There are times when I wish I had a crystal ball...
Lesson 1: I Should Have Listened to My Mother
Why is it that we will pay oodles of money to have a ‘professional’ therapist/psychoanalyst/psychologist/ whatever, let’s face it, a complete stranger, diagnose our so called relationship problems and we ignore the one person who has known us our whole lives all while having 20 to 30 years of life experience on us? Beats me but I made a career out of it until I was 33.
My mother told me from the get go that this whole marriage thing was going to be nuts, don’t do it, you should wait she said. My dad chimed in too but my mom’s shrillness can drown out a space shuttle take off when she puts her mind to it.
But I knew, oooohhhh so much better. I was 22 after all. Dumba** you say? You would be quite right.
Listen to your mother.
Lesson #2: Fighting For the Shrimp Forks Really Isn’t That Important
Fight for the things you can’t replace. That’s being smart. Aunt Ida may have brought the forks over on the Mayflower but they’re just forks. Get over it, grow up, get new forks.
Don’t get me wrong the photo albums of little Jimmy are treasures but you can’t restart your pension and make back what you’d have to give him. Be smart, if he thinks he has something you want, like say the pictures you can scan and make copies of anyway, you’ll definitely get something else more important.
This is the tactic that I used to keep all three of my pensions, yup three; working for a labor union has its benefits. He thinks he’s won but when I retire at 60 and he’s working until he’s 80, who’s won then?
Oh – I’d say moi.
Lesson #3 Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
I grew up in the “Beige House”. Everything was neutral. Nine rooms and they were all beige. An interior designer once told my mother that our house looked like a museum. Needless to say she wasn’t asked back. I think my use of decorative color is a hold over rebellion from my childhood….The Beige Years.
I definitely have more patience now that I’m divorced. I wanted to paint the living room orange; we’re talking the color of Tang people. The Boyfriend silently thought I was crazy but I told him if he let me paint the room any color I wanted he could hang his custom made fishing poles around the same room.
In case you’re wondering yes I painted the room orange, the fishing poles look really cool and I painted the dining room teal.
Give a little to get a little and be so much happier.
Lesson #4 Keep Your Own Money
Oh, how I wish someone had told me this before I got married. This is not to say that if you enter into another relationship that you won’t equally pay for things nor have some kind of joint account but you should always, always have your own checking account and savings account.
In my opinion money can quickly breed hate. I personally love to tell people that I don’t receive child support. I love being able to say that I can take care of my kid all by myself. The ‘Ex” and I never argue about money because neither one of us is giving it to the other.
If I want to buy a pair of $95 shoes I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission. It’s all about making you own decisions.
Be independent. You can do it and you’ll feel so much better for it.