I've been having a bit of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon happening to me lately regarding being a single mom. Daily I come across snide remarks, usually from misguided men with mommy issues, that claim single moms are nothing more than damaged goods and will absolutely be the reason their children go on to live screwed up lives.
Furthermore, single moms are bottom feeders, rate about 4/10 on the skewed looks scale developed by a moron and should most certainly be passed up for the non-single mom who can't even count to 10, because logic. I try to bite my tongue on most things, but this has affected me on a deeper level, I'm assuming because the mass sheeples are trying to put me in a box and tell me my children are going to become mass murderers and drug addicts because they have me, single, as their mother. What these people don't understand, is that every now and then (or in the majority of cases), single moms didn't really want to be single moms. I'm going to bet that in 70% of divorces the woman was forced to leave either by her own will to save her sanity or because she was blindsided by the husband who filed behind her back. I fall in the former and want to let the "don't date single mom's because hur dur" men get an inside look at not only why it's ignorant to stereotype people but it's also detrimental to not spread narrative that xyz happened or is going to happen because so and so was raised by a single mom.
If I was one of those numerology guys at the casino, I'd put my life savings on a bet that unhealed trauma manifesting as *addictions* & *abuse* plays a huge role in the demise of relationships. I know because I lived it and I've spoken to enough women (and men) to know that it's a pretty common thing in marital households. Some people are OK with their spouses watching pixelated women on the screen every night, needs not being met, life passing them by, and more power to them and their ability to turn a blind eye to it because hey! at least he's/she's not out sleeping with hookers or poolbois, amirite? That's just not me, though. I can't turn a blind eye. I was the wife that didn't have an absolute clue what was going on behind my back. Granted, I am self-admittedly naive but when I found out about my (should be ex but can't quit me) husband, shocked would be an understatement. I truly chalked our lack of adult time up to having very young twins, social lives, and other obligations that sucked the life out of me & I assumed him, as well. I did have thoughts from time to time that things seemed a bit "off" and wondered if he might be having an affair. When I'd ask about these things, he'd simply laugh off my worries and give me some reasoning why/how he wouldn't ever hurt me, and I ignorantly believed him. When I found the vile porn last summer on the same tablet that was used to live-stream/record me taking baths/showers without my knowledge, I entered a state of utter despair at the betrayal. I would spend hours in my head wondering why I wasn't good enough for him, comparing myself to the girls I'd found diddling themselves on screen for men like my husband; in manosphere terms, these females were 10/10. I'd tell myself "Of course he'd want these girls. They are young, free, and don't have spit-up from a child running down their arm. I'd want them, too". As sad as it is, I almost disregarded the hidden camera recording/streaming of me because I was too fixated on comparing myself to these women, too fixated on changing me because it was I that I thought was the problem, not him. My self-esteem plummeted and life lost its color. I spent hours and hours asking the almighty Google things like "is my husband abusing me", "why did my husband secretly record me", & "how to overcome betrayal in a marriage". The consensus was my husband was an extremely unwell man. I started reflecting and suddenly things made sense; all of those nights "he had work to do" and didn't come to bed with me, his seemingly lack of interest in anything that involved responsibilities and priorities (me being the main one), and the extreme disconnect in our marriage. Not to mention the bizarre behavior that included gaslighting, stonewalling, blaming, over-compensating when he thought I might have caught on to what he was doing, etc. In an effort to not disrupt my children's lives and because I genuinely value marriage and the vows I took, I gave him a chance to seek help for whatever demons he had going on inside. Needless to say, the family just wasn't worth it to him and after a short while the neglect, emotional abuse, and outright disrespectful behavior crept back in. I would sit on my bed at night and make lists of pros and cons of staying in my marriage. Towards the end, the only pro I could come up with (if it would even be considered a pro) was so that the children weren't products of divorce. Now, before you go thinking that I chose myself over ensuring my children didn't have to be raised by a single mother, hear me out. I rationalized that if every day my children saw their mother defeated, sad, angry, zoned out, feeling less than, what kind of humans would that make? What kind of members of society would I be setting an example for, if they never saw what true intimacy was and most importantly, what unconditional love was? I couldn't force their father to be a decent human being so what else could I do but save myself, right? Isn't it better for them to witness their mother being strong and courageous in the face of adversity? Isn't it better for them to learn that they are worthy and should never be treated as less than? Isn't it better, for them to learn that life can go on? If this makes me un-dateable, a 4/10 on the looks scale, a part of "society's" problems, and that I'm going to live a sad life as a cat lady, so be it. It saddens me that the role I have had to step into because I was violated and abused is immediately associated with "the problems" of modernity instead of focusing on what should matter here - the role my husband had to play in all of this. Maybe stop focusing so much on me, the other women that have had to make choices like mine for their and their children's well-being and focus on your own role in the downfall of modernity.
Because at the end of the day, what my decision won't do, is make my children grow up and not be the best damn humans they can be. They won't be the problem makers of the world. How my children turn out has nothing to do with being a single mother and everything to do with how I will raise them. Starting with, not passing judgments on others and lumping them into one box without looking at myself first.