Life After Divorce . . . Would You?

By Lindy Earl

When I was married and met divorced women my age, I would hear them say that they never wanted to remarry, but I didn’t believe them.  Who wouldn’t want to be in a committed, happy relationship?  Then I divorced.  Oh.  Now I understood.

When I first divorced, I wanted nothing less than to be in any relationship and truly could never see myself ever marrying again.  But time passes and memories fade and new relationships unfold.

If you found yourself in the position of deciding if you want to pursue a life-long, committed relationship, what would you do?

We are not talking about the couples who have been together for years and marriage is inevitable, but on hold for various reasons (kids and finances come to mind).   In my life I come across a multitude of people who say that they want to be married.  If not married then in a committed, serious, monogamous relationship.  If not that, then in a relationship.  If not that, then dating just one person. If not that, then dating around.  If not that . . .  and so it goes.

I have to wonder, are all these people really looking for a relationship that leads to marriage?   I know that some, even many, people make lists of what they offer to a mate, and what they seek in a partner.  You may find the list of demands is often longer than the list of what is offered, but that may be because we know what we bring to the table, and need to be sure what we are getting.  It’s like any contract, better to spell it out up front so there are no surprises later.

For those of us in the dating world, are we really ready, if the opportunity presented itself, to say I do?

I know some of you are vehemently nodding your head.  “Yes,” you’re screaming inside your head.  But inside your head, you are marrying your perfect match – they don’t leave clothes on the floor, romance never dies, sexual appetites are exactly equal, nobody is ever tired or in a bad mood.

If you add all the pieces of reality into the mix, are you sure you want to be married?  This means dealing with bad habits.  It may mean dirty dishes left in the sink – or in another room.  It will mean finances have to be intricately discussed, and money remains one of the top two reasons for dissension in a relationship.  So even if you do discuss it all up front, it will still be an issue at some point.  Are you ready for that?

Are you ready for consistent tardiness because they just can’t get there on time, despite their promises?  Are you ready for missed phone calls because they know that you know that they care so you’ll understand?  Are you ready to feel like a parent instead of a spouse?

Yes, I’m bringing up all the bad stuff, even though there is a LOT of good stuff in a healthy and happy committed relationship.  But it’s the bad stuff that needs to be faced.

Since your break, you have created a life for yourself.  A life where you and your priorities come first.  Where you decide how to spend your time and money.  A life where you are responsible for you and don’t answer to anyone.  It’s rather nice, isn’t it?

Yes, it can be lonely.  But if you want to be married to avoid loneliness, get a dog.

I just have to wonder, since we are all coming into a second (or third) relationship with so much baggage and expectations, maybe even some ultimatums, are you really ready to say I do?

That’s life after divorce.

Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant and currently accepting new clients and speaking engagements.

* Contact her at to submit a question for her Advice Column.

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