I am conducting a series of interviews about people who have or are going through divorce. In the coming months we will meet with each interviewee again and share with you how their lives and outlook has changed since our first interview with them. My hope is for every individual story to touch someone who is going through the journey of divorce so they may find a common thread that will help them take one step further into the light that awaits them.
Angela Zack: Angela is a 52 year old woman who has been separated since September '07 after having been married for 28 years to her first boyfriend. Her divorce was bifurcated ending the marital status in December '08 and she is currently finalizing the financial aspect of her divorce. She has three grown boys who live away from home. She works as an office manager at a winery in Napa Valley after having been a stay at home mother for most of her married life.
Angela Zack (AZ)
Agi Smith (AS): What stage in the world of divorce are you in; denial, self-reflection, attack mode, acceptance and peace?
AZ: None of the above. It's really complicated for me. I am really happy not to be with that person anymore and I'm very bitter about the way it went down. I have been financially decimated and I am simply disillusioned about the whole process.
AS: What have you found to be the most difficult part of divorce?
AZ: The financial aspects of it. Having to actually fight for what seems fairly reasonable and straightforward with somebody I had spent so many years with. Realizing I didn't know the person I was married to for the past 28 years has been the shocking part for me.
AS: Have any parts of divorce been unexpectedly easy?
AZ: Living without that person has been unexpectedly easy.
AS: Do you believe in marriage?
AZ: I don't really. I have been struggling to figure out what it is about this institution nowadays that people would need. I understand in the 50's and 60's somebody would feel like they needed to get married if they wanted to have children. But now it seems its completely acceptable to have children without being married to each other. I certainly don't judge people for not being married if they have children. Unless there is some sort of financial or tax reason that is beneficial, I just think that undoing it is such a racket. I would never do it again.
AS: Are you the same person today as the day you were married?
AZ: In some ways, surprisingly yes. I'm still very trusting and optimistic. I think there is a bitterness I didn't have when I was young and I am hoping over time it will go away. It's still pretty new and I'm not out of the woods.
AS: What is your 'funny' in this process?
AZ: Actually, several times I have had a funny. There have been more aha moments for me where I will think back on an incident and say, 'Oh, that's what was going on.' I don't have a specific funny moment but several aha moments.
AS: Name one element you miss about being married.
AZ: Having somebody else to share some of the menial tasks with. And that's it.
AS: What is your favorite part about being unmarried?
AZ: Being unburdened from a dysfunctional person in my life. Having a better relationship with my kids because there is no dishonesty ruling the roost in the house anymore. Therefore, my children are being more honest because they are not seeing that behavior played out. Meeting new people has also been uplifting for me.
AS: If you could do it all over again - your marriage - would you?
AZ: Absolutely not. I kind of knew even before I got married that I was making a mistake.
AS: What is the 'take away' from your marriage?
AZ: Besides my kids? This sort of paradigm of the 50's and 60's where one of you stays home and has a family and sacrifices career is really a bad choice, especially for a woman. Its what I did. After I graduated from UCLA I did not go back to school to get my law degree, instead, I supported my husband while he went to medical school. If I had any daughters, my advice to them would be to make sure they are financially independent, always.
AS: Do you remember when you first fell in love?
AZ: Yes. It was a wonderful feeling, an exciting feeling. I was happy, happy, happy, laughing all the time. It was a great feeling to be in love.
AS: Do you want love in your life again?
AZ: I've already had it in the last couple of years. I'm not in love right now, but I had a great fling and it was really wonderful for me. It made me realize what I have been missing all these years.
If you believe you are a good candidate for us to interview for our Divorce Questionnaire, please email us a short paragraph letting us know why: firstname.lastname@example.org