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The playbook.

Turns out my experience is not unique. Maybe my unwillingness to take on the shame and blame is. Maybe my willingness to press publish is unusual. But my situation? No. Which is both validating and infuriating. I'm in a group text. A support group of sorts for a friend who is going through a divorce. While she wasn't exactly happy herself, she committed to stay for the family, the shared history, the hope that hard work could get them out of the darkness. That did not happen. He texted her shortly after the holidays to tell her he is miserable, is done and wants out. Props to him for telling her. I didn't get that respect or maturity but I didn't expect it either. And now? Enter the playbook.

These males opening this book and reading line by line, chapter by chapter. Saying the same variation of hurtful things. Lobbing accusations and regaling us with their history of misery as a way to shift blame, eschew responsibility and play the victim. Moving on before doing the hard work of growth, introspection and responsibility. Starting something new before finishing the previous chapter. Wanting the divorce, separation, etc while not hiring a lawyer, serving, filing and moving through the process. Being vocal about them being silenced, made to feel small and invisible. But still expecting the wife to handle all things divorce. I want my freedom. My happiness. My love story. I want you to do all the work to make that possible. The wasband didn't even show up to court on the day our divorce was finalized. That would require being an adult who is responsible and mature. Instead, I stood there in the divorce as I did in the marriage. Alone and the one doing the work.

Then there's the dating. They deserve their happiness! They've been miserable. Can't we understand? I'll never forget the last kiss I shared with the wasband. It was after he came home from a mind-clearing drive and park at a truck stop. Phone and text records show he was at the girlfriend's house (first one). Texting both of us as he returned to the family home, kissing me and then retiring to the basement to resume texting her. They want to date. We've given them permission, no? The papers we filed freeing them. Sure. Maybe. Go find your happiness. But it's harder for the momma who is home doing all the parenting to have the same freedoms. I would also like to embark on a journey of happiness and love. But I can't because I'm home doing all the parenting. So I stand there in dating as I did in the divorce and the marriage. Alone and doing all the work with no time, energy or finances to try on fulfilling partners. This friend's husband swiped on me. It did not end well for him. The lies, half truths and self-important malarkey let me tell him that this is why women are preferring to be alone. We are unwilling to give up our peace, lower our worth and take any bullshit. And if you think it's about needing sex? Honestly? Alone and doing the work suits lots of us just fine.

I left a voice message to the group text and hit upon this revelation. Men, and not all men, but men overvalue their contribution to parenting and the home and undervalue the women's contribution to parenting and the home. While simultaneously employing an unequal distribution of responsibilities and expectations. I don't know who sold them this Men's Mid-life Crisis Guide to Finding Joy but they got snookered and we're onto them. Please know that my contribution to divorce/infidelity literature : Glitter and Sparrows Vol 1 and Rototillers and Sage Vol 2, are being shopped around for publishers. I am who I am. I'm not holding a grudge, we just see who you are now and can't unsee it.


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