Episode 036: I’m Free To Do What I Want

By lifelafterdivorce|October 10, 2017|Show notes, Uncategorized|0 comments

Episode 036: I’m Free To Do What I Want with special guest Anonyme

Leanne and The Boyfriend catch up on the previous week’s “Question of the Week”. And…they give some shout outs to all who commented on Instagram.

The Boyfriend and Leanne discuss dating traditional people in the past. The women The Boyfriend has dated in the past have had a timeline, agenda, and/or expectations. For example, we date, get married, have kids by a certain age, etc. It doesn’t necessarily work out for The Boyfriend because he’s gone down a different path in his life. Leanne on the other hand, graduated college, got married, attempted to start a family, etc. It just seemed like the natural flow of a relationship and life. That’s just what people do. Right?

But does that flow of life work in today’s society? So many things in the world have changed, but somehow we expect relationships to remain the same. Is that a contributing factor to the high divorce rate? People change jobs all the time today. People move and change houses. Why wouldn’t they change their relationships, too? How has our life purpose changed?

So many questions!

Meet our guest, Ms. Anonyme (that’s Anonymous in French!). She’s been married three times and is a mother of one. She has been single since 2003.

Ms Anonyme went out with her brother one night and met her first husband. She was 22 and he was 24 when they married in 1978. Her first husband was a French basketball player. It was fun until she became ‘the wife of that basketball player’. She felt like she had lost her identity. About six months in she was home ironing clothes and looking at herself in the mirror and thought, “What the hell am I doing here?”

Life_Lafter_Divorce_Quote_ep36a_single_freedomWhen her husband returned home, Ms Anonyme told him that marriage wasn’t working for her. Three months later she left, but they didn’t actually divorce until 1983.

Ms Anonyme went to the US for about six months in 1981, but didn’t stay. She returned to the US in 1986 and married her second husband. After they divorce he remarried and Ms Anonyme had a lot of fun.

People change over time, how can other people only marry one time? Now when Ms Anonyme looks back at her first husband, she thinks “Whoa! No way!” She is a completely different person.

Husband three was completely different. He was a successful businessman and they were married for eleven years. What made this relationship so different? She had a son!

They had a grand life, but the husband was usually busy working and Ms Anonyme and her son traveled the world together. She new they wouldn’t be together forever; it just wasn’t working. She felt like she was losing her identity again. She went back to school to get her degree. Eleven years later they divorced.

Life_Lafter_Divorce_Quote_ep36b_single_freedomMs Anonyme isn’t quite sure why she got married the first time. She believes they were in love, but part of her wonders if it had to do with her brother was getting married. They ended up getting married the same day as her brother.

In France, you have to go to the government to get married. Getting married in a church doesn’t count. So her brother did both the church and the government. Ms Anonyme and her husband did the government only.

In France, people have PACS. They don’t get married. See links at the bottom of this post to learn more about PACs.

It seems like there is less drama with the PACS. There is no shame in it when people split up.

Ms Anonyme appreciates the transparency of the PAC. She wouldn’t be giving up her name or her identity. There isn’t the feeling of sacrifice. Why should she wear a ring? Why should she change her name? Why is there this thing like I own you and you own me? Those things are just tradition. What is their function?

Ms Anonyme followed the rules, but didn’t want to be like her mom. It didn’t suit her. It just didn’t work. She tried.

Life_Lafter_Divorce_Quote_ep36c_single_freedomWhen it comes to regular relationships, do you think society is changing? Ms Anonyme thinks that some people follow tradition to feel safe. There is also the financial safety involved. She has financial independence so she doesn’t need a man to take care of her in that way. It’s nice, but not a necessity.

When it comes to emotional safety she follows a “You don’t belong to me, and I don’t belong to you” philosophy. If it fits great, and if not, that’s okay too. Ms Anonyme is secure with herself.

The challenge to having independence is you don’t belong in any one group. You don’t fit in with couples and you don’t fit in with the usual traditional partner. People don’t understand that she’s looking for someone who respects her unique boundaries and non-traditional ways.

It gets more challenging as people age because they’ve already become set in their ways. Ms Anonyme is very spontaneous and also finds it challenging for partners to be the same.

Her other brother is the same as her. They are both independent, but as a man he has an easier time of it. Society gives him permission to be that way because of his gender. Both women and men have a difficult time understanding.

After living in both France and the US, she does feel more comfortable in the US when it comes to relationships. Ms Anonyme feels her generation really started to change things after World War II.

Her ideal world (place of belonging) would be exactly where she is right now – because she’s single. She’s found comfort in herself regardless of the world around her. She feels special wherever she goes.

Stay true to yourself. If you find yourself in an experience or relationship that doesn’t work for you, then learn from that and move on. It’s okay. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Most of time we don’t suffer because of something we did, we suffer because of the perceived judgment from society.


Question of the Week: “What traditions of marriage remain functional in modern society?”


What you’ll learn:

  • Ms Anonyme has been married three times
  • Why Ms Anonyme is non-traditional when it comes to marriage
  • France offers civil partnerships called PACS

What you won’t learn:

  • How to become a French citizen
  • Ms Anonyme’s true identity
  • The Boyfriend’s true identity


Our favorite moments:

@12:00 Meet our guest!

@14:13 Ms Anonyme meets husband #1

@16:19 From ironing clothes to divorce

@19:11 Ms Anonyme meets husband #2

@23:47 Ms Anonyme meets husband #3

@24:34 Ms Anonyme has a son

@28:00 Marriage vs. PACS in France

@37:27 The safety of marriage

@45:22 The judgement



Tweet: Are you #traditional or non-traditional when it comes to #marriage? ep36 #lifelafterdivorce #divorce #question #relationships

Tweet: What traditions of #marriage do you like/appreciate/see as practical? ep36 #lifelafterdivorce #divorce #question #relationships

Tweet: Would you prefer #PACS or #weddings? ep36 #lifelafterdivorce #divorce #question #relationships

Tweet: Some #relationships are meant to be and some are meant to be over ep36 #lifelafterdivorce #divorce #marriage #dating #love #lettinggo

Tweet: Relationships change as we change ep36 #lifelafterdivorce #divorce #marriage #dating #love #podcast #evolution



Marriage or PACS? In France Things Are Changing


Where in Europe a man and woman can get a civil partnership






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