Marriage Advice from a Divorced Person


Facebook gives me many ideas for blog posts. I went thrifting this morning in my little beach town and was going to brag about how I went to four thrift stores, bought four bags of stuff and only spent $7.50 plus $4.28 plus $6.53 plus $19.99. It was a stellar day for useful household items, plus three interesting coffee-table type books.

Back home, eating a cup of noodles with real chicken added, I scrolled through Facebook, as we retirees do, and saw a post asking about marriage advice. Without hesitation I wrote these five things:

  1. Night owls and morning people should not marry.
  2. Beatles lovers and Beatles haters should not marry.
  3. People who live to eat should not marry people who eat to live.
  4. An only child should not marry someone from a large family.
  5. People who love to sing and dance shouldn’t marry those who don’t.

I will get lots of negative comments about my free advice, how so and so married so and so and they disagree on everything, and it’s still working. But if you have these five these things working against the union, it’s tough. By now, you’ve figured out that I am a Beatles’ loving morning person from a big family who sings and dances and eats to live. By default, that would make my ex a Beatles’ hating only child and night owl who lives to eat and not to sing or to dance.

We had major problems from Day one, but we stuck it out long enough to have three children and twenty-two years together. As many marriages fall apart when the kids start leaving home, ours was no exception. It was hardest on the youngest child because she bore the brunt of the break-up.

Do I have regrets about the divorce? No, only regrets about the marriage and how we couldn’t find a way to connect with so many differences between us.  He loved to go, go go. I loved to stay home and do family stuff. He wanted to fly halfway around the world for vacations. I wanted to explore California.

The only thing we now have in common is a love for dogs, which our children also share. Between all of us, there are nine dogs, and one with none, so far. The whole dog thing helped to end the marriage, though.  A husband should not decide about a third dog without consulting the main caretaker of family pets – me.

Near the end, I felt like a glorified dog sitter, babysitter, laundry woman, cook, and house cleaner while my ex did whatever the hell he wanted and called it work.

I love my kids and can’t imagine a world without them, so that’s the good thing that came out of the marriage — that, and I live in the most beautiful state in the country, IMHO. Sure, we have too many people, but you figure out the off times and do everything then. In the morning, after the rush hour traffic and before the lunch hour. It’s the sweet spot for living in a state with 40 million people.

That, and there’s shopping at thrift stores, where there is hecka good stuff for a fraction of the price, no new-stuff packaging, and friendly people behind the counter.

My ex wouldn’t be caught dead in a thrift store. Yay for me – I won’t be running into him anytime soon.

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