My least favorite part of divorcing—well, besides the divorcing part–was how suddenly I turned into a one-woman referendum on Why Marriages Fail. Everyone had a reason or two for why my husband had left me (and if you read the comments on articles I’ve written for other websites, like HuffPo and CNN.com, you can continue to delight in the fun). The top 3? Because I made more money than he did. Because we married too young. And because I worked too much.
Actually, he left me because he didn’t want to be with me anymore, and not because I made too much money or worked too much. He just felt like we wanted to live different lives, and not share the same life anymore. It took me awhile to accept that simple truth—mostly because I was looking for a reason or two that made me look good or wronged or anything other than being someone Who Was Left—but once I did, everything stopped hurting so much. Truly. (Which is why I can laugh when I get all those funny comments about why my husband left me on my articles; because I know the truth and don’t need to care what anyone else thinks anymore.)
We, as a society, are so desperate to make divorce something that happens for a REASON: and not some meaningful reason, like, we’re living in a society that only knows how to stimulate and reward individual growth and sucesss, not the growth and happiness of family units (hello! government policies to help with work-life balance, childcare and so forth!). So instead, we focus on minute, probably irrelevant details that possibly divine the end of a marriage, to make us all feel like it’s something that Happens To Other People.
So that brings me to a hilarious, fascinating, potentially useless article from the Daily Beast that explains some of the “high-risk” factors that make us more likely to divorce. Such as: having a child with ADHD (sure, knew that one; it’s very stressful), to having two daughters instead of two sons (huh?), to if you didn’t smile for photos in high school (triple huh???), to if you happen to be a choreographer or dancer, and so on. I love the comments on this article, I have to admit: someone points out that if you don’t pluck the hairs off your big toe, you’re more likely to divorce as well. Maybe *that’s* why Chris and I didn’t make it after all!