse two job offers. SO....I did the housewife thing. I made sure the place was clean, I did all the grocery shopping, did the laundry, ran HIS errands, there was a hot dinner ready when he came home...etc. All I got from that was "I have my MOTHER if I wanted that!" Couldn't win. Ever. Sorry I'm being so open about this, but more women need to come out about their emotional abusers. I was in a constant state of anxiety those last couple years. He, on the other hand, was Mr. Wonderful when we went out. I was Mrs. Uptight. Because no matter what I said or did, something BAD would've been BLAMED ON ME.

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