Divorcee Learns to Enjoy Life Again After 35 Year Marriage Ends by J. Ivey

Divorcee Learns to Enjoy Life Again After 35 Year Marriage Ends by J. Ivey

I could not find a copy of this online, so I cannot link to it. I have a print copy.

Someone did upload a copy to Scribd, but you have to have a subscription or whatever to read past the first few paragraphs

Girlfriend Power

Excerpts:

February / March 2022

It was the first Valentine’s Day after my marriage ended. The last thing I wanted to do was go to a party with a bunch of single ladies

Girlfriend Power by Jennie Ivey

[The author opens the piece by explaining that she and her husband George were divorcing after 35 years of marriage.]

… For the first time in decades, I wasn’t part of a couple. For the first time in my life, I was living alone.

… Why oh why had I said I’d go to my friend Pat’s Valentine’s party? “Celebrate with other singles at a girls’ night in,” the invitation read. “Food! Music! Games! Fun!”

[Initially, she called her friend who was throwing the party to decline. The friend told her the reason for the party started years before, when her husband served her divorce papers on Valentine’s Day, and her father died on Valentine’s Day a few years prior. The friend replied,]

… “instead of moping around because we’re not coupled up, we get together to have a good time.” She wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“And one more thing, Jennie – you have to wear pink or red. It’s a Valentine’s party rule!”

[She mentions that her ex husband George was a surgeon, and while he wasn’t the greatest husband, he did okay on Valentine’s – he’d bring her flowers or candy in heart shaped boxes and so on]

Before I left for Pat’s I said a quick prayer. I hadn’t done a whole lot of praying since the breakup of my marriage. Sometimes I felt mad at God. Furious even.

Did he care that I was suddenly single at 60, an age when most couples were looking forward to retirement and spending time with their kids and grandkids together?

My prayer that evening was short and to the point: God, please show me how to be single.

[She describes several of the other women she met at the party, including one woman whose husband died of colon cancer who her ex husband George had treated]

… I heard other stories. Suzanne’s children had grown up with mine. I’d been incredibly busy in those days.

Maybe too busy. Between taking care of the kids and the house and being involved in the community, I was worn out.

Even on the nights when George was home, we were often too exhausted to talk. Too exhausted to kiss good-night. Too exhausted to make any real effort to connect as husband and wife.

But we put on our game faces in public, doing our best to look like a happily married couple that had it all together.

Suzanne and I had lost touch after the kids were grown. It turned out she was long divorced.

I met Jeannette, whom I’d known only by name until that night. Like me, she was 60. Unlike me, she’d never married. “I used to think it would be nice to have someone to cook for,” she told me, “and to snuggle with in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night.”

It sounded nice to me too, though it had seldom been my reality. After George and I became empty nesters, we usually ended up at opposite ends of the house in the evening, him in front of the computer, me reading or watching TV.

Could it be that our breakup was just the final straw in what had been a deeper, decades-long problem of loneliness in our marriage? In a way, nothing was lonelier than being married but lonely.

[After the dinner at this Valentine’s Day party, the women played games, and the author said as she looked around the room, she could see that the women were having a good time.]

… Mostly, though, it was that we were simply enjoying being together. Maybe I’d expected marriage to fulfill too many of my emotional needs and hadn’t appreciated my relationships with my friends enough.

At the end of the party, I stayed to help Pat with the dishes. “This was wonderful,” I told her. “Thanks for inviting me.”

“We do lots of other fun stuff,” Pat said with a smile. “You are always welcome to join us.”

I had no doubt that God has pushed me out of my lonely door to this party filled with single women. Women who laughed instead of feeling sorry for themselves. Who propped each other up. Women I wanted to be like.

[She says she went on to join this group of friends on other days at other events, and they often socialize together and have a great time.]

… I still have a ways to go to being happily and confidently single. But I’m on the right road.

And with the help of God and my girlfriends, I know I’ll get there.
— end  excerpts —

And there you have it.

As I said before years ago in a post on this blog, if you are a married woman, you are making a huge mistake if you wrap up all your emotional and companionship needs in a husband, because what will you do if he dies early, develops dementia, or has an affair and decides to divorce you?

And some husbands are terrible at providing emotional support; some husbands don’t want you chatting with them, they cannot be bothered to lift their eyes from the NFL football game on TV to really listen to you and connect.

