Anger and Alimony

I find it helpful to think of anger as the frustration experienced when desire goes unfulfilled.

Desire is how we project ourselves into the world, and this is a good thing. Or it should be, if the desire is healthy.

If the desire is unhealthy–like, say, you want your ex-husband to take care of you because you believe that having been married to him once, say, six or so years ago, means he still owes you personal care and attention and huge wads of cash (not child support, mind you), I would say that this particular desire is unhealthy and that fact that it results cyclically in anger is unfortunate.

On the other hand, if your desire is to enjoy a peaceful respect from others for having found a loving relationship and treating others with respect and care in the process, this would seem to be a healthy desire. This is my desire. When it is disappointed, when the right to have a loving relationship that began the right way is questioned, I get angry.

When these two desires meet, the result is competing claims that clash.

Leave us alone witchy witch. Your anger stems from the belief that you have a prior claim to another human being that knows no bounds. I regret to inform you that a uterus does not bind you to another indefinitely. Moreover, neither your anger nor your uterus entitle you to more money. Your anger parades around as righteous indignation, but it is really “alimonious” in nature.

Alimony in my state of residence is absurdly antiquated. Does a college-educated woman really have the right to a large percentage of a man’s income indefinitely, simply because she was once married to him? There should be a time limit on this, say 10 years, tops. Earn your own damn way. Where is your pride?

I have channeled my anger in every positive direction I could find. It helps, but it does not salve.

In 2013 there will be peace.


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1 Comment

  1. philospycho says:

    Agreed. Often, the women who can afford decent lawyers who will ensure they receive alimony are the ones who do not need it (particularly if they do not have children). I think that this is, in part, a backlash of benevolent sexism, based on the assumption that women can’t take care of themselves, or perhaps the tendency of women to stop working once they are married (thanks, patriarchy!)- creation of the “kept woman” and “male provider.” And of course, the “Real Housewives” tv show message doesn’t help. Someone once told me that anger is a secondary emotion to fear, that we think we are angry, but we are actually afraid of not getting what we want or of losing what we have. The older I get, the more I think Beauvoir was right: Women will achieve equality through financial independence (no comment from me on the marriage and children part of her views haha).

    Like situations in which alimony is wanted but not needed, anger keeps us dependent. We enjoy the luxury, but then we are bound to it. We think we are freeing ourselves by holding the other hostage. What’s the saying about drinking poison? 😉

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