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7 Divorced Women Give Advice on What to Know Before Marriage

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7 divorced women and their advice on what you need to know before marriage is an important one for me. While researching on a topic i stumbled on the most realistic piece i had ever seen on advice given by divorced women on what to consider before getting married. This will truly help you and your partner get the best perspective on where your marriage is or what went wrong. The credits on this piece go to Ms. Ella Quittner.

In pursuit of good advice, I spoke with seven individuals who’ve seen matrimony from all angles: women who got married and then divorced. I asked about life as a legally bound couple, and what they think one should consider before becoming part of one themselves. A few things quickly became clear: honesty and trust are paramount, inorganic personal growth from a partner is non-negotiable and nothing can beat knowing yourself.

Here’s what they had to say.


On the Decision to Get Married—and What They Wish They’d Thought About

“I wish I’d thought about my life 20 years down the road. We both were in a deeply religious lifestyle at the time, and the community we lived in celebrated marriage, so we stepped into it quickly. I had spoken about my hopes and dreams to my future spouse multiple times; I wish I hadn’t assumed he carried those dreams, too. Maybe I interpreted love as an automatic sharing of dreams for one another? My assumption that my dreams would be equally prioritized is something I regret.”
—Beth*, 31, tech operations, New York (married at 20, divorced at 29)

“The relationship was six years long at [the time we decided to get married], it seemed like the logical next step. Graduate school and kids were on the radar next. I wish I would’ve dated more in my 20s, lived life solo longer, and been pickier. I wish I would’ve listened to my gut and not said ‘yes’ (but I didn’t know how to then, and women are often programmed in our society to ignore their gut).”
—Rebecca, 41, full-time mother, Oregon (married at 29, divorced at 40)

“I was 20 when I got engaged to a then 34-year-old, which gave me some kind of dangerously inflated ego. I thought I was so special for being one of the first of my peers to embark on this life event, and mature for my age because I was engaged to a much-older man. I wish I knew then that there are more important and validating things to aspire to than marriage, and the bragging rights I thought I earned as a young bride were overrated.”
—Carrie, 27, illustrator, painter & tattoo apprentice, Amsterdam (married at 23, divorced at 24)

“We had been dating for more than a year, he was 32, and it seemed at the time to be the next logical step in the relationship. Both of us being children of immigrants, World War II survivors, our goal was to please our parents—have successful marriages, careers, and children who would, of course, then repeat this pattern. I wish I’d thought about myself and not about what my parents wanted. I wish I’d felt less obligated to others and I wish I’d cared less about what my larger community thought.”
—Pia, 57, writer & executive director of a non-profit, California (married at 27, divorced at 50)

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“I was three months pregnant, and I’d been raised in a strict Catholic family. The idea of anything besides marriage wasn’t fathomable. And I wasn’t thinking past the fairytale of the wedding day—there was a blindness of how hard it would be in real life. I was focused on the fairytale: we can be anyone, do anything, raise a baby.”
—Lauren*, 50, entrepreneur, California (married at 24, divorced at 25)

“It was a semi-arranged marriage. We’d met over the phone and had been introduced by a family contact, and we talked over the phone for a couple of months, but we lived in different countries. And then we basically met and decided. It happened pretty quickly. At the time, I felt like it was the right thing to do. I was thinking about someone who was kind and generous, and who was easy to talk to, and who was interested in me, and someone I thought would be a good parent. Someone who had the same religion or was interested in the same cultural activities as me. But sometimes those similarities you may have—food, culture, religion—may not translate to the way people view the world or more defined roles in a marriage or communication styles, which turned out to be very important.”
—Neesha*, 53, mental health professional, Washington (married in early 20s, divorced in late 20s)

On How Their Relationships Changed After Marriage

“We turned inward. Less reliance on friends and more (too much) time with each other. Our world got smaller and our activities mostly with each other.”
—Rebecca, 41

“Complacency. He thought our married fate was sealed and subsequently stopped putting in work and I stopped asking him to. I thought silence was easier than fighting, but I was wrong.“
—Carrie, 27

