Your Opinion

It’s human to judge. We do it all the time. We take an incomplete set of facts and we make up our mind. Being gloriously human, we then legitimize our judgments by calling them opinions, values or common sense. Don’t tell me you never judge. You are trying to tell me that you are not human.

The challenge in judging, in opinions, is that they separate us from each other. This is a particular issue where the judging and opinions were unsolicited. It’s profound presumption that your opinion so valuable and so correct that the other must listen to it. That moves it from separation into downright rudeness.

My SIL, a kind and loving woman, sent Owen and I a long email imploring us to stay married. She was worried about my financial future, convinced that all the people my age are single for a reason and the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. She remains sure that marriage is not there to make you happy, so she thinks we should give up on romance and be a platonic couple. All of what she said, it was based on her mental framework. She told me far more about why she had stayed married than she told me about what I should do with my life. It was opinion, not fact.

The trick to mitigating the separation and the presumption of offering an opinion seems to lay in understanding your framework, your biases, your thought patterns and your triggers and then asking the other person if they want your opinion. When they ask, it means taking yourself out of the situation as much as you can and simply offering thougths.

I made my decision carefully. There were people I spoke to, we worked through the impacts of their decision together. I wanted their opinion because I knew they were aware of their mental frameworks, their biases. I listened carefully to what they said. In the end there was one opinion that mattered – mine. I needed to be ok with my decision. I needed to know it was carefully made, that it was done as kindly as possible and it was the best possible outcome.

As for the rest? I suppose if you are someone I care about, I’ll politely tell you that I’m good about asking for advice and assistance when I need it. If I haven’t asked you can rest assured I’m comfortable with my choice. If I don’t know you and I haven’t asked? I’m still going to be polite, but I’m going to tell you in no uncertain terms that I’m not interested in your opinion and to please keep it to yourself.

Which should explain to my charming commentator, who has been rather aggressive with the opinions about my divorce, why I blocked you from commenting. If you aren’t polite enough to realize that your opinions weren’t asked for, then I don’t feel like I need to read them.

This entry was posted in Divorce. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Your Opinion

  1. a says:

    I don’t know why people want to insert their opinions into your personal life. If you’re acting in a self-destructive manner, then, maybe they can ask if something’s wrong or if you need help. But no one knows what’s going on in a relationship except for the those who are part of it. The only thing to be said then is “I’m sorry you’re going through this and I’m here if you need to talk.”

  2. Reese says:

    Never judging…just abiding. Sending you support and hugs.

  3. dipitie says:

    I have no idea what people are thinking. FFS, if you’re not happy about it, the last thing you want is for someone to try and convince you not to do it. If it was your decision, that goes double. It’s one of those situations that has no good advice, it just needs support.

  4. Barb says:

    Ugh. That sucks.

  5. loribeth says:

    SIL (and anyone else who feels the need to give you unwanted advice) needs to MYOB. :p

  6. A long time ago when another blogger was getting divorced people kept asking her the same rude questions over and over. “These are questions about your marriage, not about my divorce,” she would tell them. It stuck with me.

    Anyhow, I’ve been reading for a long time and I’m finally leaving a comment to say I find your strength and courage and honesty admirable and appreciate that you are willing to share with us Internet Strangers.

  7. Debby Hornburg says:

    She loves you. She probably fears losing you when you are gone from her brother’s life.

    But I will tell you this one thing. In the first days of my separation, I was anxious and worried about the future. I had three children, had just moved half way across the country, had no home no job. It was a truly frightening time. But I remember sitting on the back steps of my sister’s house looking at the stars and suddenly, such a wave of joy swept over me, just relief that it was done. I still had a long row to hoe, but I had joy in my corner once again.

  8. Bamberlamb says:

    Personally speaking… after my own struggles with infertility and baby loss it’s made me realise with sharp clarity the things I want in life… and if my marriage wasn’t working, then I would be gone – because I need to do what’s right for me and I realise that time is precious and also a gift not everyone gets to have.

    Not wishing to demean anyone elses experiences, but for me losing babies was the worst possible thing imagineable that could have happened in my life, everything else is secondary to that. I’ve faced financial crisis, homelessness, the deaths of parents and close friends and other family members. Unemployment, you name it. Baby loss still nails it as the worst case scenario for me.

    I think that’s why there are many of us in the loss community who take those chances with our lives for happiness, peace, whatever we need. So I don’t blame Mrs Spit for doing what feels right for her, nor do I have any sort of judgement around it. This is her life that she’s living… all I wish is the very best for her and good things in the future for her too xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *