Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Point...

I've been asked by a few people what the vision or purpose for this site, and for my book are.
So I thought I'd do some 'splainin prior to going much further. When I got divorced in 1999, there were no resources for divorced men, written from a Christian perspective. I found no books in the Christian bookstores and the only ones I found in the secular market had titles like; "How to get divorced and not pay alimony" or "How to beat your wife in court and keep your stuff" or books about how to start dating again the weekend after your divorce is final.
But there wasn't anything that prepared me for the emptiness and sorrow that comes with divorce. There wasn't anything that talked about the pain and fear and shame and the things it does to your faith, your self worth, and your hopes and dreams.
Now I will admit that many guys going through divorce wanted it. Or they deserved it because they abused, cheated, drank, couldn't or wouldn't get a job or a litany of other valid reasons.
But not all of us. Some marriages just fail because one or both parties just don't want to try anymore or because outside influences or events begin to become inside influences and events. We live in a society where marriage is now pretty much a disposable commodity and with all fifty states now being "no fault", you can get a divorce simply because you want one.
So let me emphasize that I am not defending bad behavior here, I am making the point that not every guy who gets a divorce was a wife beating, drug using, alcoholic, porn addict who wouldn't get a job. But when a guy gets a divorce...he thinks the whole world sees him like that. Man hating is fashionable these days and with "same sex" female couples artificially inseminating, we have been rendered virtually unnecessary.
The average divorced man thinks the whole world can see every weakness, every failure, every stupid decision. We didn't bat 1000 and now we are out of the lineup. It's Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" only it's not a red "A" for adulterer, it's a giant "D" for divorced dad and it also stands for words like loser, failure, and how-could-you-have-lost-someone-like-that?
A lot of us will tell you that we think you think the worst of us because of what other men did to earn their divorces. It's not your fault really. It's just the way society is these days. Too many guys ran out on their families and cheated with their secretaries or abused their wives and kids or drank or used drugs or gambled or spent mortgage money on porn. These truly bad guys used up all the understanding and room for failure for the rest of us. Guys who couldn't figure out the answers fast enough to keep their family together. Guys who's dreams crashed and burned and took their families with them. Guys who took too long figuring out what to do about the situation they were in until their wives grew weary of living the way they were living. Those guys aren't bad men and they aren't mean spirited, abusive, addicted, miscreants. They are lost boys. I'm not excusing it, they have an obligation to figure it out for their families sake. But not every divorced man falls into the category of "all of the above".
I needed to explain this because I know people who endured well justified divorces and I want it to be clear that there is a difference between those types of men, and guys who were just part of a failed marriage and weren't monsters or bad guys.
The world tends to see us all as the same men and it causes some of us to share in the shame that those guys bring. IN fact...we probably feel it and they don't. They are the guys who justify their actions in their marriage and blame it all on their ex. They never once look in the mirror and hate what they see or feel shame for their part of the failure. They never look inside and wrestle with their portion of the responsibility for the breakup. It was never their fault, they are misunderstood and they are the real victim. Those guys have no place here. Nobody has been tougher on me than me, where my part in the destruction of my marriage was concerned. Over 8 years later I am still wrestling with forgiving myself, and I didn't fall into the "monster" category.
There are stereotypes at work in our lives and it keeps us from addressing the way we hurt and the way we grieve. That is why I started this site.
So if anyone came here hoping to find a forum for ex-wife bashing or complaints about the court system, keep on Googling. This isn't your spot. I adored my ex wife and still wish her nothing but the best. It wasn't always like that but I've never ever hated her. I'm not going to be giving dating tips either, because I haven't really dated since the divorce and this isn't
This is for the rest of us...

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