Divorce Article - 4 Huge Mistakes I Made As A Wife (I'm the Ex-Wife Now)

The article 4 Huge Mistakes I Made As A Wife (I’m the Ex-Wife Now) by Sloane Bradshaw appeared on the Huffington Post. In less than 24 hours it had 26K likes on Facebook and over 500 user comments. This one really struck a nerve with people in terms of the topic, and perhaps specifically what the author was saying. We are providing some thoughts on this article. We do not know the author or anything behind what she is saying. And any information we provide is an opinion.

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Part of of discussing this is as a reminder to not believe the parts of the story you hear. There are other sides and pieces which you may not be getting. In fact even within this article it appears the author herself, in a strange way, admits that some of what she is saying may not be the whole story.

The article begins with the author saying her 10 year marriage ended when her husband cheated and “walked out on her.”

Here’s what we don’t like. The article immediately starts out painting her husband as the bad guy. Anything reading this will go in with a skewed mind-set with the author as the victim. However she then goes to explain how she painted her ex as a bad guy to herself, and everyone around her, to avoid her admitting that she was also responsible for the relationship ending. It wasn’t until a therapist pointed this out that she started doing some soul searching.

The author then tries to break the reasons for her divorce into 4 categories. Here are the categories with our own commentary. If you read only the article headline and the bolded sentences you might miss some of the key insights into the author, and what really may have happened.

1. “I Put My Children First.” Reading this headline you might think the author was saying she put the needs of her kids above her own needs. However if you read the article you may walk away with a different impression. Per the article she preferred spending time with her kids rather than with her husband. Therefore that’s where she decided to spend her time. She makes it seem that being with her husband isn’t positive, while being with her kids was wonderful. Yet rather than try to make life with her husband better she chose to simply avoid it. Based on her own words it sounds like she stopped caring about fixing her marriage and instead decided to just let it fade out. Learning lesson here may be to determine what’s best, and doing it even though it could be hard work. A lot of people realize their relationship is going to take a lot of work before it gets better. Though some may decide they’d rather focus on other things that brings more instant gratification.

What’s interesting is how she claims this is about “putting her children first” when really that sentence may simply be to make her sound better than she is. A more honest sentence might have been “I didn’t like being with my husband and rather than fixing it, I avoided him. And yes I liked being with my kids.”

One of the article commenters made this point as well. The commentor said “LOL! She didn’t put her children first.. what a load of ****. By her own words, she used her children as a barrier between them both in order to keep him away from her emotionally, physically and sexually.”

2. “I Didn’t Set (or enforce) boundaries with my Parents.” The author says what you may expect here – she let her parents have a high level of control and input into her relationship, and her time. This is interesting because she never explained how that actually impacted the marriage. For some younger couples more interaction with their parents could be a good thing. They can help babysit, give parenting advice, provide financial support, etc. Still, for any couple with parents it can be easy to see how important boundaries are. You want to talk with your partner about how much you as a family want to be around your parents, get their input, etc. And this is an evolving part of any relationship. Some couples may want more help at the very beginning, and will let it taper off as the kids get older.

3. “I emasculated him.” This one is interesting. The author makes herself sound like a very unhappy person with low self esteem. She therefore worked hard to hurt her husband emotionally as much as she could in order to raise herself up. The end result, them getting a divorce, shows this is not the way to have a healthy or happy relationship. And putting others down to raise yourself up doesn’t work.

The author describes how she told her husband about every mistake he was making. Yes honestly is important and we should be open with our partners. However that doesn’t mean simply telling them everything you think they are doing wrong. Sometimes people need to focus on the end results, and not so much on how they got there. Overall sounds like there were larger issues at play and this was simply a symptom.

4. “I didn’t bother to learn to fight the right way.” She makes it sound like she decided to not fight at all when it came to things which were bothering her. Instead she would be quiet and let decisions be made without her input. And instead of fighting she would go along with things. We agreed that keeping emotions and feelings bottled up is not a healthy long-term goal. You should be able to speak your mind and express your opinions with your partner.

In this case though her point here seems to contradict what she said in point 3, which was she was pointing out all his mistakes, which we can assume were bothering her. So we aren’t sure if she was too vocal, or not enough. Maybe she was actually was too much at some times, and not at others. The article doesn’t really help explain this as well as we would have liked.

Overall the author seems to have written the article in a way that is cathartic, but also not completely genuine. She could have been more honest about why the relationship ended. The first point being a good example. She didn’t put her kids first – she put herself first though wouldn’t admit it even when she was trying to be honest. Still, we appreciate her for starting the discussion and being somewhat honest with her thoughts.

Side note: She wrote a different article where she says near the very beginning “Fine, I’ll admit it: I’m bitter. But so what? Consider this part of my therapy.” This may actually help the reader understand what’s really going on here.

And the article is good to get the conversations started, but it doesn’t do enough to discuss how things could have been better. She essentially explains why a plane crashed, but doesn’t give any tips on how to make the next flight safer. That may have been a better, and more helpful, article to read.

Overall based on the social media buzz around this divorce it seems she is getting traction in terms of people reading and talking about the article. Perhaps we will see her on a talk show or a book tour in the near future. If that happens we hope she will be more honest about what happened, and can turn this from a “what went wrong” into a “learning lessons” discussion.

Due to client confidentiality we can’t say if this resonates with any of our clients in terms of why they got divorced. Our Family Law office has dealt with divorces for a number of reasons. Sometimes in the middle of a divorce they will decide to get back together. And other times the couple never wants to speak again. All marriages and divorces are different. Perhaps though people talking about it will help others learn about their own relationship. Any comments expressed here are purely opinion.

Link to the original article in the Huffington Post.