Originally Posted by Seasons
See, I think these two ideas are opposites. I see plenty of erroneous thinking among partnered people who assume that if they choose a partner carefully and work hard on their partnership, that the partnership will continue. Certain gov't agencies and media outlets promote the idea that single mothers have poor judgment, both in choosing partners, and in parenting (how many YMCAs and churches offer parenting classes for single moms?). I've even seen books like "divorce-proofing your marriage" and - at a divorce recovery seminar!!! - the concept expressed that "it takes two to end a marriage." The reality instead is that it takes just one person to leave, and that many times one partner is entirely blameless. So I agree only with your second statement: "no matter how careful, how wise we try to be, bad things still happen." Let's keep THIS in mind rather than perpetuating the dangerous stereotype (to our landlords, bosses, children's teachers...) that single parents have poor judgment.
Ok, I see where you're coming from. It sounds like you read me as saying something along the lines of, if you're divorced, you screwed up. YOU should have seen what was coming, and either fixed it, or not gotten involved in the first place. Is that right?
I'm a single mom through divorce, and I would never assert that idea. I read all those books about how I could fix my marriage single handedly if I really wanted to, but I don't believe that. We simply can't control other people. I do know I kept my eyes closed to some things I should have paid attention to. I also did things throughout my marriage that I'm not proud of, though over all it really lies with my ex. I couldn't have fixed his drinking. Or forced him to seek help for his depression. Or made him change his attitude and value our family. It's not possible. So I really feel for where you are coming from here.
My original comment was in response to something just as judgmental as assuming that single moms are all there because of poor decision making. I would hope no-one will ever say to me that since I couldn't keep a marriage together (because they assume I'm hopeless), that I shouldn't be a mother. It has certainly been said on many, many occasions of many women. The suggestion that was made to the OP, which was removed from the thread (obviously I'm not the only one who sees it this way) was very judgmental and no help at all.
I hope you can get a perspective on my comment and see that I wasn't trying to assert that single mothers are to blame for their circumstances. If those who are passing harsh judgment on the OP right now are not to blame in any way for their single motherhood, ok- but at some point we have ALL done something that we would like others to be gentle with us about.