We are tired Cinderellas in wedding dresses once we hit 40. There is nothing sadder than seeing a middle aged women squeezed into crumpled white hope. Second marriages are as stale as month old wedding cake. What would you do for your wedding dress?
After my second divorce, I was roped in to stand with my friend in a wedding shop in Bristol and make appropriate comments as she tried on wedding dresses. She was over 40 but didn’t look it and it was a first marriage so this – along with her slim figure – helped. I felt gagged. I was known for my cynicism after two disastrous failures of marriage which seemed to hang about me like big knickers, flapping in the wind. But I was the only one willing so i stood clasping cheap boiled sweets in between my gritted teeth and tried not to remember my own truth – marriages equals failure. Twice.
Say yes to the dress
The lighting was harsh – but the truth was not. The shop assistants seemed not to have read the latest divorce statistics (probably because they were too busy reading their sales figures.) Neither of them would ever see 50 again but they proceeded to run towards the mirror every time my friend came out in a white puffball gown, waving a sign that said SAY YES TO THE DRESS. I felt like I was watching a tragicomedy. Maybe I was. This time it wasn’t my own.
I remained silent because that’s how I work. No filter so say nothing, But this wedding dress business was a game and it had rules. I was expected to SAY YES TO THE DRESS even if it cost £800. I love to break rules. The shop was so white and shiny and bright and so……vacant. It held no warning of what marriage would entail – dirty drains, dirty nappies, dirty socks, compromise, hard work, letting go of dreams, comfortable trousers. Who am I kidding? After two divorces, how the hell did I know what marriage entails?
What sort of knowledge do we take out of failed marriages? How not to do it? What about self knowledge? Too often we want to try again – the quick fix – and try harder because deep down we believe we weren’t enough. I am willing to bet that every woman leaves a marriage feeling that they are not enough (except for narcissists – more later in the recovery programme about them. )
Divorce is a HUGE blow to our identity.
It shatters us and breaks us down. It seems less painful if we find another person to fix it quickly – like breaking and fixing an ornament. What is the alternative? Work on becoming complete, becoming enough. Feeling good enough. Alone.
The 361 recovery programme can help guide us to that place where we can start to feel enough. Instead of this idea of fixing ourselves with someone else after a divorce, the 361 offers an alternative. Find the way out of that particular thinking – that someone will fix you. Find the one. The one step out of that circular thinking. Find the one. The 361. SAY YES TO YOU.
Alice Smith 2019
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