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Divorce Envy

Russell Irving

Envy is a common feeling, even though we know from past experience and parental/ church lectures, that it is not one that leads to positive actions.
And, so it is that many married folks will, from time to time, be envious of their divorced friends. - They will fantasize of the free time that they would have. Less responsibilities. Ability to have multiple lovers. Opportunities for dating and trying new things. Not having someone to answer to or to nag them. The list goes on.
But, how many of your divorced friends are truly happier with their new lives? And, are better off than they were, previously? -- Let's think about it.

First, there's the money. - Finances are the primary reason given for most divorces. - But if you are the one paying alimony and child support, do you have more $ to spend? Probably not. - And if you are paying toward 2 residences, the answer becomes a 'Heck, no!'. And even if you are the one collecting alimony, the total amount available for bills and frills is often less than there was before the divorce.

How about the nagging? - Well, it's true that your spouse will not be there on your case, daily. Yet, if you share custody of the children, there can still be a lot of nagging. Perhaps, simply of a different nature.

Dating. - Well, yes, you do have the option of doing it. But, when was the last time that you went out on a hot date? Rules might have changed since then. Who pays, what's expected sexually, who's responsible for providing birth control (just in case), and of course, the basic of who even asks whom out. - Then, there is the issue of appearance. Perhaps you aged gracefully. But, if you did not, that becomes one more area to be concerned with. - And, if you have children, how will they react to your new, single, and dating lifestyle? (Even the 'hippest' of teens will often resent a parent dating, again.) - Then, there could eventually be the issue of becoming accustomed to a new lover...

Children. - If you do not have primary custody, will it tear you apart not to see them everyday? Even with the best of intentions, plans to stay in daily contact often fall by the wayside. And, as they get older, they will not likely want to spend weekends with you, instead of hanging out with friends 'back home'. - How about guilt? For your role in the break-up? - How will you feel when they visit you, if your new pad is not quite 'cool'. -- If you do have primary custody, there is still probably less $ available for doing things. And, you might have had to downsize your living arrangements (and theirs along with yours). Will they like to see you dating? -- How about bouncing back and forth among 2 residences? And, if either one of you re-marries and starts a new family, how will they feel? How will they take to a step-parent? Will they feel that the divorce was their fault? - Who now has say over how your children are raised and with what values or religious views?

Loneliness. - After years of marriage, how will you fare, living by yourself? Or, with your folks, again? Or, with roommates of the same sex? - Sleeping by yourself? Sleeping with 'just anyone' in order to feel a connection? Or, to release your sexual drives? - Not hearing your kids running around the apartment? - Missing your ex-spouse's voice and face?

Missing your former spouse. - If they were honest, many-to-most divorced folks will tell you that much of their former marriage was good. Perhaps, better than good. And that they still had some positive feelings for their former lover and best friend.

Regrets. - Too many divorced men and women have too many of these. - Wishing that they had worked harder at making things work. Argued less. Showed more affection. Compromised more. Demanded and nagged less. Stood up for themselves better. Showed more respect. Was a more considerate lover. Parented in a healthier manner. Paid more compliments. Was less self-centered. And...

You know that I could go on and on for quite a while, here. But, why put you through it? You certainly get the point.

Obviously, if you were abused, or your spouse was an addict who did not seek or work at treatment, or they were a deadbeat, than most of this does not matter. But, for the rest of you: Take heed. Divorce is far from an easy path to happiness. For yourself, your children, or your former love.

'Nuff said!