Misery Poker After Divorce

2018-01-10T18:10:44+00:00

Divorce is Often Full of Misery.  That reality made the email I got from GiveMore.com this morning more meaningful.  This is a great site that encourages all of us to be optimistic, grateful and to do the right thing … in business mainly, but in life as well.  On that site today, they were selling little cards that said, “NO Excuses, No Drama, No Complaining”.  I thought that was simple, straightforward and would be good for all of us as we get farther past our divorce.

The message on that card also made me think of an article Elizabeth Bernstein wrote in the Wall Street Journal a while back entitled “Misery Poker.” Here’s a quote from that article.  “As times get tougher (I get like the times of divorce – my words), complaining starts to look more like a blood sport than a coping mechanism.”

If you’re on the road of midlife divorce recovery, you know more than you ever wanted to know about misery. The premise of Elizabeth Bernstein in the article mentioned above is that more and more people are complaining about their lot in life. We one-up a friend or acquaintance who mentions she’s had a hard day, or her job is terrible, or her spouse is clueless.

In our case, our situation is awful, horrendous, and in our opinion, worse than the situation of just about anyone we come in contact with. Married friends complain their husband won’t take out the trash. Friends complain that they have to give up their weekly manicure. We think to ourselves, “If they had any idea of what I’m facing, they wouldn’t be complaining! My wasband is having an affair with a 25 year old or taking his old girlfriend from high school to the Bahamas instead of me, I have to: sell my house, try to find a job to make ends meet, tell my kids we don’t have money for college this fall, take care of absolutely everything myself,” and on and on and on.

In the middle of this unwanted journey, we have a right to complain, and we can complain all we want to our therapist or a divorce recovery coach, a close friend, a family member or in the MDRcommunity. But just for today let’s listen to everyone else’s tale of woe and then reply with an encouraging thought or a suggestion of gratitude for something instead of saying, “You think that’s bad, listen to what I’ve been going through!”

Let’s just stop the cycle of complaining for today and think and say only uplifting, good, positive words. Let’s see what a difference that makes. Make a choice just for today to only say things that build others (and ourselves) up. Let’s all calmly lay down our cards in the Misery Poker game and politely “Pass.”

He’s something from the Bible that pretty appropriate to:  “Do everything without complaining and arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like stars in the universe…” Philippians 2:14-15

One good thing about the MDRcommunity is that by going there, you save your friends and family from your complaints and rants and raves.  The women in the community understand and know how you’re feeling.  They have been there.  They “get it” and they know that this isn’t your natural M.O.  (Modus Operandi) — your normal way of being.  But they are there to listen and encourage and commiserate with you if they need to.  We all need a place to vent so that when we are with those we love, we are more likely to keep a lid on our Miserable Divorce Poker hand!  Join us in the MDRcommunity.  Go to the home page at www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com and click on “CLICK HERE’ button under the MDRCommunity Login area.  You’ll find it as comforting as the rest of us!

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

One Comment

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