Daily Prompt~Plead the 5th

Today’s Daily Prompt~

What question do you hate to be asked.

Why did you divorce your ex-husband? You were married for over 20 years.

I don’t get asked this one very much anymore, but in those first awful days of separation and divorce, it was asked of me more than I care to think about.  When I run into someone I haven’t seen for a while, who isn’t aware that I have divorced and remarried, they ask this, sometimes they are shocked, sometimes they wonder what took me so long.

Of course, it’s none of their godamn business, but this is a city of roughly 35,000 people.  Too big for everyone to know everyone, but small enough that I know many people, and so does he.  If I don’t give an answer, people will just make up their own and tell their friends.

In order to do my best to keep the whole mess factual, I feel I must defend my position.

Naturally, people’s minds will first go to infidelity as the answer.  And it’s the wrong one. The fact that my former husband did his best to perpetuate this falsehood didn’t help the situation. Even going so far as to not only flat out tell one of my friends he was sure I was sleeping with her husband, but also telling my children that I had a boyfriend.  Nice.

While Mr. The Cheeky Diva is my first love from days long past, he didn’t come in to the picture until months after I left my ex.  In fact he lived 1200 miles away from me when we found each other, so I didn’t even see him in person until a full 8 months after my ex and I separated, 5 months after the divorce papers were filed.

That may seem like infidelity to some, but when God puts a miracle in your life, like the love of the one person who will never forsake you, do you spurn it simply because the slow grinding wheels of the court won’t give you your legal freedom? Again, thank you to my ex-husband for putting a rock in front of those wheels so they couldn’t move.  From the time we separated to the day we finally got to court, it was almost 2 years.  An uncomplicated divorce in Nebraska can be over an done with in about 90 to 120  days if both parties are agreeable.

So, what’s the real answer?  Why did I leave my ex-husband?  Why did I stay so long is a much better question.  I was never more than mildly content in that marriage.  A lovely home, food on the table, bills always paid.  Nice, but not enough.  We were never on the same wave length and as time wore on, and the kids got older, I began to picture a life with just the two of us in the house after the children had gone.

I imagined 30 or 40 more years of living with a man who was mostly motivated by material possessions and appearances. I was tired of living in a hamster wheel of trying to be something I’m not.  Tired of being told to act a certain way so I didn’t cause embarrassment.  Tired of  being told my dreams and ideas were stupid.  Tired of being told I was crazy.  After 44 years, it was time to live like I wanted.  Be who I wanted.  To stop living for other people.

Of course, as a mother, this caused me enormous guilt.  It still does to this very day.  If I would have stayed, we may all still be living like that happy smile on a stick family.  Pretty much like the one I grew up in. An alternate possibility is that  my kids wouldn’t have a mom at all if I would have stayed.  I was becoming a hollowed out shell of a person, and the shell was getting very thin and brittle.  One good tap with the slightest bit of force, and it may very well have shattered.

Jeezzz, Michelle, you’re better than therapy!~Thanks!


51 thoughts on “Daily Prompt~Plead the 5th

  1. Can you help?! I have seen the Daily Prompt: ‘Plead the Fifth’ and have been to visit the page to find out more, but find that comments are closed after just 7 posts! And I have NO idea what ‘plead the fifth means! Can you enlighten me, please? I have a feeling it may be an American expression?

    • Oh hi there. Comments are always closed, as Michelle wants you to write on your own page and link up. If you copy and paste the page url in your blog post, it should end up on the Daily Prompt page.

      “Plead the 5th” is an American expression. It pertains to the 5th amendment to our Constitution, part of which says that you may refrain from saying anything that may cause you to incriminate yourself in a court of law.IE-if asked a question on the witness stand, to protect yourself, you may “Plead the 5th” and refuse to answer the question.

      Does that help? Please let me know if I can help you in any other way. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. I think it’s very brave what you did. Let me put it this way: I wish my parents did what you did.

    When I read your story, I read my mother’s story. My father is a man that needs to show-off: big car, big house, big everything. The children have to be perfectly behaved robots, the wife the same thing.

    The only difference between my mother and you is: you took YOUR LIFE into your own hands (where it belongs) and made a decision. You chose for happiness and I respect you for that .

