A few days ago, a friend of a friend who I have seen around town here and there stopped in to visit. We got to talking and she shared her very sad story of her frivorce — and how very much she regrets it now.
They married young, had children, she was a happy stay at home wife and mom. As her kids got closer to leaving the nest, she started ruminating on what she would do with the next stage of her life. She was bored. Angsty. She met some new single gal pals and started hanging out with them, going out dancing and hanging out with them on “girl’s night” at bars.
She said at the time she felt these women cared about her, supported her, wanted her to be happy. They started to question her marriage, plant seeds of doubt that she was truly as happily married as she thought. The more time she spent with them, the more disgruntled about her marriage and husband she became.
She says now she believes what they really wanted was to drag her down into their misery. They weren’t happy after their divorces, weren’t finding dating to be as fun as they thought it would, and were basically a bunch of 50-some-year-old alcoholics, living pretty pathetic lives but acting as if they had it all.
Sadly, she sees this now, three years later, but at the time their “herd” mentality had a powerful influence on her and she started to put her new friends ahead of her husband and children. After one too many nights of her out at the bar and saying she’d “be home soon” he showed up to drive her home. She’d had too much to drink and an argument ensued. He tried to lead her out, and she cried “abuse!” Her new friends backed up her claim, and he spent the night in jail, was put on probation for a year, even when she recanted the tale. Too late. Their marriage was over.
I remember seeing her out and about over the past few years, at happy hours, all dressed up with shimmery makeup, waiting to meet yet another online date. At first she said she found this new freedom exciting, but after far too many bad dates it wore thin. Her new friends also lost their shine, and once she was single as well, they turned on her, considering her competition.
She met a man she thought was “the one,” sold her house, and moved to another town, only to find he changed his mind and left her shortly after. At 57 she is now alone, and barely making it month to month.
As she sat there telling me this sad tale, I could tell she would give anything to take it all back, to grow old with her faithful and loyal man. But despite her many apologies and trying to win him back, he’s not interested. (I advised her to keep trying, be open to him as long as she is alive and to be patient, maybe if she is lucky he will forgive her. And to realize it was a lot to ask.) Her children (three boys) also barely talk to her, and when her son married last weekend, she was not invited to be involved in the wedding or rehearsal dinner. Her sons would not dance with her at the reception.
She asked me to share this story in hopes that perhaps it would help another woman avoid the same fate. Her advice learned the hard way? Don’t do what she did. Don’t be like her. Avoid women who don’t support your marriage, nurture your relationship, don’t frivorce because you are “unhaaaaapy” or think the grass is greener. It isn’t. It’s astroturf.
Let those who have ears hear.