It is vital if you are a married woman that you maintain platonic friendships outside of the marriage.

And befriend single women, not just married ones. Do NOT make all your conversations with friends rotate around the topics of child rearing, pregnancy, or marriage! Discuss current events, books, hobbies, gardening, or movies.

If you wrap all your time and energy up into a husband (and everything marriage related), you may end up very lonely – if that husband won’t meet your emotional needs, or he dies young. You will be left all alone, with no support system.


Related:

(Link):  A Valentine’s Ode to Friendship by P. Jane

(Link): A New Start After Age 60: ‘Alone for the First Time in My Life, I Learned How To Be Happy’ (A Woman’s Husband Divorces Her After 40 Years of Marriage) by P Cocozza

(Link): What the Single in Your Pew Needs from You by G. Dalfonzo

(Link):  How I Navigated the Minefield of Online Dating in Later Life – and How You Can Too by Alice Grebot

(Link): Singles: Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Wreck Your Life By Lisa Anderson

(Link): Dear Abby: I’m Happy Now That My Abusive Ex is Dead

(Link): Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

(Link): Galentine’s Day – Because Nobody Likes Valentine’s Day Anymore

(Link): The Most Important Factor in Aging Happily as a Single Person: Guest Post by Cathy Goodwin 

(Link): Joanne The Widow Lady Wants to Know Why God Didn’t Answer Her Prayer to Keep her Husband With Her

(Link):  You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies

(Link): Women in the Regions Turn to Social Media to Find Friendships and Community  (Australia) 

(Link): Survey Reveals Singles Over 50s Can Still Be A Good Catch

(Link): The ‘Gray Divorce’ Trend: As The Gates Split Shows, More Older Couples Are Getting Divorced. Here’s Why. by J. Duffy

(Link): Can We Stop Saying Singleness is God’s Will? by Anonymous via Sheila Wray Gregoire

(Link): Twice-Divorced Lady Suggests That God Told Her He’d Send Her Husband Number Three and She Got Married a Third Time – I Actually Don’t Find This Story Uplifting

(Link): Cathy The Single Woman Asks Pat Robertson Why God Has Not Replied to Her Prayers for Years to Send Her a Spouse

(Link): Why Making Friends in Midlife Is So Hard By Katharine Smyth

(Link):  There Are Ways to Deal With the Sting of Unrequited Friendship by K. Sackville

(Link):  The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic

(Link): What is a Platonic Life Partnership? These Couples are Breaking Societal Relationship Norms

(Link): What I Wish the Church Knew About Singles by E. Riese

(Link): Why Older Singles Aren’t Looking To Couple Up by Janet Siroto

(Link):   When You Are Lonely In Your Marriage by K. Parsons

(Link): Couples Who Marry Due to Family, Social Pressure 50% More Likely to Divorce: Study – reportage by Leonardo Blair

(Link): Christian TV Show Pat Robertson Says Wives Who Want Emotional Support from a Husband Are Immature and Should Not Expect Emotional Support

(Link): Why Can’t Other Christians Understand I Am Happy Being Single? by E. Brown

(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link):  Asking Too Much Of Marriage – Married People are Lonely

(Link): Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

(Link): Your Attitude About Aging Could Add 7.5 Years to Your Life

(Link): Woman Told She Can’t Dine Alone: ‘Next Time Bring A Friend’

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link):  Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages

(Link): Parents Die Within Four Weeks of Each Other, Leaving Behind Their Two Young Children: Husband Dies of Ruptured Stomach Ulcer While Spending Night in Hospital With His Dying Wife

(Link):  Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please. 

(Link): Widower to Advice Columnist Talks about Being Stereotyped by Married Couples or Ignored by Other Marrieds Since His Wife has Died

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

(Link): Coronavirus: Even Married People With Children Die All Alone

(Link): Number of ‘Lonely, Single’ Men is on the Rise as Women with Higher Dating Standards Look for Partners Who are ‘Emotionally Available, Good Communicators, and Share Similar Values’, Says Psychologist

(Link): Married Couple Almost Starve Adopted 8 Year Old To Death – you don’t have to achieve perfection or sinlessness before God will send you a spouse

(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”

(Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness

(Link): Mother Kills Her Three Children, Self After Husband Commits Suicide – Being a Part of a Nuclear Family Isn’t a Guarantee of Happiness

