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.


17 thoughts on “Oops

  1. Cail,

    The ‘just two months after’ thing initially struck me as odd; it seems that it would typically take longer for the regret to set in, but I’m reminded of what I’ve read before that the initiator in a divorce typically checked out long before the legal ramblings even got underway. She’s invested in the ‘divorce as solution’ mentality for quite awhile in all likelihood.

    The problem for women in her position is that likely no one in her circle challenged her to seriously consider what she was undertaking – indeed, I can hear the metaphirical ‘go gurls’ from here.

    I want to be sympathetic to women with her plight, but I know what it’s like to be in her husband’s shoes. The smart money is on the idea that he’s the one who’s gotten hosed.

  2. Traditional society is all about protecting women and children from the cold, hard world. About a century ago, though, people started lying to women and telling them the world is soft and warm and men are cold and hard.

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  4. Hurting, I agree: if she initiated the divorce, her husband is the one who got screwed. But I’m assuming from what she said that he didn’t want the divorce. So while he might be refusing to take her back now out of pain or revenge or trying to get the upper hand going forward (in which case, good for him), I’d say there’s a good chance he does want her back in the right circumstances. It’s a big cold world out there for older divorced men, too — maybe not as cold as for women, because the lower life expectancy for men means they’re more in demand, but still.

    I’m certainly not saying he’s obligated to take her back just because she’s acting sorry. But if he wants to, I wouldn’t criticize him for it.

  5. Cail Corishev says:
    October 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I wouldn’t criticize either one but would exercise extreme caution were I him. I definitely wouldn’t remarry her legally – there is simply no benefit (on net) to doing so absent the single example of access to employer-sponsored health insurance for either or both of them.

  6. Cail,

    Frankly, I think the now ex-husband is an absolute fool if he takes her back. I can only imagine how long this female thought about divorce and how long she made her husband’s life absolutely miserable, believing that a divorce would solve all her problems and make her life better. You are far kinder than I am. I have no sympathy for her and I hope she gets to learn the hard lesson that the world can be a cold and cruel place.

  7. To file for divorce after 30+ years of marriage is exceedingly peculiar. It happens very little.

    I can recall two cases in my circle of acquaintances. In one case a wife finally tired of her serial adulterer husband. In another, a wife tired of her skinflint husband.

    Oh, there is the case of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gore. They are, however, legally married, and it is not clear whose idea it was. One would tend to assume that business has something to do with the secular characterological decay of the former vice president, a process manifest for 20-odd years ‘ere they separated.

    The antecedents are likely to be so idiosyncratic it is hard to say what he should do. The bias should always be in favor of reconciliation…

  8. The world is at its coldest and harshest when you are married to a woman who wants out. I to reckon the ex husband is relieved and happy with his reduced standard of living.

    And two months seems awful early for her regret to kick in. Probally means she got the house and wasn’t kept buys “nesting” or the guy she ruined the marriage for wasn’t interested

  9. Bob, I guess it depends on the husband’s situation. If he’s relieved to have it over with and is enjoying his solitude, then I agree with you. Or if he’s wealthy and fit and alpha enough to snag a younger, hotter woman, I agree there too. But if he hates being alone and dreads the idea of spending his dying days without someone by his side, and he doesn’t have a lot of good family to fill that role, and his prospects for replacing her aren’t good, I wouldn’t criticize him for taking her back — but I would tell him to hold out for serious concessions first. Make her crawl, basically.

    In a general sense, I want to see women like this punished by reality, to provide a lesson for others who are considering the same thing. But in a specific sense, I want to see this guy come out of the situation happy and ahead of the game — whatever that means for him.

  10. Seconding the idea above noted by others that this woman’s torment of her husband almost certainly did not begun with the legal filing nor just before it. More likely she made his life just short of a living hell for many years prior to that. And that experience changes a man.

  11. Cail, I see what you mean. I just can’t imagine a guy taking back a woman who undoubtedly caused him tremendous pain because she felt that detonating a thirty-two year marriage would improve her life. I’ll go with your point about the guy hating being alone and dreading the idea of spending his dying days without someone by his side. How pitiful it must be that this man may very well prefer to have such a duplicitous and sleazy woman by his side to being alone.

    But, I am not that man and he is not me. I have no idea what would make him happy, so my opinion is only how I would handle the situation. I hope he gets what he deserves. It just seems to me that he deserves better than her.

  12. Ok i read the post and concur with most of what was said. most women do file for divorce and in my observation at some point they do wish to return. especially if no abuse was involved. I call this the sling back effect and will do a video about this on http://www.redonkulas.com. usally women it takes about 10 years or 3 consecutive failed relationships before the old starts to look real good. As it stands now my X wife and I do ot talk AT ALL. she killed my dog and lied about me in court, so she can never be trusted. But even now after 7 years once in a while I get the random TXT message from her that was by “mistake”. I pick up my children and can feel his eyes boring into my head as I load them into the car. All I can say is I hope she lived to be 100 , then when she passes , she walks the earth for a 1000 years before she know a moments rest. Such is my contempt for her using the system to strip me of my children. There is truth to the old chinese proverb about regret. That which weighes an ounce today shall weigh a ton tommarrow.

    terrence popp

    http://www.secondclasscitizen.org (501c)

  13. I think that you are being a little harsh on the woman in this case.If she is genuinely repenting of initiating the divorce, and genuinely wants to reconcile, then full marks to her for coming to her senses sooner rather than later. If one looks at Rollo Tomassi’s MMV graph, he probably has a much higher MMV than she does. But if one reads Rachel Clark’s memoir on Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/marry-divorce-reconcile/201102/how-i-got-my-ex-back-the-oh-sht-moment it becomes clear that this ex-wife is not the first to realise she had made a huge mistake. Yes, the man needs to be careful, and if I were in his shoes I would be determined to go through the Prepare/Enrich pre-marital counselling syllabus before I agreed to remarry. But i would not rule it out altogether.

  14. In regards to “legal remarriage,” I suppose one advantage to being Christian (especially Catholic) and not believing in divorce in a case like this is that he could say, “We’re still married in the eyes of God. If you want to move back in and try to make things right, we can see how it goes, but we don’t need to get the state involved by doing anything as silly as getting a new marriage license.”

  15. Cail Corishev says:
    November 6, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Until your likely very liberal pastor found out about your suggestion – at which time he’d admonish the husband for not re-marrying legally.

  16. Modern American Churches are a travesty. American religion workers are invariably cowards. Their goal is to be “nice” to everyone.
    Here in Portland, Oregon, the churches have shamefully capitulated to feminism and its consequent error homosexuality. I have found no faithful churches out here. There may be some but the quest is too laborious.

    What amazes is the sheer dishonesty of American Christianity.

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