Divorced Women are Man Haters (And Other Lies Your Ex May Tell)

Posted on | May 29, 2012 | 10 Comments

Ever since I got divorced, I’ve been the “lucky” recipient of a lot of divorce-related links.  I get sent everything from “How to Win at Divorce” to “Five Things all Divorced Women Say.” The articles are funny and clever and often they make me laugh, but they are about how to re-word slurs on your ex so your kid doesn’t understand or about making your Ex feel like crap any time he sees you.  They are little vignettes about the bitter ex-wife, still in love with her ex and still determined to make his life as miserable as she clearly did when they were married.

In short? They seem to be written by the ex-husband and not the ex-wife.

I’m a divorced woman but I am NOT that kind of divorced woman.

I don’t bad talk my ex in front of his child.  I don’t secretly dream up ways to make my ex-husband’s life miserable.  I am not a harpy, a nag, a bitch or a money-grubbing whore.  I’m just me.  And I am sick to death of all the negative light that’s shed on divorced women.

In print, it seems that all divorced women are either heart broken souls who are doing everything to get their ex-husband back or bitter, man-eating whores who can’t be bothered to say anything nice about anyone.  As women, we seem content to let ourselves get pigeon-holed into these CLEARLY male designed stereo-types of who we have to be.

If I read one more tongue-in-cheek article about the angry divorcee, I’m  going to spontaneously explode.  I get that it’s funny.  I get that we, as divorced women, like to laugh at ourselves and the reputation we have in this “community” of blogging.  I get that, I really do.  But what does it really do other than reinforce the stereotype that we “deserved” to get divorced.  What does it do other than say to the world “Yes, I’m a bitch.  And my ex-husband is well rid of me.”

I get angry with my ex-husband.  He does things that make me want to shoot a laser through his skull just to see if it meets any resistance.  I lose my temper and I yell sometimes over stupid things he says or does.  But you know what? Those times are few and far between.  Most of the time, we have a polite and cordial relationship that meets the needs of our son just fine.  I don’t know what my ex-husband says to his new girlfriend about me, but I hope it’s mostly positive, just as the things I say about my ex are mostly positive.  I don’t know what she thinks about me but I do know that I shouldn’t care one bit about it, just as she shouldn’t care one bit about what I think of her. We’re both women.  We are both just doing the best we can with the lot we have in life.  And we should be supportive of each other, even though or maybe because we share a common ground.

Men seem to need to believe that there are only two types of women in the world… those you marry, and those you screw; and the saddest part of that sentiment is that we as women tend to buy into it, too.  We believe that we can only be one or the other… fun or formal, sweet or sexy and so much of that “need” is played out in how people reflect on and relate to divorced women.  We are “cougars” or “man haters” or “man eaters.”  We are full of hate and spit venom whenever we talk about marriage or our exes.  We are bitter, jaded, cynical women who can’t look on the world of relationships with anything other than disdain.  We have to be, right? We’re divorced.

Maybe some divorced women feel that way.

Maybe there are some women who get out of a marriage and think “Never again, bastards.”

But for everyone of those, there are fifteen of us who still believe that marriage is good and right and sanctified.  For every article written about the “Five things all Divorced Women Say,” there should be an article about the “Five Things Most Divorced Women DON’T Say.” Because we’re not cookie-cutter molds.  We’re not Stepford Ex-wives.

We’re women.

We’re divorced women.

And dammit, we should NOT be the ones putting ourselves into the neatly labeled boxes our exes have created for us.


10 Responses to “Divorced Women are Man Haters (And Other Lies Your Ex May Tell)”

  1. A Friend
    May 29th, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    I get what you’re saying, but I think mostly the articles are tapping into the funny and aren’t meant to be taken so seriously.

    Maybe just chill out a bit? I don’t think they’re meant to be personal attacks against you.

  2. Law Momma
    May 29th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    Oh I don’t think they are personal attacks! I just hate that it seems like every article I read is about how divorced women are bitter and angry. That’s all.

  3. Law Momma
    May 29th, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    I don’t think they’re personal attacks, you’re right. But I also would like for there to be a more even split of what people read/write about divorced women. We’re all different and yet we’re sort of grouped together like once you’re divorced, you have to act and be a certain way. It just bothers me, that’s all. 🙂

  4. Angela E
    May 29th, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    No, I think she has a really valid point here. I mean, yes, you can make the argument that the blogs/articles she references are supposed to be “tongue-in-cheek” and/or funny. But the fact is, there’s a nasty little bunch of cliches in there that form the image of “divorcees” that still clings & persists in our society, even today. Shouldn’t we at least be taking notice of that? I’m divorced, for instance, and was so at a very young age (by 27). Haven’t been married since, and it’s not killing me not to be. If it happens again, OK. If it doesn’t, that’s OK too. But that doesn’t mean I’m either bitter, a “man-hater”, or scheming to take someone else’s man, or to get any of my exes back. Me & my 18-month-old son are doing just fine. And it would just be nice for it to be acknowledged by the world at large sometimes, that being divorced is alright…not a nasty “social condition”! 🙂

  5. lawmomma
    May 29th, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    I’ll drink to that!! (Because all divorcees are also alcoholics, didn’t you know? 🙂 )

  6. Jackie Henson
    May 29th, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    thank you for hitting the nail on the head with this one 🙂 I am content with where I am for the most part, some days it gets the better of me & then I remember I have a beautiful little girl who looks up to me, wonderful sisters & amazing parents & a job I love going to & going to college.

  7. Lawmomma77
    May 29th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    Exactly!! Sometimes, everyone is just a lot happier apart. No malice, no anger… just… HAPPY.

  8. Lola M.
    May 29th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

    Amen. Mean Funny is just not funny. Sounds like you could write a rebuttal to all the other authors who want to lump us all into the same stupid category.

  9. Rebecca
    May 29th, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

    Preach on, mama. Actually there’s a bit of labeling going on, as well, if you think about it. Perhaps we ought to be ” women who have experienced divorce” rather than “divorced women”. Takes a bit of the stigma away, IMO.

    Keep writing. You are thoughtful, intuitive, and seem like a great mom and a great person to boot.:)

  10. perpetualabsurdity
    June 4th, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    Hmmm, I’d like to agree, but I am one of those girls who says I will never get married again. Not necessarily because I am against marriage or relationships, but because of my own issues and insecurities, and maybe because I was badly burned in my marriage. But there in lies the issue, throughout my life the men I have gravitated to have all been mentally exhausting to me and make me insecure and have low self esteem. Therefore I have made the decision for myself to break from all of the madness and allow myself time to figure out who I am on my own, without someone else pointing out each and every flaw they have issue with. Then, maybe someday, I will have the self confidence to choose the right guy, and not one who can break me down.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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