An Open Letter to My Happily Married Friends

Love & Learn 11

Dear Happily Married Friends,

You may remember me as a twosome. I was married for a long time. I had a husband. And then we decided to separate and divorce. Now I'm just Becky, on her own.

First and foremost, let me say that I am truly glad that you're married and in love, that you're working on fixing that leaky roof and redecorating the master bath. I think that sounds like more fun than wrestling Cameron Diaz in a vat of baked beans. Honestly.

But I'm going to have to talk to you about something I've wanted to say since my husband and I split in July.

Divorce, unlike this flu I can't seem to shake, is not contagious.

I know, I know -- it may seem like I'm dying of divorce. But I can assure you I'm not. I'm okay; I'm going to survive. I know this because I'm a nurse and I watch a lot of hospital drama shows -- which, when you combine the two, pretty much makes me a doctor.

I've seen the way you look at me now and it's not in an "Oh, that darn Becky and her foolish hijinks!" way any longer. I see the pity and the sadness and I understand it. Getting a divorce sucks. I'm not sugarcoating it and I hope like hell it won't happen to you and your loving partner.

But I see something else underneath it, too. I know it's there because I used to feel it when my own friends struggled with divorce: it's a sort of smugness, and I'm here, talking to you through keystrokes on my computer, to tell you that you should probably rethink that attitude. I wish I had.

See, I didn't get all dressed up in the foofy white dress, march down the aisle, and say my vows in front of everyone I knew with the intention that I would one day be Becky, As Herself, again. Like anyone who gets married, I knew divorce wasn't an option. At least, I told myself it wasn't an option because we were going to make it, dammit!

Things don't always work out as planned, my dear married friends. Even with every intention of staying married, my husband and I grew apart. There's no one person, no catalyst, no particular reason for it, and most importantly, there's no one at fault. Just like it takes two to get married (in most states), it takes two to destroy one.

No, no, don't back away from the computer horrified. I'm not trying to tell you that this will be the Ghosts of Divorce Future for you, not at all. You'll probably be just fine, happy as clams under your new roof and redone master bath. It'll be beautiful and rosy, just like you two.

But in the event that it doesn't (no, not trying to be a fearmonger, just trying to be honest about this and level with you), maybe you can remember the words I typed on a blank computer screen and remember that if it happens, if you do get divorced, it's not the end of your world. Nor are you contagious.

It's just the start of a new life. And while those of us who have been or are going through a divorce don't forget where we've come from, we also know that we'll live. It's a hard road, my dear friends, and it's full of bumps and pot holes and things that scare you damn near outta your skin, but I promise you one thing: it won't kill you.

There is life after divorce. I promise.

Love You,

Becky, As Herself

dating, divorce


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BubbsJNL BubbsJNL

Hugs to you, Becky.  You WILL get through it and you WILL find pieces of yourself that you dropped along the way.  And the friends who don't treat you like you're contagious or who get over it really quickly are the ones that you will absolutely value the most, because they value you the most.  

growi... growing3kids

I feel we need to start treating getting out of marriage the same way we get into it - let each person decided for themselves how they are going to deal with it.  Now that we are finally allowing same sex people to marry why can't we do the same for people on the way out.  If a partner wants out, let them, even if the other is still stuck in some Puritanical view of marriage that tries to dictate what marriage is.  All of us are holding views of marriage that are based on some very old fashion ideas, these are what make divorce so painful  Think if our the puritanical views of Adultery went the same way as only allowing heterosexual marriage, how many more marriages would still be together.  We have started to shake off these ancient ideas of marriage, we need to take the next step on doing the same for Divorce.  Get the government out of our Bedrooms! I think we love each other the most when we allow each of us to grow as individuals without the pain of all this religious/government interference in our lives.  For our sake, our childrens sake, let's make divorce eaiser - not harder.

Pamela Palmer

Very well said.

Pamela Palmer

Very well said, Becky!

Hugs!! Ang Bacon!

nonmember avatar Tanstaafl2

Unless you cheated and betrayed your spouse and family. If you did, then it's not because we think divorce is contagious - it's simply because we don't want to be near you anymore

Happy Hausfrau

Nice post! Welcome to the divorce club. I wrote a post about the friends divorced moms need to avoid: Hang in there, girl.


nonmember avatar Amy Sue Nathan

I've been divorced for 10 years. My letter would have been much harsher. While my friends are wonderful in many ways, my friendships definitely changed when I became "just one" -- and they changed even wih folks who'd been divorced and were remarried. I hope your friendships remain the same! Good luck. Divorce sucks but the result can be awesome!

Joyce Pitrone Hawkins

I agree with your story, BUT, I have to DISagree with the notion that divorce is not contagious!

Sadly, I believe it is! Oh, not in the way most people think of contagious, but the more our family and friends get divorced, the easier it is for others to follow. We've removed the stigma, therefore it is easier to walk away.

I had a relationship with one person for 40 years (36 of them married). It was very difficult for me at first, but you're right, there IS life after matter what the age.
Wish you the best.

nonmember avatar JaminGMan

I hate to disagree but divorces can be contagious. Speaking as a husband, I do not want some divorced woman trying to talk my wife into get one herself. Not all divorced women may do this, but enough do that I don't want to take the chance. Plus, you complain about not doing things together but what you really want to do is find single men. I don't really like the idea of my wife around you while you do that. It is not that I don't trust my wife. I just know that every human can stubble and why take that chance.

Judy Dodd Downen

My husband was on so much pain medications as his family believes in self medicating themselves with RX, as well as, friends medications that his behavior changed our whole relationship. Chronic back pain caused him to change.

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