“The level of responsibility we faced and discovering how unprepared we were for it. How we needed to be responsible to each other, then to a business and then to our children. It was stunning. What changed was we didn’t have fun anymore, we didn’t know how—we hadn’t had the example—to step away from work and enjoy life and each other alongside our responsibilities.”
—Pia, 57

“Respect. That changed the quickest and the most. Our marriage kind of fell apart close to the beginning. In that situation, it was related to the fact that we really didn’t know each other, and both of us went in with different expectations. We didn’t spend appreciable time together before getting married.”
—Neesha, 53

“Me, [I changed]. I grew into myself, developed feminist values, and began to feel trapped in a life I chose as a 20 year old. All of a sudden, my status as being half of a ‘power couple’ dynamic felt suffocating and I began to get more and more frustrated with not being truly heard.”
——Tiffany, 33, Innovation Management, Sweden (married at 22, divorced at 33)

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On What They Wish They’d Known About Their Partners—and Themselves—Before Getting Married

“That you can change no one except yourself. That the problems before marriage only amplify after marriage, especially kids. I wish I paid attention to my ex not being proactive or interested in self-growth or growth in the relationship. I wish I knew that most relationship problems stem from wounded inner-child problems, and both partners have to be committed to acknowledging and working on them.”
—Rebecca, 41

“Can I say I wish I knew how capable [my partner] was at living a secret life while presenting the personality of the ‘dream man to be married to’? I was married so young, partly for love and partly because of the fear of going through life alone. I wish I could sit with 19-year-old Beth now and let her know that the strength and bravery she is often ‘teased’ for (because in that religious community, women were not meant to be brave and strong) was actually something to celebrate—and it would carry her toward all her dreams if she stepped forward into them. That I don’t need a partner to make sure I am okay along the way.”
—Beth*, 31

“It wasn’t a matter of wishing what I knew—I did know, so it was a matter of knowing and ignoring. Today we call that ‘red flags.’ I know that each time I saw one of these flags, I remember exactly what I told myself in order to convince myself the behavior wasn’t a big deal, or it was related to a specific event that wouldn’t occur again. I wish I knew that I was enough as I was: curious, entrepreneurial, beautiful, funny, intelligent, and insightful. I wish I knew that I could trust myself, and that I was more than my appearance, more than what others thought of me—I was my depth of experience, even just in my mid-to-late twenties.”
—Pia, 57

“I wish I knew I was strong enough at the time. I would have kept that child and done it on my own—I wish I knew I didn’t have to get married. I was strong enough a year and a half later to say this isn’t working and I’m going to stand up and walk away—which was a lot harder, to break up a family.”
—Lauren, 50

On the Most Unexpected Parts of Marriage

“How hard it is to be with that one person day after day, tackling all the obstacles, managing time, money, energy levels, kids’ needs, our own needs. I never knew it would be so hard to work with someone and I never knew that there would be days that I would hate my partner. It is messy to be human and it is messy to do it with another and with kids.”
—Pia, 57

“The ability to lose one’s identity—I became a shell of a human always been known as ‘Beth plus…’ instead of ‘Beth.’ I haven’t ever thought of my career in connection to my relationship status, but in fact, at the beginning of my career life, I was drawn to a career that complimented the marriage I was in. I was heavily accommodating to allow my partner to chase his career dreams and then I would adjust my timeline/career accordingly. Later on in the marriage as I grew older and took steps away from a belief system that taught me ‘to love my spouse was to serve my spouse,’ I was able to dream of a career in business and step outside of my comfort zone.”
—Beth*, 31

“The extended family dynamic, and how much it impacts your life. To say he had an unhealthy relationship with [his parents] would be an understatement. I knew this going into our marriage, but I didn’t know how much of this burden I would take on.”
—Tiffany, 33

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“I think the strangest thing is it’s pretty boring. It’s the mundanity of everyday life. When you make a house together and throw in a baby, you think it’s going to be all picket fences and Christmas trees, but it can become monotonous.”
—Lauren, 50