    My mother was never brave enough to make that decision and it ruined our (my sister, my mother and my own) lives. Their marriage lasted 25 years and I was 19 years old when my father finally decided it was time for him to move on, because he found a 10 years younger, blonde, replacement for my mother, with equal (material) interests.

    Later we found out he was already sleeping with her for 3 years, before my parents divorced. But that’s a whole different story.

    That’s a giant kick in the balls, if you know what I mean.

    I rather have my parents divorced in a more civilized manner, just because it wouldn’t work out. Then the way it did now. Perhaps if they made a more civilized decision, we would still all be friends.

    I’m happy you made the best decision and I’m sure your children will understand that – Perhaps they don’t at this point, I don’t know about that. I’m just saying.

    You’re ex-husband is an asshole for doing the things he did. Just because you made a decision that hurt his ridiculous idea of pride (pride comes from within, not from material possessions) doesn’t give him the right to do the things he did.

    I raise my glass to you, Cheeky Diva!

    • Dan, I thank you for this very frank and heartfelt comment, and it deserves a reply, which you will get-but now I gotta go to The Walmart and buy some vittles. Barf!!! I’ll be back later to respond.

    • Hey again. So sorry I misspelled your name before. My parents were like this too. And if you happened to see my “Letter to Mom” post from the other day, it isn’t hard to see that my exhusband was much like my mother. Nothing was ever good enough for either of them. All they can see in a person is their flaws. Never their strengths and never appreciating their efforts.

      I made my exhusband a quilt for a gift many years ago. My first quilt ever. It took me 5 months to finish it. All he could do was point out all of the mistakes I had made. Crooked seams, missed stitches, etc.

      What a horrible way to go through life. Only finding joy by making others feel inferior.

  3. “when God puts a miracle in your life, like the love of the one person who will never forsake you, do you spurn it simply because the slow grinding wheels of the court won’t give you your legal freedom?” i loved that line! what a courageous post. good for you for deciding to live the life that you wanted.

  4. Great post, TCD. While I didn’t have kids, I left a marriage years ago for very similar reasons. Had I not done that, I would have never met my wonderful husband nor would I be living in Colorado – a place that I adore. I think the best way to live life is to listen to our hearts and souls and sometimes that includes making some tough choices. I think we learn along the way if we do that…

    • I’m so glad you found your bliss too, Cathy. It took me so many years to get that foot out of the door. I had lived so long to be a good wife, a good mom, that what I wanted and needed got totally buried under responsibility and obligation. The question I wrestled with for years was whether or not my own happiness, as opposed to keeping the family unit together was worth it. Was my happiness important enough to upset the apple cart? That’s where the guilt all stems from. When we sat the kids down and told them we were divorcing, my ex actually had the gall to tell them that it was ALL my fault, that he didn’t want this, and I was to blame for breaking up our family. A couple days later, he took the boys out for dinner and told them that “My life was perfect until your mother ruined it. You’re all I have left now.”-He’s an expert at playing the victim.

      He never once asked me if my life was perfect, if my life was happy. He just repeatedly told me that making me happy was impossible.

  5. Kudos to you. My ex of 10 years (we have been apart for not even 3 years, and he has since met someone and married her all within 8 months of knowing her) and I had a very similar story like yours. I was lost, always under his material, higher wage earning shadow and played the good girl in a nice house for many years. I left because I wanted more love and less stuff. I don’t regret it. I love a good happy ending and am glad you are getting yours.

  6. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Plead the Fifth | Stuph Blog

  7. It beguiles me that people think if you’re married to someone for what they consider a long time, it automatically means you should have stayed together or that it’s odd there was a divorce with all that time already under the belt. They don’t do it with anything else, “You’ve had a love affair with cheesecake for 30 years, Wilbur, why the hell you dumping it now??”

    No one should be looked at funny for choices they make no matter how long into the original choice they were. Divorce and marriage are very personal decisions. It’s not like you put those 20 years down a garbage disposal or they were wasted. You loved, you lived, and most of all you learned.

    Love your post. ❤

      • Hey no problem. Beguiles is an awesome word. I look forward to seeing you use it again! Don’t know why your comments always need to be approved. Stupid WP glitches. Sorry about that!

