To begin, I’m no relationship expert. I’m a lesbian who has dated 2 men fairly seriously (one seriously enough to end up married to) and like one girl not really… It was interesting. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn some valuable things from my divorce from the Actor.
The biggest one has to be this: never let a person get in the way of your future. I don’t care how much you love them, at the end of the day your career can’t say they’re tired of you and leave. Sure you can get fired but your passion never leaves you. A person can. Going into my marriage I had this nagging feeling that I was going to end up taking care of everything and putting my dreams on the back burner so that the Actor could do what he wanted. It was a self fulfilling prophecy because you can guess what happened: I ended up working my long ass weeks and putting my writing aside so the Actor could try to go to auditions in Seattle. It only made me resent him more. If you find yourself, or think you’re going to find yourself, in a situation where you’re putting away your dreams and your future for another person LEAVE. No relationship is worth abandoning your goals. My challenge now will be finding someone I can be with while working on my goals. Maybe they even support me, that would be cool.
Alongside not abandoning your goals for a person is don’t abandon yourself for a person. The Actor and I are still friends to this day. Our divorce was more than amicable. Just the other day he told me that looking back it almost looks like I was in drag with my long hair and sad attempts at makeup to fit into the cis hetero married housewife world I was trying to fit myself into. Since separating and getting divorced I have explored and accepted myself as the non-binary homosexual human that I am, and I love it. I cannot even begin to explain how free and happy I’ve felt since allowing myself to be authentically me. I couldn’t do that when I was married. I was playing housewife with my long brown hair and dresses. Right now I have several flannels and suspenders in my closet and am in the process of dying my hair orange. And it goes way beyond my appearance. Even though I am greatly enjoying the single life I have taken some time to flirt with the ladies.
Relationships, marriage, and children are not the be all, end all goals of life. None of those things are for everyone. I knew when I was 14 that I didn’t want to have kids ever, and I’ve learned that a relationship doesn’t define who you are or your worth. Love is possibly one of the greatest things a human can do, but love comes in many different forms. Friendships, family, pets, not just a significant other.
Long story short: don’t let a relationship define you, take away from who you are, or take away from your future. You and all of your dreams absolutely come first.
Do I regret getting married? yes and no. I missed out on a lot in high school and college pretending to be perfect miss housewife who also was the breadwinner providing for the husband so he could chase his dream. There are a lot of experiences I missed and people who are only acquaintences who I feel I could have been deeper friends with had I had the time to develop those friendships instead of working and making sure our future was in order. But I also appreciate the lessons I learned from it. And in the end, I had an adventure, that’s what matters.