I’m sorry to hear that

October 23, 2008

Don’t be.  I’m not. It’s for the best.

The most common reaction when I tell people I’m divorced is for people to tell me they are sorry.  And my most common response is “Don’t be, it’s for the best.”  And then they look at you like, how can being a single mother be for the best?  How can a dissolution of marriage be for the best?

I got married almost 12 years ago.  The first time ex cheated on me was 9 months into the marriage.  I was flying home to see my parents.  He took me to the airport, dropped me off at departures, drove around and picked up his ex-girlfriend who was flying in to visit.  I didn’t find out until about a year later but I stayed.

Looking back I have asked myself so many times why I stayed.  When I would wake up in the middle of the night and he was gone.  I still stayed.  When I knew he was having his girlfriend over while I was at work.  I still stayed.  When he got another woman pregnant.  I still stayed. 

I stayed much longer than I should have.  There are reasons, excuses really, things I’ve learned about myself but they aren’t the point of this post.  My ex was a cheater.  And the result was my life was miserable.  I wasn’t perfect, that’s not what I’m saying.  There were things that we could have worked on in counseling.  Here is the problem.  We tried counseling.  The last time we tried we weren’t living together anymore and ex was continuing to see the other woman.  We didn’t have a chance.

I’m not saying that divorce is always the answer.  Marriage is hard, you have to work at it.  I get that.  But there are also time when one person makes poor choices and continues to make poor choices.  And you reach a point where those choices can no longer be ignored, the consequences must be dealt with.  Even today ex offers no apologies for the cheating.  And I have quit expecting him to be remorseful.  I have quit asking why?  There isn’t an answer.  Or there isn’t an answer he can admit to himself and therefore to me.

It happened.  I was married to a cheater.  And I finally reached my breaking point.  I finally stood up and said “Enough.  Sign the papers.  I’m done.”  And it was.

I began to look back and answer the question of why I stayed for so long with a man who treated me so poorly.  I began finding myself, the me I liked.  I began to heal.  And I found closure.

So I understand why you say you’re sorry.  But maybe now you understand why I say I’m not.



  1. I too would say I’m sorry but not because your marriage didn’t work out but because you were hurt. So many women aren’t strong enough to leave.

  2. I would have said “Congratulations” – I’m one of the ones not strong enough to get out yet…but I’m getting there.

  3. I love this. And I love you.

  4. Damnn I’m sorry. Sometimes people don’t understand the depths of their addictions (yeah I consider cheating an addiction). Sometimes they can never recover and you were smart enough not to stick around to find out.

    Plus you can always say you tried your hardest.

  5. This is an amazing post. Amazing. I’m sitting here at my computer beaming with pride right now!

    People tell me they’re sorry all of the time. But then within one split second, I swear – they can see in my eyes that I’m VERY happy about that fact. The divorce fact.

    And it shocks some of them. But we are finally free. That, I believe, is the mark of a single mother who made the right decision. She’s at peace with that decision and knows within every inch of her body that it was the right one for her child.

    A sight to see… I LOVE it.

    Thanks again and congratulations on finally leaving him.

  6. I understand you perfectly and say bravo to you for stanidn up to him,finding yourself and embracing the wonderful woman you are. I have chronic pain and have to wear a narcotic patch on my arm and oftentimes, when asked what it is for (People are nosy!)people will tragicly respond with *I am so sorry*. I understand why they may feel that way but it doesn’t bode well with me as I want to feel empowered by all that I have overcome not befuddled with my past….

  7. P.S. Just found your blog and added you to my google reader – I love it! Hope you swing by mine!

  8. I also love this post. So honest. My ex has similar issues, and after we were over, people used to say “I’m sorry” to me all the time.

    I guess people don’t know what to say. I would rather have heard, “If you ever need anything — even just to share a cup of tea — please call.”

    All the mothers in my moms’ group dropped out of the picture, except for two, who remain my friends. I think they were so uncomfortable. Change can be uncomfortable.

    Thanks for this!