    • Thanks so much! My ex husband was one of those people you just mentioned. He remarked once that he just didn’t understand people who got divorced after so many years. What was the point he said. WTH kind of attitude is that? He also told people all he would have to do to beat his Dad’s record of being married for 50 years would be to outlive him. Who thinks that way? I was just the cook, the maid, and a paycheck to him. That’s really all he lost when I left. At least that’s how I feel anyway. And that’s pretty sad when you think about it.

      • Yeah, when relationships go south it really is hard to remember the good times or the time where you actually did love the person. & even then when it’s gotten so bad you question why you loved them to begin with. People are constantly changing and that’s how people can grow apart. The man you marry today — for good or for bad — will not be the same man you married a year or two from now. We evolve and sometimes relationships can go through the good, bad and ugly and sometimes they’re not meant to. Sometimes they are just practice runs. 😉

  8. Cheeky,
    I don’t care how it is that we connected, I’m just glad we did.
    You ran with my “most hated question” but did it in a way that I never could have, so thank you for speaking for me as well. Like you, I was married over 20 years (26) and divorced for much the same reasons you wrote about. Everyone I knew, even close friends, asked me why. I finally settled with: It was time. Even worse was the occasional follow-up question: Did you try to reconcile? I think you know how I answered that one.
    Like you, I am now married to the person I should be married to and couldn’t be happier.
    Interesting parallel lives we live in…

    • I’m so glad we found each other too, my shiny new friend. I’m so glad you’ve found happiness too. This morning is a shining example of how fortunuate I am.~

      I was standing in the hallway, talking to Mr Cheeky, who was relaxing on the couch with his first cup of coffee, petting the dog, and just waking up. Now, mind you, I’m 47-so I don’t look so great first thing in the morning. I was wearing my yoga pants, all messed up with flour and sugar from baking cookies, no makeup and my awesome bedhead was all wadded up in a clip.

      We’re talking, and all of a sudden, he stops talking, and gets this wistful look on his face. I asked him what was on his mind. He smiled his adorable dimply smile and said “Nothing, just admiring the view.”- Now that’s a man who loves me. That little exchange just made my entire day.

      I wrote a very nasty post about my ex husband a few months ago, when I started this blog, but was afraid he may see it and that it would cause problems. I took it down.

      I still have it, I just re-read it. Wow! He’s really quite a creep.

  9. If you like Judi Dench you might enjoy her tv series As Time Goes By- about two first loves who had the good fortune to meet again many years later. Some things are meant to be. Honest, well-written post!

    • Really? That’s sounds great! Thanks, I’ve never heard of it, but I will definitely try to find it. And yes, some things are meant to be. And when am I going to see a comment by you written by “Wonder With A Blog”?-Come on, you know you want to!


  10. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Plead the Fifth « prettywitgla33es

  11. Wow, you just wrote about my first marriage and my most hated question, except I was only married to him for 10 years and where I live the population is under 1,500. I admire your ability to write honestly about your life, it’s something I have yet to be able to do.

  12. It takes courage to be so upfront our life choices when people keep throwing their judgements on us. I am so glad that it all worked out well for you. We are not here to just pass time while we are alive, and we deserve a life of fulfillment.

    • Thank you. Yes we do. I guess there is a fine line between fulfillment and selfishness. Hard to know if your straddling or crossing it when things get so bad. I guess for me at least, I had to just have faith and go with my gut. Glad I listened to it.

  13. Pingback: The Question I Hate The Most | Beyond Beauty Tips

    • I’m sorry that you were in a similar situation. I think a lot of people have been there. My choice may have been easier had I known there were so many others like me, and that it was okay to find happiness. Leaving was the hardest part. Writing about it wasn’t so brave, but thank you. To this day, I think my ex still has no idea why I divorced him. Sorry pal, a full belly and a roof over my head just isn’t enough. I was put here to be more than that. We all were.

    • Thank you for reading! I am happy that there are others out there who’ve taken the steps to move on and find happiness in their lives. So nice that so many of them stopped by today to say hello. 🙂

  14. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Plead the Fifth | writinglikeastoner

Well.....let's hear it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s