(Link): Mother and Son Homeless After Officials Sell Home to Pay Ex-Husband’s Debt

(Link):   Why We Thought Marriage Made Us Healthier, and Why We Were Wrong by Bella DePaulo

(Link): Groom is Killed by Lightning Strike While Posing for Engagement Photoshoot

(Link): Wife Hospitalized with Covid Comes Home to Find Husband Dead from Virus

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

(Link): Seven Reasons Why It’s Hard To Be Single In The Church by Sarah The Barge

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

(Link): Avoid Getting Entangled with Covert Narcissists – You Can Waste Your Time, Effort, Money or Giving that Exhausting Emotional Support and It Won’t Make A Difference to the Recipient

(Link):  Another Christianity Today Magazine Editorial (2019) Expects Single Women To Meet the Needs of Married Women – Christians Never Ask the Reverse

(Link): Couple Die of Covid, Leaving Behind Newborn and Five Children

(Link):  Supporting Singles and How Churches Can Help Singles Get Married – Lessons from Match-Making by B. Lea

(Link): Christian Couple Dies in Helicopter Crash Hours After ‘Fairytale’ Wedding

(Link): 60 Year Old, Never- Married Woman Asks Christian TV Host Pat Robertson If Some Are Just Not Meant to Marry

(Link): And They Like to Caution Single Women About Being “Too Picky” Check this nauseatingly too picky list by a single 39 year old who will die single

(Link):  The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

(Link):  Middle Aged, Single Christian Guy’s Long, Picky Girlfriend Wanted Ad on Craig’s List

(Link): Dear Abby: I Gave Up Dating, and 30 Years Later, I’m Lonely

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

(Link):  Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

(Link):  More Anti-Singleness Bias From Southern Baptist Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Is Singleness A Sin? by Camerin Courtney

(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

(Link):  Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Christmas Morning House Fire Leaves Father and Two Children Dead, Wife and Oldest Child Injured

(Link):  The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement

(Link): I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf

(Link): Man Who Lost Movement in His Entire Body Feels He Is Missing Out On Relationships and Sex by L. Thomson

(Link): Christian Couple Dies in Helicopter Crash Hours After ‘Fairytale’ Wedding

(Link): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

(Link):  Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

(Link):   Lonely People’s Brains Work Differently

(Link):   Why Lonely People Stay Lonely

(Link):   Sick of Being Single / Sick and Tired of Being Single Alone Unmarried Lonely

(Link):   Married Woman Says She’s Lonely Because Her Husband Works All The Time

(Link):   Settling Vs Being Lonely (letter to advice columnist)

(Link):   Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis

(Link):   Women Who Dump Women Friends As Soon As They Get A Spouse or Boyfriend (Letter to Advice Columnist)

(Link): Hollywood Movies: Affirming that Friendship or Platonic Love is Just As Good As Marriage

(Link): Dear Abby: Teen Gets a Boyfriend, Snubs Her Old Pal 

(Link):  Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

(Link):  Thanksgiving Horror: Family Members Arrive at Relatives’ Home for Holiday Gathering, Discover Husband Had Dismembered and Disemboweled His Wife, Police Say

(Link): The Federalist Writers Continue to Disregard That Some of Their Readers Are Conservative, Single, and Childless – Re: “Childless Chris Evans’ Inspiring Condemnation Of Anti-LGBT Bigots: ‘Those People Die Off Like Dinosaurs’”

(Link):  American Christian Divorce Rates Vs Atheists and Other Groups – throws a pall over Christian Fairy Tale Teachings about Marriage

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Is Not

(Link): Southern Baptist Al Mohler Intimates That Childless And Childfree Adults Are  Not Human (2019) – and He Thinks This is a Good and Biblical Worldview

(Link):   Motherhood Is Not A Woman’s Most Important Job by J. Wright

(Link): Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world by Catherine Deveny

(Link):  Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)

(Link):   How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

(Link): Christian Viewer Expresses Disappointment in God, Wants To Know Why, In Spite of Years of Service, God is Not Helping Him

(Link):   Celibate Christian Woman Asks Christian Host Why God Will Not Send Her a Husband

(Link):  Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife

(Link): How to Date When You’re Almost Middle-Aged by A. Broadway

(Link):  Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

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