  9. I’ve been down this road


    I’m not sorry… I’m just a bit sad. But soon enough that shall pass too.

  10. Memories….Of you sitting in my kitchen in front of a plate of french fries talking about some guy or other that that was so cute and you were so happy and bubbly and YOU. Then more memories…Of you on the phone or sitting in that same spot crying your eyes out because you were so unhappy. I am so happy that YOU are returning. And I hope he gets what he deserves and his shit shrivels up and falls off. Hey…It’s bound to happen. All the funk you can’t wash off from all those hoochies is bound to get caught in all of the uh…*cough*…wrinkles… and fester.

  11. […] “I’m sorry to hear that,” after you inform them that you are a single mother, read this post by Little Country […]

  12. “Don’t say you’re sorry. I’m not.” is what I have written at the very top of my bio. http://hjesq70.googlepages.com/home Great minds and all!! What could be worse than being diovrced and raising a child as a single mom? Well for one, staying in a marriage where my son listens to his father scream and yell all the time and call his mother a slut, a whore, and a spoiled American bitch on a daily basis. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d say that’s worse. So cheers to all of us who had enough strength and common sense to cut our loses and move on to greener pastures!!

  13. We speak the SAME language! It is SO for the best! We live…we LEARN and then we keep on LIVING (Happier & Stronger)!

    Keep smiling! :O)

  14. I used to HATE it when people would say this!!!! I never got it!!!

    And like when I said “no its totally cool I left” – they would look at me like I just crawled out from old cheese!!!!!!!

    Since the second I left I have no been sorry one single day!

  15. I’ve actually never heard that response. Generally people just look at me in horror, as if the mother of 2 young children couldn’t possibly be divorced!

  16. I love how you said you’re finding the you that you like. I feel the same way. Looking back at my marriage, I don’t like the person I was when I was married to my ex. I like myself better now.

  17. I know exactly what you mean! (I’m here via Ms. Single Mama.) Throughout most of my marriage, I kept waiting for X to show up and be a dad, be a husband. But he never did. The wait is over.

  18. OOOOOOOOHHHHHH totally!!! Even now, three years later, I get that “I’m so sorry.” And I always smile and go “I’m not!” People don’t know how to react to that. I do have some people that say “I’m sure it was hard to go through, but you seem really happy with the divorce!” and I’m like YEAH BABY!.

  19. Hmm, I’m sorry people actually say they’re sorry.

    Admittedly, I’ve had that said to me before. I always respond with, “You should say you’re sorry to HIM; I’m the one he lost.”

  20. I love this post…I’ve tried a million times to explain it to people and you said it so well. I didn’t find out that my ex was cheating on me until after we split but he was an alcoholic and abusive. He didn’t want to be a husband or a father. I spent every night apologizing to my babies and making excuses trying to tell them that Daddy really does love us. Trying to explain why he said and did such mean things and why his temper was so scary. When my 4 year old asked me if “lazy” was a nice word or an ugly word and what “bitch” means, I knew this was not the life I wanted for them. I wonder if it had been just me if I would have had the strength to leave or if I would have stuck around making excuses and blaming myself. I couldn’t bear to make my children grow up in that environment though. And when it was time to go, I had no doubts and no remorse, no second thoughts, no regrets. When people tell me they’re sorry, I always respond with “Don’t be. I’m not.” and they don’t know how to take that. It’s not sarcasm or anything like that…it’s the truth. I’d like to say “Why weren’t you sorry when I was living in an abusive relationship for 7 years? Why are you sorry now that I’m finally free and healthy and happy?” but that would probably be worse.

  21. lilcyndiluwho, were you and I married to the same man? 😉 I thought I was the only slut/whore/spoiled American bitch!

  22. […] “I’m sorry to hear that,” after you inform them that you are a single mother, read this post by Little Country […]

  23. I say the EXACT same thing …

  24. I have goosebumps…because I’m witnessing the most amazing community of single warriors…women EMPOWERED! The strength that exists by those who have overcome amazes me.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post. :O)

    Thanks to MsSingleMama for giving us directions to here.

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