On the Best Parts of Marriage

“A partnership is beautiful when it’s done well. The joy of being fully ‘known’ by someone doesn’t require marriage, but often sits deep within a marriage.”
—Beth*, 31

“The family moments. Those moments when our kids would do something amazingly quirky and we would look at each other with that, ‘OMG, how did we create this perfect creature?” look. Or when he would play the banjo and the kids would dance while I knitted or wrote, or did something that looked like I was occupied with anything other than sheer joy, pride, and love. I still miss those moments. We both have new partners now, who, I am confident love our kids, but it’s not the same feeling—I can’t explain it and I think I’ll miss our little family in some way, all my life.”
—Tiffany, 33

“Our youthful enthusiasm and delight about this little human we’d created.”
—Lauren, 50

On Sex and Marriage

“I wish I knew how important sexual compatibility is, and that it won’t change after marriage. If partners aren’t on the same page with regard to frequency, what they like, if they enjoy it, that’s not going to change with marriage, kids. So find someone who is aligned with those important needs.”
—Rebecca, 41

“The best drug in the world is new exciting people, new exciting sex, and the beginnings of something new. You can’t match it. Even in the best relationships, it’s going to go away. Once you’re married, and if you choose to have children especially, of course sex is going to change. You’re exhausted, there are kids in the house. You could be married to Brad Pitt. After some years, he’s just your guy. Over time, the companionship aspect, someone you want to snuggle up on the couch with and just eat takeout with, is completely normal and what we’re all craving.”
—Lauren, 50

Advice for Anyone Currently Married

“If you’re fighting for your marriage to survive, don’t be ashamed to go to a professional, and early. Even if your therapy visits are sporadic, it can be so helpful and validating to have a new set of eyes and ears in the room with you and your spouse. Open-mindedness is key, however, and you might hear some things about yourself that you don’t want to. Just trust that your partner and your therapist are well-intentioned.”
—Carrie, 27

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“I think that what’s really important is to be true to yourself, and to not feel like your happiness is because of the other person, or that the other person has to make you happy. Everyone has to take their own personal responsibility. Not blaming your partner is also really important—not using that concept of blame, but figuring out ways to work together to achieve your goals. Aligning your goals is the other thing: how to achieve them together. And doing fun things together. Laughing together, being kind to each other.”
—Neesha, 53

Advice for Anyone Considering Marriage

“Pause and ask yourself why are you doing this. Many of us don’t take that moment to ask the why and allow yourself permission to not do it if you don’t want.”
—Beth*, 31

“Date a lot. Make your list and don’t settle. Your relationship to yourself is most important—you have to make you happy; do your emotional work and take care of you.”
—Rebecca, 41

“First, talk a lot about money, what it means to you. Talk about your parents’ marriages and what you learned from them. Talk about family trauma, secrets, your own trauma—be honest with each other and slowly build a good foundation on which to place your marriage and build from there.”
—Pia, 57

“I have no qualms about the institution of marriage, or the notion of committing oneself to a partner, but always remember that nothing is static. You’re allowed to change your mind, and so are they. The underlying sentiment of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter, should never be rooted in ownership.”
—Carrie, 27

“People should listen to their loved ones more. Oftentimes, in most cases of divorce I see, it’s not uncommon to hear ‘my mom told me…’ or ‘my best friend told me…’ or ‘this person warned me…’ [and regret at not having listened]. It’s helpful to listen to the people who really know us. Judgement can be rather cloudy when you’re dealing with sex and love and desire.”
—Lauren, 50

“Know yourself as much as possible, and be open to discussing the hard conversations. Was it on Man Repeller that I read the idea of renegotiating your relationship every year? I love that. Someone once told me that marriage should feel like a free choice every day, that you’re not bound to the person, but you choose each day to be with him or her.”
—Tiffany, 33

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*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

 

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ENTERTAINMENT

Kipchoge Breaks Own Marathon World Record

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Double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has broken his own men’s marathon world record at Sunday’s race in Berlin.

The 37-year-old Kenyan crossed the line in a time of two hours, one minute and nine seconds, to beat by 30 seconds his previous best, set four years ago in the German capital city.

