I’m a Failure, But Don’t Judge Me

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Recently I was wasting a bit of time on Facebook and came across some “Happy Anniversary, baby” posts. There were a lot of “I’m married to the greatest man and the most wonderful father,” and “I’m so lucky to have married my soulmate.” Indeed! I’m a sucker for romance and for a happy ending. I admit I get envious at these lucky-in-love stories, but I love them all the same. It gives me hope that true love can last.

While these posts make me smile, one of these social media contributors took it a step further into the judgment zone. For example, she wrote of her wonderful “hubby” and how “blessed” she was to be married to him and went on to say that they’ve “survived some MAJOR setback and some SERIOUS tribulations” within their marriage. She actually said: “A weaker couple would head for their divorce attorneys,” but this golden couple stuck it out and they are happy as all get out. She went on to say that the poor saps that chose divorce are just “quitters” and are “failures” at relationships. Really, the message I took from this is that in a nutshell, divorced people suck.

Yes, I am a failure. I take half of the blame for my marriage ending. I won’t go into the ins and outs of why it ended (besides, I’ve waxed poetically on that many times in previous blog posts). TruthfullyI don’t feel I need to justify anything. However, I will say this: I have failed, but no one should judge my decisions unless they walk in my shoes. If you were to experience what happens behind closed doors in my home then perhaps you’d have a better understanding.

And I’ve gotta say this: Shame on you for judging anything you don’t understand. It’s not your business. It’s not your life.

When I walked down the aisle over 9 years ago I certainly didn’t expect my marriage to implode. I was in it for the ever after. Does anyone choose a life of uncertainty, pain for their children, financial insecurity and overall angst and loneliness? Hell, no! Sadly, some people are unwilling (or don’t know how) to change. We are all flawed human beings.

I don’t even judge my future ex-husband. He’s got his shit to work through. Clearly with all of our marriage counseling, interventions and at times me begging him with tear-stained cheeks to please just be nicer and be more patient with our son, he just couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. It all comes down to not being the right match. I truly hope one day he meets that woman that will turn his life around and inspire him to be the man that I know he can be, if only he takes the time to work through his issues. I want him to be whole and happy so he is a better father to our son.

I walk away knowing I did it all. It’s difficult and sad and scary, but it’s the right decision. Because, by the way, my other decision is to stick it out which would have meant continuing to living with a stranger whose own family is a low priority (first priority: partying) and who sees no need to work at our marriage. No thanks. I won’t be imprisoned in a depressing and static situation because some people may judge me. It’s wonderful if two people work together to make their marriage the best it can be. Sadly, I have not found that partner yet who is willing to do that. Dating is certainly not a good indicator of how someone will be as a spouse and both partners must be ready to cherish their love and treat it like that magical gift that it is.

If this isn’t enough for you smuggy judgers let me say this: I am happy that you are with someone who respects and adores you and who is willing to work with you through the tough times. That is to be celebrated. Hold onto that person and never let go.

However, I am an intelligent human being and know when to leave well enough alone. There comes a point when one cannot take the pain anymore. Don’t judge me for my well-thought out decisions. If you still don’t get it, you need to realize relationships take work by both partners.

In the end, if someone chooses to judge me, I really don’t give a f&@#.

Taking the Long Way

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Everyone has adversity. We all handle it differently. Some things seem insurmountable, but eventually we get through it and make it to the other side.

Eventually.

Some things, no matter how badly you want them, no matter how hard you work for them, just don’t happen when you want them to. I’d like to think things happen for a reason. The only reason I can come up with for current events is that Life is teaching me patience.

I just want to start a new life. I want to move out of the house that my future ex-husband, my son and I share.

It doesn’t matter that I filed for divorce over 9 months ago. It doesn’t matter that I quit my teaching job to move to a new state for my husband and his job. It doesn’t matter that my husband can be emotionally and verbally abusive. The hard fact is that there just is not enough money for us to move out until I secure full-time employment.

My lawyer laid that out for me yesterday. It was a hard pill to swallow but not all that surprising.  If I didn’t have a beautiful 6-year-old I could live in a crappy apartment or my car. I could move back to my home state and live with family. None of these are options for me at the moment. Even on a full-time teacher’s salary, I will only be able to rent a decent apartment. Certainly with only a part-time job I could only afford a stinky one room dwelling on campus, if that. Obviously I don’t want my son to live in squalor.

Certainly I filed for divorce because things just became so unbearable, so toxic, that I had to end things. So, imagine adding to that the confession to my husband that, “I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Things can be a wee bit tense. I will say; however, that things have been slightly better than I expected. I suspect that my husband’s lawyer has advised him to keep things kosher so he isn’t forced out of the house. And as crappy of a father that he can be, our son loves him. Throughout our relationship I have always been the one to “keep the peace,” and I continue in that role. It’s a tough balancing act, but I refuse to make things more tense for my son.

I’m hard-working and a very good teacher. I have been applying for teaching jobs since last fall. I’ve had interviews but no offers. It’s deeply frustrating. I live in a small college town. I have my Master’s degree and 8 years of full-time teaching experience. Unfortunately, in this economy, that seems to be working against me. There are plenty of fresh-faced college kids that the district can pay much less to than to hire me. I’ve heard from more than one principal to “keep applying,” and that I “will find a job – any school will be lucky” to have me. These seem like empty words when the people telling me this chose to hire someone else.

There are now slightly less than 3 weeks before school starts. I have not given up hope because jobs continue to be posted. However, I haven’t had a call this week for an interview. I am confident in my ability to teach but that doesn’t mean it’s not a bitch to find a job. However, I keep plugging along.

As difficult as this situation is, the human spirit is stronger. I strive to stay positive and grateful for what I do have. I have family that my son and I can go visit to get away. I have friends that are understanding and take my calls at odd hours. My son is healthy. I had the strength to start this process and I have the strength to finish it. Things may not be resolved on my timeline, but eventually it will all fall into place.