Smug married life advice

The stuff that gets under my skin surprises me sometimes.

I made the mistake of clicking on an article slamming Barnaby Joyce and Karl Stefanovic over the weekend that started off by saying: “Husbands need to learn not to take everything from their wives and run.”

I don’t know Barnaby or Karl and I’m not sure I’d particularly like them if I did, but the article annoyed me a lot.

It went on to say: “Men like Barnaby Joyce and Karl Stefanovic take, take, take from their wives.

“They’ve accepted the sacrifices, been absent from family life while the women hold down the fort. They’ve waited until their wives have nothing more to give, then they’ve ditched them and they’re now prepared to take, take, take from new women.”

Oh puhlease! Way to over simplify a marriage break up, especially when you don’t actually know what went on behind closed doors.

At first I thought the author had been screwed over by her husband and was going to reveal all the pain and suffering it had caused. But no, it turned out to be an article about how her fabulous partner did give back by becoming a house husband for a few years.

And that made me feel even more ripped off. Smug married life advice is my totes fave.

I was probably supposed to think “oh, isn’t it wonderful that there are good husbands in the world who don’t leave their wives, but instead become house husbands so their beloved can have their own chance to shine in their careers.”

But I found the article deeply unsatisfying because it was so “pat” and neatly boxed up. Life is rarely like that.

I should be all ra-ra about the author’s message. Yeah! How dare they leave their wives!

After all, I was left.

But I don’t feel that way.

Relationships end.

They end whether husbands give back or wives shine or affairs do or don’t happen.

And, while it’s really tough for kids when their parents break up, it’s also not easy for them when their mum and dad stay together in an unhappy marriage.

Barnaby and Karl’s wives have every right to be angry about the betrayal and the humiliation they’ve suffered. That is AWFUL.

I hope their husbands remembered they had spines and tried to fix what was broken before they left, but I don’t know the ins and outs of their private life.

I do know that holding onto fury for years after a marriage ends isn’t healthy. And dwelling on what your ex should or shouldn’t have done is pointless. It can’t be changed. It’s over.

Work through the anger and walk away. Get on with your life. Make it a fabulous one.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference and all that jazz.

I’m also a bit over the stereotype that it’s always the “bad” husband who has the affair. Plenty of unhappily married women have affairs too. I’m sure there are lots of ex-husbands who think their ex-wives took, took, took until they had nothing left to give. Where are the ranting headlines about them?

I hate how we constantly paint women as victims. I don’t like the message we’re sending to our daughters. How about we celebrate women who take charge of their destiny? Women like that amazing teen Emma Gonzalez, who addressed the rally following the Florida high school massacre.

“No more BS!”

She’s my new hero. Incredible.

You’ve probably seen this quote doing the rounds:

It’s true. Finding the strength to put yourself back together differently and embracing the new is the key to a happier you. Not dwelling on the crappy hand you’ve been dealt by the ex-husband you’re probably better off without.

Does that make me sound like a smug unmarried?

Song of the day: M People “Movin on up”


3 thoughts on “Smug married life advice

  1. Yep. None of it’s pretty, but more importantly, it’s none of my business. I am too busy trying to get my own shit together to spend a second worrying about who is keeping what in their pants.

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