He had previously taken one minute 20 seconds off compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 record of 2:02.57 in Berlin.

Kipchoge had played down his chances of a world record in the build up.

“I am happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast because of the teamwork. Everything is down to teamwork,” he said.

“What motivates me is my family and I want to inspire young people. Sport unites people and that is what motivates me.”

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On an overcast day in Berlin, Kipchoge, who has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, ran the first half of the 26.2-mile race in 59 minutes, 51 seconds, prompting thoughts that he may become the first runner to break the two-hour mark in an official race

He has run a marathon in under two hours, in Vienna in 2019. However, that was not recognised as the official world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.

When asked whether he would attempt a sub-two hour run in Berlin next year, Kipchoge replied: “Let us plan for another day.

“I will celebrate this record and have to realise what happens. Just roll and see what happens.”

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AFRICA

AICC: Egyptian Grandmasters Dominate Tourney

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With just two rounds left to play, top Nigerian chess players have dropped out in the ranking at the on-going African Individual Chess Championship holding at the Orchid Hotel in Lekki, Lagos.

Although Nigerian players showed shade of genius in the battle field as the tournament reached its climax on Sunday night, the Egyptian who are higher rated players dominate play with Adly Ahmed (African number 2) and Woman Grandmaster Wafa Shahenda leading the pack of other players in both Open and Women sections.

Both have consolidated their lead in the competition, as every win counts to games 4 and 5.

WGM Wafa trounced her Angolan opponent, Woman International Master Esperanca Caxita, in a Sicilian opening with black mostly dominating the game right from the middle play.

The Egyptian WGM is all but a massive one point ahead of the pack leading into the final rounds starting this morning.

While the Egyptian masters are dominating play, credit also goes to some Nigerians raising their heads to be countedNigeria Youth Games product, Onoja Iyefu Joy continues to show resilience and determination to earn her first chess title and create a record while at it.

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She had on Saturday continued her fine run of form by scoring an entire point against Paulo Jemima to register the second position on the ranking table with 9 points. A win in the 7th round will help Joy secure a Woman International Master Title.

WIM (elect) Ofowino Toritsemuwa bettered her AICC Tunisia 2019 record, and she is bound to create a new one as she takes on WGM Wafa in the seventh round.

Toritsemuwa currently shares second place with her compatriot, Iyefu Onoja, both holding 4.5 points, hence making the 7th game point as crucial for the player.

In the Open section, 20-year-old Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus is pulling his weight. He scored an outstanding 4.5 points after six games, but it is not about the score, somewhat the opponents; defeating 1 GM, 2 IMs, and three draws against two IMs and FM, the youngster will get his chance at GM Adly in the seventh round.

With a half point behind the tournament leader, African Number 1–GM AminBassem landed his second consecutive win after the drawn game with compatriot GM Ahmed Adly, demonstrating he still stands a chance to catch up and maybe win the tournament.

Bassem faces IM David Silva of Angola in the seventh round, who had to offer a draw to his opponent in the sixth round due to health issues. We hope he’s gotten his strength back for this crucial game.

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The tournament ends tomorrow with Maltina and Gulder are among the top sponsor of the event.

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AFRICA

Don’t vote for ‘killers’ in 2023 elections – ex-President Jonathan urges Nigerian youths

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A former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has urged Nigerians not to elect “killers” in the 2023 general elections.

Mr Johnathan stated this on Sunday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during a thanksgiving service to mark the 35th anniversary of the state.

Mr Johnathn and his wife, Patience, were the special guests of honour at the service which was also attended by the governor of his home state — Bayelsa — Douye Diri.

“In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers. Those who carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society.

“If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader and the people will continue to suffer.”

The former president said he has monitored the growth of Akwa Ibom, adding that he has been visiting the state at least once a year since he joined the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, now Niger Delta Development Commission, in 1994 as an assistant director.

While thanking the youth of the state for not vandalising infrastructure, the former president recalled how some people sabotaged his development efforts in the power sector by using arc saws to fell towers because they wanted Nigeria to remain in darkness.

