From Divorcee to Duchess.
As a child I always thought Divorcée sounded so fancy, but I never really imagined that I would be divorced. The irony is that I did everything I thought I needed to to protect myself from getting divorced and yet it still happened. I married late, I had a masters degree, my spouse had a doctorate, I came from an intact marriage, and had a high income. All of those factors statistically point to a lower divorce rate but all that did not guarantee a healthy, happy and successful marriage.
Women that I interviewed dislike being called a divorcee. Some have stated it’s a sign of failure or a badge of pain they do not want to carry around. To many women the word has negative connotations. The word conjures images of a woman with a cigarette drinking martinis at the bar. Are men called divorcees? Do they feel the same about the word. Men that I interviewed stated they aren’t called a fancy french word, and don’t feel imprisoned by a sense of failure. Research shows men often remarry faster than women after a divorce. As usual their are societal influences in the perception and meaning of a label but isn’t it time to take our power back.
After a divorce it seems like ones marital status is the topic of conversation at every social outing. Questions come up about who wanted the divorce, what happened, how much money did you get…….etc etc etc. Or…Will you get married again?…….Maybe marriage isn’t right for you.
If we flip the script, doesn’t the fact that we are a divorcee mean we believe in love and we tried. We gave a part of ourselves to another human being and for whatever reason, it did not work out. Giving up is our only failure (and I know that it may feel like that is a good idea initially) however we don’t have to give up on hope, or us or our dreams. If Meghan can marry a prince, why are we getting in our own way?
It’s time to take back our power. Being a divorcee can mean whatever we want it to mean, we can wear it as a badge of honor that we put ourselves out there and it didn’t work. Being a divorcee means we have endured something stressful and challenging and something horrible or unhealthy or abusive and yet we have survived. You get to feel hopeful again, hope will keep you going.