A Minute to Myself (33)
Looking at Marriage in a Glass Half-full/Half-empty Way

Divorcing for My Daughters

“Don’t ever let anyone speak to you the way your father speaks to me,” I said to my daughter as I hurriedly pulled out of the driveway, trying to distance myself, once again, from the site of so much pain. I tried to bore my message into her, and for her to keep in her mind, forever, how I looked right after being called a “bitch” or a “nothing” or a “piece of shit” by her father, by my “husband.” I hoped that this would be a message that she gets, and retains. I hoped that this would be a lesson that was strong enough to learn by watching how it unfolds in someone else’s life and not one that would need to be learned through her own life to truly comprehend.

“That is why I am divorcing your father,” I continued, stopping my mad driving for a moment, “because it is not alright for anyone to be spoken to like that. Because you need to know that I did not accept it. It is not okay for anyone to be treated that way, especially by your husband, especially by the person who has said that he loves you—that is not love. And the things that he calls me, they are not just words; it is a whole set of behaviors whose manifestation is in the utterance of those words. Neither the attitude nor the manifestations should be belittled—as no woman should be belittled by anyone—ANYONE.” Okay, that last part I didn’t manage to sputter out, but I wish I had. And it was there, there in my words, there in the tears of rage and hurt that dropped as I drove her to wherever it was that we were going.

And as she looked out the window, my daughter who was then ten, was, I hope, able to see that this was not about her mother and her father, both of whom she loves and needs to love and be loved by, but about one person being wrongly treated by another person. And about one person trying to get the hurt to stop. And about one person who keeps inflicting pain on another person. And about how this is not a strange version of love but the lack of love. I so hope that she sat there thinking, “NO ONE WILL EVER SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT. I WILL NEVER LET ANYONE SAY THOSE THINGS TO ME. I WISH I COULD GET MY FATHER TO STOP HURTING MY MOTHER.”

* * *



Did we marry the same man???????????

And, did you copy the conversations I have had with my own two daughters?? (Do NOT let a man talk to you the way your dad talks to me.)



So if we both married the same man, does that mean we are members of the FLDS?

Since I don't have sons, I am trying to reach my male students so that they know that words do batter and matter. And I am trying to reach my female students to respect themselves so that they will not put up with put-downs.

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