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Mr Johnathan said the election of the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, should teach politicians a good lesson, especially those who doubted Mr Emmanuel’s ability to manage “human beings”.

Governor Emmanuel was an executive director at Zenith Bank before he was appointed Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, a position he later resigned from to vie for the governorship of the state which he won in 2015.

Akwa Ibom is ‘strong national story’ – Gov Emmanuel

Earlier in his speech, Mr Emmanuel thanked the people of the state for their support and described this year’s state anniversary as his last as the state governor.

The governor said Akwa Ibom has become a state with a “strong national story and a sparkling destination of choice for Nigerians and others around the world”.

He appreciated the people for the choice of “Moving Forward,” as the theme of the celebrations but also reminded them that in “moving forward we have to also look back.”

He referenced Joseph, a Biblical figure who later became the Prime Minister of Egypt and added that the children of Israel suffered because of Joseph’s mistake.

“Joseph made a mistake in Egypt when he was about to go, he did not look at the issue of who succeeded him and that is why the children of Israel suffered.

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“If you are a God-sent man you must also learn. I’ve learnt from what Joseph did and today we went back to God and I want to appreciate all Akwa Ibomites because a man after God’s heart will come after another man after God’s heart,” Mr Emmanuel said.

He promised to complete before leaving office next year, the international worship centre that his administration is building in the state.

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AFRICA

Knocks, Kudos as Peter Obi promises 100m poor Nigerians ‘access to free medical care’

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Mixed reactions have trailed the promise by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, stating that his administration will prioritise the welfare of the poor Nigerians if elected.

Obi said youths would be the proponent of his agenda to transform the economy.

“If elected the next president of Nigeria, youths would be the main proponents of my main agenda to transform Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. The two main components of this agenda are human capital development and finance.”

Obi further said health and education are vital to the development of the country, promising to ensure “at least 100 million poor Nigerians have access to free medical care”.

“Given the role of health in reinforcing education in the measure of productivity, my leadership will pay serious attention to the health system by ensuring that at least 100 million poor Nigerians have access to free medical services through an integrated health insurance scheme.”

Obi’s promise which has gone viral, generated divergent reactions on social media platforms.

While some supporters of Obi believed the promise made by their candidate is possible, they argued in support that the country is buoyant enough to take care of citizens’ medical care.

Reacting, a Twitter user; @el_bonga posited: “Peter Obi governed Anambra State for 8 years and he couldn’t provide the state— probably less than 10 million— with free healthcare but he wants to give free medical care to 100 million Nigerians. Interestingly, under his watch, Doctors went on a 13-month strike in Anambra in 2013.”

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Favour Abdalla Destiny said: “The problem is not to vote; the problem is that they know how to promise and after election they will forget all.”

kingharzyz1 argued: “How is this possible? Can you even do free medical care for carcinoma patients alone? Aspirants need to start telling us “How”.

Another user @tha_niel said: “Affordable healthcare is different from free healthcare. Affordable is realistic because the beneficiaries wld contribute an amount. We cannot have a subsidised economy yet. Except when we begin to efficiently recognise all revenues and apply subsidies where it’s needed.”

Oluwashola @Sholexx_ said: “Health is very expensive. Even in the US, you can’t get free medical healthcare due to the cost. What you can get anywhere in the world is subsidised healthcare via health insurance. He should be realistic with his electoral promises.”

Defending Obi’s promise, @drpenking stated that: “Peter Obi said that 100m Nigerians will have access to free medical care and you people think it’s not possible. In Akwa Ibom State there has been free medical care for elderly, children and pregnant women. Our country is rich enough to do these things. Politicians just refuse it”

@urchilla01 said: “This is why I’ve always said that this election should be about antecedents. There’s nothing Peter Obi says he’ll do that he didn’t do as Governor. This is the famous “Anambra ANIDS card” with which students, disabled, & elderly accessed free health care in govt hospitals. ‘

“Under Peter Obi’s Government. When we say #GoAndVerify verify, it is because we fear not for what you will find. Our principal na talk & do. A comprehensive integrated health insurance scheme made this possible, just the same way he said he’ll do it.”

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