Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Post: The Marketing Mama

I have known Missy, The Marketing MamaTM, now for over ten years.  We met originally online while planning our weddings, so it was with sadness that I heard the news that they were getting divorce.  However, I know that Missy will never abandon anything without a serious fight.  She writes this guest post today about divorce and her own experience.  While I hope to never be divorced myself (so far so good), I think her message is an important one for all people to consider.  Thanks Missy for sharing on my blog today.

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About divorce

The divorce rate is still about 50% in the United States. Of course we all think we are the exception to that, right? It won’t happen to us because… we are different, our love is stronger, we went to pre-marital counseling and no one in our family has ever gotten divorced…

After experiencing divorce as a child, I was pretty determined to do things right. Plus, everyone who knows me knows I’m a super over-achiever, and failure isn’t something I easily embrace.

I did everything I could to make sure I was marrying the right man. Everything I knew to make my marriage work. And everything I possibly could to prevent getting divorced. However, I am now a divorced woman. With two children.

As one of the first of my group of friends to get divorced, there was a huge shock factor. Many people were surprised. Those who knew me well weren’t of course. (It took me more than two months to even share on my blog I was getting divorced after we split up.)

Friends, please don’t be so quick to judge when you find out your friends are getting divorced. You have no idea what’s really going on behind closed doors or how much energy they each put into making the relationship work. For themselves. For the children.

Here’s what I’ve learned first hand - divorce can still happen even when:
- you go to pre-marital counseling through your church.
- you talk about what’s important to both of you and believe your priorities match up beautifully.
- you believe marriage should last forever.
- you really love your spouse, love your children and want to keep your family together.
- you go to marriage counseling for years.

Out of respect to all parties involved, I’m not going to get into all the details on why I got divorced online. However, I wanted to share this little bit of perspective to help combat the “it will never happen to me” and “I’m so shocked they dismissed their marriage so easily” type of judging I see and hear. Mostly among young people in their 20s and early 30s who have yet to have divorce fall in their laps of life experience.

I now receive frequent phone calls and e-mails from friends (and readers) who are either thinking of getting divorced or already in the process of it. They need someone to listen to them who has walked in their shoes and won’t judge. Someone who can say, “I went through it and even though it was awful, I survived.”

It is painful, friends, very, very painful. So please, the next time you hear of someone you know getting divorced, try not to focus on how much money you spent on their wedding gift so many years ago. I promise you, that is the furthest thing from their mind. Instead, ask “How can I help?” and if you are the praying type, offer up a few prayers for them.

Then count your own blessings.

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Missy Berggren blogs at Marketing MamaTM, where she chronicles her parenting experiences and reflections on being a working (and newly divorced) mom. She also talks quite a bit about food allergies and breastfeeding. Missy was named one of the Twin Cities Top Ten Titans in Social Media for 2010 and is a founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.

8 comments:

Amy said...

I really love this post. Maybe it's because I too am I child of divorce. I feel like I'd do everything in my power to save my marriage if we were having issues or talking divorce. Yet, I'm not so blind as to see that it's part of life. It can happen, even when you try hard.

This post reminds us of one very important lesson among others... That is not to judge people. We all live our daily lives and no-one but us can know the real truths of that.

Well written Missy, beautifully written in fact.

Denise said...

Ah, Amy said it best here. Huge hugs, Missy. My husband and I are always trying to figure out how to make our marriage stronger because we fear this, it's happened to close to home for us. But to judge you, good gracious, no. Like Amy said, It can happen, even when you try hard. HUGE hugs!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is clear God is bigger than the stigma of divorce and still walks with you. God loves you for who you are today. Keep looking for God in your day to day life, your children and your friends.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that divorce is seen in such a negative context. The pressure not to divorce often creates more conflict and tension in the family, which is especially stressful to children. Congrats on being big enough to do what was best for everyone involved.

Galit Breen said...

This was a beautifully written set of gentle reminders, Missy.

I appreciated all of it, but mostly the reminders to take stock and not judge really stood out to me.

Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be open, and to reach out to others.

Marketing Mama said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I appreciate all of them. The day after this post published, a lady made a very rude, insensitive comment about divorce to my face. She said that somebody's life was going down the tubes and that's what happens when you leave your husband. I was shocked and offended.

Of course I'm more sensitive to this topic because it's still fresh for me - but hopefully this post made a small impact.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Missy, I first met you when you were divorced (online) and then met you in person when you were at the cusp of your divorce. I have never felt judging, only sad, because it's always sad when something that is united separates. But I also understand that it is highly complex, and I trust that we simply can't see everything from the outside. I know divorce happens and it's rarely a light decision, if ever. I'm proud of you for the good decisions you've made in the years following, and though it may never be easy, I'm happy for all of the good things that have come your way. You're an awesome mom and your kids are very lucky to have you in their lives! As for the insensitive woman, you have to create an emotional bubble around yourself and shield yourself from this sort of thing. Sometimes people don't understand how their words are hurting someone. You have risen above it and I know you will continue to do so. Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable but honest.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Missy, I need to start proofing my comments! I meant to see I first met you when you were married. Can you tell my brain is shutting off? :)