Hello beautiful world. My name is Margery and you are reading my very first post. By the end you will see for yourself why I was elected the perfect candidate to talk about Regret After Midlife Crisis Divorce (even though I am female, the fairer sex, I still managed to pull off a decent midlife crisis. Something my male colleagues all aspire to I bet. Ha Ha Ha.
Unfortunately I don’t have a sportscar to show for it but I do have plenty of regrets and plenty of lost opportunities to share with you. My aim here is to counter the popular fairytale story that an empowered woman can do anything. My experiences were that empowerment failed to pay my bills or attract men and girl power wasn’t enough to lift those weights at the gym when I needed it most.
My Backstory: prior to the midlife divorce
I was never the most popular girl in school. I had plenty of boyfriends going through high school but never steady and no one long term. I was at an all girl boarding school which made things kind of difficult but also kind of easy to get away with stuff.
I graduated from high school (a long time ago now) and went off to college just like everyone else. I studied English Lit and was dreaming of writing a novel then marrying an actor. University life didn’t agree with me and I had to leave at the end of year two. It was a mutual decision made by the faculty staff. So I moved to Michigan and got an admin job for a rental car company. Within 12 months I was pregnant to a married man, my job was in jeopardy (it was the managers kid) and rent was due.
So I married my first husband Ronald in a shot gun wedding three weeks after I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I convinced myself at the time the kid could have been his.
Ronald and I were married for 8 years before married life decided that the girls and I weren’t cut out for it anymore. I was married to my second husband Henry within 12 months and pregnant with my second daughter about three months on. Henry had a huge house, nice yard in a wealthy suburb and plenty of family within earshot so life was looking up for a while back then.
Around the age of 37 married life again decided that a change was needed. Henry made his unceremonious departure from the house and my girls and I set up shop and tried to move on with our lives.
My First year was great
Everyone was a great support the first year. I had no trouble at all, help was always just an eye flutter or two away. My girls was close and the support community we had at their school meant we all filled our days (and nights) will event after event and visitors were a plenty. In that first year single life was treating us well and I loved divorced life. I had a handful of boyfriends and I thought it was only going to get better.
In my Second year it became harder
The next year started off with my elder daughter starting at her new school. First year of middle school meant a whole new community of people and a whole new group of friends (both for her and for me). I never gelled with any of the moms at middle school that year. My boyfriend and I grew apart and menopause took a tight hold of me. What a shock that was. All the preparation in the world girls doesn’t help.
My Third year was a turnaround
Year three saw me join a gym for the first time since my 20s. By that stage I felt I had conquered the menopause and was ready to take the new me for a few laps around the school yard (if you can read between the lines). The male gym folk didn’t take too kindly to my chirpiness so I moved around several gyms and couldn’t muster up much more than a dirty weekend away. I was pi$$ed and all the exercise was doing nothing to help my bulging waistline either.
The bulk of the divorce settlement money was long gone and I also found myself looking for a job at the age of 40. What a disgrace. Admin work was foreign to me now computers had taken holder, customer service and waitressing is for the 20 something year old girls, then I found freelancing and haven’t looked back.
Henry and Ronald were both remarried by now and had new children of their own. It was devastating for me to see how irrelevant my girls and I had become to them almost overnight. Don’t go there…
Years Four, Five and onward are an empty hell
A few years on and my girls started dating. I had settled down content with my cat Felix (he is a Persian and very sociable, he also can take several commands) but life in the suburbs raising two teenage girls and working five days a week just wasn’t where I wanted to be at that stage of life.
To my surprise I joined a woman’s support group and what a shock that was. These women were all unhappily married and appeared to aspire for the life I led (divorced, employed, alone and with mortgage). It didn’t matter how many times or how many ways I explained my situation to them they had this romantic notion that middle-aged divorce brought with it all the perks of “Sex in the City.”
Girls, that is all horse dung.
My Top Ten Regrets Ater My Midlife Crisis Divorce
Needless to say I spent many nights crying in the laundry (sometimes with a wine glass in each hand) contemplating the past, regretting the few decisions I did make and embellishing the attention I did get.
- Not marrying a richer man in the first place (ha-ha )
- Not having a backup man on the hook
- Not having any skills to fall back on when I did need to get a job
- Watching both my ex-husbands start new family from the sideline whilst the best companion I could find was Felix (my cat, my beautiful brave friend cat)
- Not learning beforehand about the crazy things that menopause does to your brain
- Not learning beforehand about the crazy things that menopause does to your body
- Getting pregnant to the wrong man, then having to scramble for a cover story
- Not marrying a better prospect the second time around (sorry Henry)
- Sticking it out, either of the two marriages would have been a lot better than having to work for a living as a single mom
- Believing all the hype about women’s empowerment – working for a boss at minimum wage and giving it all over to pay minuscule bills is not a very empowering way to spend your 40s girls.
Don’t make the same mistakes, listen to the people who have come before you, take their advice and above all else girls (and guys I guess) don’t let anyone else sell you short.
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