I saw my X on the Jumbotron at the Nickelback (don’t hate) show I recently attended. I saw him from 5 miles away on the lawn, where my seats were. Yes. Yes. Yes, folks, here comes the “Inequality of Divorce” blog. Well, it is that and so much more. A few nights ago, as I sat under a beautiful full moon and was cooled by our “delta breeze”, with 3 other divorced women, I looked up to see the unpleasantly charming face of my X on the gigantic screen, indicating to me that he was in the 2nd or 3rd row from the stage. Wow! I was looking for my son, who won the toss and got to sit with dad during the show. Sister was hanging in the cheap seats on a blanket with 4 old ladies. (It is okay, she rocked her little heart out!).
Some of you may be wondering how we all ended up at the same show. Well, this is the first time that has happened in the many years since we split. I got tickets because kids were with their dad that night and it was a school night. I didn’t figure I would run into any of them there. And, then kids asked to stay with me because dad was going to the show. And, then I gave dad a hard time about ditching his kids to attend his son’s favorite band’s show. And, then dad didn’t want to look like a douche, so he ponied up some lawn seats for the kids, so they could sit with me. I offered to take his good tickets (I had no idea how good they were at the time) so he could sit with his kids, he declined (yes, I try to be funny – all of the time). He also couldn’t get a date (even with great seats) and so “the toss” for the good seat.
I would like to start of by saying I am not bitter. Really. I am better. Way better. I will abbreviate for you, after 7 miserable years, 10 + court days and tens of thousands of dollars, the court set us “even.” We still are, according to the courts. I will spare you so many ridiculous details and sum up our differences this way, how is it that he can afford 2nd row seats and I feel “lucky” to be able to afford the $20 lawn seats? This is really the best way to show our divide. We are not even financially. We never will be. Every single one of my divorced friends is in a worse place financially since her divorce. All but one of these friends is in a worse place financially than her husband. And, the one? She is in the worst place, she pays him support – spousal and child while he works under the table for cash. She is a school teacher. He and his live-in gf have a new baby (really, Karma has already visited him) and live in her former 4000 sq foot home. She lives in a 1400 sq ft rental.
I was lucky. I had fantastic family and friends for financial and emotional support. So many women don’t. I know two are better than one and can leave cheaper together than individually but, in that case both should take a hit when the marriage is over. And, maybe both do. I mean, I could be biased. But, we are still not “even.” To be fair, I am leaps ahead of him in the categories that matter to me anyway, peace, happiness, and love. I enjoyed that money when I was with him. But, I enjoy so much more now. Because he isn’t there. It just pisses me off 8 ways from Sunday that women are the bigger “financial” losers in divorce situations. And, I don’t know how to fix it.
Do men and women cope differently? I was taking huge financial hits when I was losing everything else in my life: family, holidays, blah, blah. I had to recreate a whole new me. It just seems to be more difficult to deal with adversity when you are an emotional mess and have no idea how you are going to pay all of your bills this month. All a guy has to do is sleep with someone else and he is good…..