The Stamp of Failure

The moment I took off my wedding bands, it was as though I was suddenly visible to the world again. It seemed those circular bands of white gold and sparkly diamonds made me nearly invisible to the world, at least to men, for about 4 years, but once they came off, I felt like a Spring chicken… whatever that means.

There’s this little thing that goes with being divorced: It becomes the goal of others to get you a special someone. First there was Mr. Dreamy. Oh, he was fine. I mean, fiiiiiiiiiine! Unfortunately, my matchmaker was a bit delayed and Mr. Dreamy had already found his Mrs. Dreamy through online dating. Drats.

Since it seemed I had “Divorce” stamped on my forehead, a friend decided to throw me a divorce party once my divorce was finalized. It was kind of like a bachelorette party, minus the strippers and substitute a white veil for a black one.


We even found a couple Bachelorettes to take my photo with. We all wore buttons that we had made. Mine gave them a jaw drop, reading “My ex-husband has a boyfriend”. The waitress saw it and said, in her black girl twang, “Aahh, giiirrrrrrlll, you need a drink!” Loved her.
Then there was the younger cutie that I was talked into dancing with at a wedding I didn’t want to go to. I still remember how it felt when he took my hand to dance. It sent chills through me like electricity. It was the first time a man had touched me gently in a year. It was overwhelming almost to the point of tears. He and I dated for a couple of months before I decided it wasn’t right for me.
There were at least 3 others match-ups after that. It seems everyone wants to play matchmaker for poor divorced souls. There’s a couple I go to church with who I love dearly. They are such sweet people. The wife treats me like a daughter sometimes. In fact, about a year ago she tried to set me up with one of her sons. This morning at church, a guy came up to hug them afterward and then he said hi to me. He and I have talked sporadically but never hung out together. When he walked away, she asked me if he was married. I told her that he’s single but he just started dating someone. She was a little disappointed that she wasn’t going to be able to set me up with him. He’s cute too. She told me that she’s always looking out to play matchmaker for me. Did I mention I love this woman?
But this is what happens when you get divorced. Happily married friends seem to want to “remedy” your situation and get you married off again. Not sure this is the best approach, especially considering that second (and third and fourth and…) marriages have greatly decreasing chances of survival than the first, and it’s no wonder! You’re probably screwed up from the failure of the first marriage and seeing your dreams blow up like Hiroshima, you’re probably feeling “deprived” in many ways, dating seems drastically different and you may feel that while you used to be a pro at it, you now seem to suck at it, and you may have grown very selfish, needy, bitter, horny, unnecessarily picky, you’re a pain in the butt to be around, and you cringe or cry every time you have to mark “divorced” on some wretched form.
Now you also have those who see your “Divorce” stamp and tell you that you need to wait x-amount of time before you start dating again, as though there is a formula to how long a person needs to heal and recover. I believe it’s different for everyone. Four years later, I’m not sure that anyone really fully recovers from a blow like that. I’ve never been a widow, but I almost wonder if getting a divorce is worse than a spouse dying, simply because there’s rejection and probably betrayal involved. Those things are hard to recover from, especially when you walked down the aisle, putting your hopes and dreams into this person. For me, I know that I want to be married again. I want to be happy in a relationship. I dream of sitting on a front porch with my graying husband, but that doesn’t take away the fear of it all happening again.
So until I find my match, or he’s found for me, I guess I’ll be wearing the “Divorce” stamp on my forehead because I can’t seem to scrub that dang thing off.

5 thoughts on “The Stamp of Failure

  1. Wow Casey…You really laid your heart out here! My mom and died were divorced just after I was born. It was the 50's, and there was only a 2.3% divorce rate back then. So just keep a smile on your face and when it is right it will work out…My silly advice…but I did enjoy reading your post~ ♥♥♥


  2. The “divorce stamp” does wear off and fade over time 🙂 I think where a lot of people go wrong is thay immediately feel the need ot start dating again WAY too soon in order to fill some void. I know you haven't asked my advice but this is the counselor in me talking (we always put in our two cents worth haha). It's important not to rush back into dating until you're 100% healed and “back to you”. I think it's important to spend time finding yourself again and working on yourself before re-entering the dating world. The stamp will fade, but make sure that you wait until it's faded or gone before you date again. It's the wisest thing that I learned during my training for counseling.


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