his is an interesting topic for me. There, on that form, they are asking your relationship status. Do I mark the box divorced or single? I recently saw choices that read, single (never married) and divorced. The last time I checked, if you are divorced, you are single. Well for me the answer is clear and I get very frustrated when I have to address this topic in a ‘mark the box’ situation.
My defense to this issue may be different than most people. Yes, I was married and I certainly enjoyed checking all the boxes that said so, at the time. And now that I am no longer married, I don’t consider myself ‘divorced’. You see, when I say I am ‘divorced’, I feel I am attaching a label, an environment, a lifestyle indicative of a failed marriage to me. Like I am described as a divorcee. Failure. At least, that is how it feels to me.
I am single. That is my lifestyle, that is me. Like, is there a different way I should act as a ‘divorced’ person vs a single person? I mean, in both instances, I am not legally married. Would you say you are a divorcee re-engaged if you were preparing for another marriage?
I am single. I ‘experienced’ a divorce. I went through a divorce. See, a divorce is an event. There is a beginning, a middle-sometimes turbulent-and an end. I was legally divorced on a certain date thereby returning me to a single status. There was a timeline for this divorce just like every other divorce process. And for me, there were some really bad moments while I was going through my divorce, and here me, I do not intend to carry these memories throughout the rest of my life.
I am single. Embracing my divorce as a verb rather than an adjective, helped me to review this experience and find the lessons in it. I was able to replay this experience in my mind and see my behaviors and truly evaluate them. Doing so, helped me really see my mistakes. This revelation helped me grow-mature.
I am single…and my singleness never affected my ability to parent nor was it defined by my marital status. I was not a married mother. And I was never a single mother! I am single and I am a mother who co-parented my children with their father. Even when co-parenting was difficult, didn’t feel so great or didn’t look like society says it should, I did have help. And to me, any kind of help was enough.
I am single. I am not attached to anyone. Whether I am dating or not, until I am engaged, I am single. If I choose to address or display if and when I am in a relationship, that it will be described as just that. If I describe myself as ‘divorced’, I feel as though I am still holding onto or claiming some attachment to the man to whom I was once married. He does not belong to me. He is not attached to me. The man I was married to-his name to those who know us-is attached to our children. We are cordial and we could possibly say we are friends, but he is not mine. Neither is he my ‘ex’.
There is joy in this revelation. This joy helped me accept my contribution to the divorce and I can live without blame and regrets. It is a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel-rainbow after the storm. Let’s just say this revelation was necessary. However, this journey may not be for everyone. Some may feel comfortable with being a divorcee. And to that, I support you.
I encourage you to embrace your truths and to live life out loud. What these last 10 years have taught me, is there is no mold for living life. I can do things the way I want even if it goes against the norm or popular opinion. I don’t have to measure up to anyone else’s opinion or ideal, only mine.
Here’s to another 10 years of even more growing and learning.