We talk a lot of theory and generalities in the manosphere: 80% of men are invisible, men and women can’t be close platonic friends (I still promise a post on that soon), most divorces are instigated by women, and so on. But once in a while you see it played out in someone’s life, and it drives the theories home.
The other day, I met a woman who said she was trying to fix her marriage. As we talked a bit, she revealed that they’ve actually been divorced for two months, after 32 years of marriage. Since she was looking for ways to fix things and get remarried, I assumed that her husband, defying the statistics, had been the one to file for divorce. But at one point she said, “I really regret it now, ” and it came out that she had been the one who filed.
She didn’t get into any more details about the marriage or the reasons for the divorce, so I don’t know if it was frivolous. Maybe he beat her; maybe he slept with her sister; I don’t know. But whatever it was that seemed like a good enough reason to end a 32-year marriage, after just two months she has realized it wasn’t. Not surprisingly, after who-knows-how-much pain and fighting were involved in the divorce, her husband isn’t in a hurry to take her back. So she’s reduced to prayer and begging, basically.
Now, she’s not a beast. She’s older, of course, in her 60s. But for her age, she’s in very good shape and still has quite a bit of liveliness in her face. I even found her mildly attractive in an “if I were 20 years older I’d chase her around the retirement home” way. She appears to be religious — at least she is now that she has something to pray desperately about. If any woman could find a new guy to fill in for her husband, she could. And yet, talking to her and looking into her eyes, what I saw was, yes, sorrow for the harm she has done, but also plain fear. It’s a big, cold, empty world out there, and when you’ve lived comfortably for decades (her clothing and jewelry indicated at least middle-class or upper-middle), and had someone — even someone you didn’t like anymore — to sleep next to at night, it seems really cold and empty when that person is gone.
So, it’s a cautionary tale. It’s a lesson most men don’t seem to need; we know from youth that the world is big and dangerous and will kick you in the nuts if you get too cocky. That’s what boyhood and becoming a man are all about: going out and conquering that wilderness and establishing a castle in it for yourself. We don’t have to be taught that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; that’s obvious. But for a young girl — even a nice church girl — who is raised by generous parents and married young to a nice man, maybe the world seems like a cozy, warm, friendly place, so you can abandon one castle and expect to find an assortment of new ones to choose from right down the road.
I wished her well; she seemed genuinely sorrowful and was taking the responsibility on herself, not putting it on him. She figured it out faster than most divorcees do, so maybe it’s not too late for her to make things right. I hope so; winter is coming.