I’d Rather Be Me

Great article from The Faster Times:  The Elmira Gulch Chronicles, Or:  How Not To Be THAT Ex-Wife.

Deesha Philyaw (Co-Founder of Coparenting101.org) has written an amusing-but-true piece comparing THAT ex-wife to Elmira Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West… starting at the beginning, with a justifiable anger-inducing incident… and snowballing all the way to Oz.

I could never understand THAT ex-wife… the one who is still raging years after the divorce… the mother who tells her children everything their father did wrong… the newlywed who uses her new husband like a pit bull against her ex (note: previous statement was made for illustration only.  I think APBTs are a great breed).  What good comes from that kind of behavior?

I’ve heard my mother say time and again, “I love him because he is the father of my children.”  Of course, she started saying this after the divorce… prior to that, my parents didn’t say much at all about each other.  The point is that the primary divorce I witnessed was a healthy one where the ex-partners respected each other and realized the universal truth:  if I could take it back, I wouldn’t have my kids. I cannot thank my parents enough for setting the example they did.

And so when I had my own divorce, I thought twice about playing the Victim Role.  I could’ve said a lot of atrocious things about my ex.  And we didn’t have kids, so there’s nobody to hurt, right?  Wrong.  I would have been hurting myself. What does it say about me if I tell people that I spent years of my life with a liar, cheater, thief, abuser, alcoholic, drug-addict, fill-in-the-blank?   Wouldn’t my audience eventually question my judgement?  (I hope I hang out with people smart enough to do just that.)

It was my decision not to play the victim that drove me to leave so much behind when I left.  Since I hadn’t been wronged, I didn’t deserve any compensation.  Forget the drapes and the brand-new sectional- I just wanted out.

And now that I’m having such a good time being me, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to put forth so much effort (and from what I can tell, it takes a LOT of effort) into being THAT ex-wife…


6 comments on “I’d Rather Be Me

  1. Deesha says:

    What an excellent point about not embracing the victim role/bashing your ex, even though there were no kids to get caught in the crossfire. Empowerment feels so much better! Thanks for reading the article, and I’m glad it resonated!

  2. Colleen says:

    I also chose not to be THAT ex-wife, not only for my 4 children, but for myself. By playing the victim we only continue to give away our power and hope for future happiness…and that’s no fun! It truly makes me sad to see friends being THAT ex-wife and not seizing the opportunity to re-create their life on their terms. Divorce was not my choice, but I’d rather life a life that is “not bitter, just better!”(tm)


  3. Lauren says:

    I love what you said about the effort it takes to be THAT ex-wife. The obvious things aside (i.e. negative impact on children – when there are children involved, self-inflicted barrier to getting on to a better life, etc.), this is the thing that baffles me most about THOSE ex-wives. Why would you want to waste your time, energy, effort on it? I so don’t get that. I have so many things I need/want to accomplish in a day and in life, that I cannot imagine wasting any of my valuable brain power, energy or time on negativity. Don’t these women have dreams to chase, or tasks to complete?

    I would love, if just once, one of these women would chime in on post like yours, or articles like Deesha’s and ‘fess up to being an evil ex. I’d love to hear her rationale.

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