Have y'all seen the Netflix series Dating Around? Please go check out episode 2 if you haven't. I watched that episode and it (sadly) spoke to my soul. I've encountered a few men that have issues with the fact that I've been married before. That's fine, but you don't need to be a dick about it...
This episode follows, Gurki. She's a sweet and funny divorcee who is getting back in the dating game after leaving a marriage she was unhappy in. She goes out on dates with a few guys, but Justin is the sole asshole of the bunch. He screamed at her and wouldn't allow her to get a word in. To give you an idea of how hostile he was, here is a quote from him:
"Who says yes to getting married when you have doubts? You ruined eight years of your life. You lied to him and yourself. You agreed to spend the rest of your life with friends and family there, and it was a complete lie. How could I ever trust you? How would anyone ever trust you? If you can't handle that, then you shouldn't date at all. I'm over this"
Then he gets up and walks away. Before (and during) his tirade Gurki tried to explain how things are in her culture and the immense pressure she felt to get married. Even with Justin yelling at her, she tried to calm the situation and say I think this is an instance of cultural differences. He continued to be a giant asshole until he walked away.
I feel for Gurki. I've been Gurki.
More guys have taken issue with the fact that I've been married than they have with me having a kid. 🤔🤷🏾 A little backwards IMO but hey, to each his own. I've been told I'm used goods. Yup. Apparently I'm unworthy of love because someone loved me before? Yeah, I don't get it either. I've also been asked if I've repented for my mistakes (and by mistakes they meant my marriage and kid). Let me be clear: NEITHER OF THOSE WERE/ARE A MISTAKE. I made the conscious decision to get pregnant (not that what goes on in my uterus is anyone's business) and made the conscious decision to get married. Both experiences have caused me to grow in ways I could have never expected. To call something that sparks growth a mistake is just plain stupid. If you don't want to date someone who has been divorced that's fine. Express that and move on. There is no need to talk down on someone for their past.
Like Gurki, I was in love, but I had doubts before I even walked down the aisle. So why did I do it you ask? Because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. Between church, my parents/family, the teachers at private school, etc I did what was ingrained in me since I was young. Go to school, get married, have babies (or in my case 1 baby), support your husband. So I did all of that, in that order. Then I grew up. The funny thing about growing up, is that you aren't obligated to be who you were when you were a kid. So there I was 26, married with a newborn and miserable. My husband started mistreating me during my pregnancy and my resentment for him grew as time went on. As much as I would love to blame my resentment solely on his actions, that would be a lie. We grew into 2 entirely different people. Obviously the submissive, do as I'm told Tina 17 year old Tina, is completely different from the opinionated woman I am today.
I didn't start living for myself until recently. A while ago my therapist asked me, 'so besides traveling what do you like to do?' A simple question, but I was flabbergasted. No one ever asked me that before. I went from living to please my parents, to living to please my husband, to living to take care of my child. Being single these past (almost) 4 years, I've had time to focus on my wants and needs. My kid is taken care of, I've progressed in my career and my personal projects are all underway. I've finally made space in my life for dating, but unfortunately I occasionally run into some 'Justins'. Dating after divorce is tough, but it's not tougher than divorce itself. I just have to remember that the opinions of these random dudes don't matter. My history doesn't make me any less of a person. I am worthy of healthy, reciprocal love. If you can't accept my past, you're just not the one for me 🤷🏾.
Don't be Justin.