I never thought of myself as someone who would ever get married. But when I found myself in a marriage and divorce became a choice in my life, it was a label I struggled with for many hours, days, and months before I owned it.
Labels that we feel link to our identity seem to determine how we make decisions and choices.
Do I regret getting married?
Do I regret getting divorced?
I do not think I’d have ended up here, where I am right now if I didn’t make those decisions. And I like where I’m at. My headspace is clearer and lighter, my frustration of having to be alive calmer, and my wanting to figure out tomorrow ignited.
But, oh, the label of being divorced once, let alone twice, is something difficult to wrap my head around. And that fear of a second label stops me from getting married again. While I believe the choice of divorce was not a mistake for me, I feel the label holds that power.
Maybe it’s because people would whisper, “She’s divorced” as I walk by tables, or perhaps it’s the look of shame or pity others give when they hear this. Or maybe it’s the comment that made me crawl in a hole and die twice, “But you’re too young to be divorced,” as if there’s an age restriction to life occurrences. And let’s be real, I wasn’t that young—early thirties.
But there it was, the judgment.
I felt more at peace and relaxed after receiving my new label. I could now get on with figuring my stuff out without having to worry about hurting another individual who was so closely linked to my life. But society didn’t quite see it that way.
It wasn’t okay to be okay after a divorce. It wasn’t okay to be amicable with your no longer other half. Neither was it okay to break up a relationship that seemed happy on the outside. It just wasn’t okay. Marriage is for life, happy or unhappy. And I agreed with this—until I was married. Until I accepted that I wasn’t ready for it, that I was miserable. And my miserable-ness was less about the other person and more about my own choices.
I needed to get out. Before I caused damage. Before I self-destructed. And divorce was the option that allowed me this way out.
I was always one of those women who thought that if I did get married, it would be for life. I’d been responsible in every aspect of my life. Made good choices, didn’t do anything to rock any boats and was seemingly content this way. So, obviously, when I was married, it seemed like another good decision. And to everyone involved (because so often it’s less about the two people marrying each other and more about everyone else), it was a sensible decision.
But does sensible always mean it’s the right one?
I had reached a point where sensible no longer made sense to me and the worst part was I couldn’t even verbalize the why. Because when these kinds of decisions are made, there must be a valid and logical reason. And reason is not based on emotions or feelings. So I made up several stories, whatever came to mind when someone asked me to answer the why.
But ultimately, and to this day, there is no logical reason, no valid explanation. It is and was based on an intuition that my soul was dying, a little every day, and no one understands this.
Will I get married again?
Maybe this time, it will only happen once I accept that divorce may happen again. Because while I acknowledge that I’m still in a better place because of my divorce, others cannot. Because to others, it was a mistake, and divorced twice means two defiant mistakes.