The second class: In this session, we talked about why each of our marriages failed and what we learned. Bill, Marty and I were the only men who did not have a cogent explanation as to why our marriages failed.
One man, Larry, was really pissed at his ex and said she left him for another man and she wanted sole custody of his children. “Can you imagine the nerve of that? I hate her, she’s a real bitch!” Everyone agreed. Jim, our instructor told Larry and all of us to “quit name-calling.” We agreed. It’s good advice. If you are in an intense argument, eliminate calling each other derogatory names. I know it sounds hard, but if you can start by doing that, you will recover faster.
I noticed many of the women used very harsh words when referring to their ex’s, and I could see that most of them detested their former spouses. I asked myself, “Are these people faithful Christians?”
Everything considered this class was helping me. I could feel a big weight lifted as I went to each class. Most of the women said they did not know their husbands towards the end of their marriages because “he changed.” Kay said this a lot until I finally asked, “Did he change or did you marry him knowing about his problems, but thought that you could fix him?”
“How dare you say that!” Kay retorted.
I heard that a lot throughout this class, and yes, I was proud of myself for asking that question.
Jim had some good points about the healing process.
One was to admit you were part of the marriage failure. Kay, who I affectionately called bullet woman, would not admit to this. Most of the women would not. But the men seemed okay with the idea.
One woman, Jane, kept saying, “Doesn’t it seem all of us have been wronged in this?”
“I feel this a little, but I know I had something to do with my divorce because I married her,” I said.
Jim smiled and agreed. He told everyone it’s very Catholic to blame someone else, then go to confession and forget about it. I realized most of the women wanted the men to feel pity for them. After all, they were victims. I became the “victim” until I realized that if I played this card long enough, I would remain that way for the rest of my life. Don’t we all play that card when we make a mistake and have too much pride to admit it? I was lucky to learn this priceless lesson early in my recovery.