This is Life, Based on a True Story  

It takes two to (un)tango

I recently went out for an evening with my best friend and two new friends we met through a course we all took.

Although we’re new friends and still in the getting-to-know-you stage, we share so many similarities that conversation flowed easily all night.

You know the saying, like attracts like, and that is certainly true for us.

All four of us are divorced, with kids who are in their mid-to-late teens and beyond. We’ve all started to forge our own paths in this world, as women who have fallen, hit their lowest point and are now rising again.

Part of our path-forging is being cliché and “staying true to our authentic selves.” As much as I dislike using clichés like that, it really is true.

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to me to stay true to my own values and morals that I hold dear.

I tend to seek out people, whether consciously or not, who have the same beliefs and drive to improve themselves. And once again, the like-attracts-like rule comes through for me.

As we laughed and reflected during the evening, I was struck by how we, as women, claim so many of the same fears. It was taking the whole like-attracts-like to a new level.

A question was posed about if we ever feel guilty for “failing” at our marriages, thus failing our kids. And, sadly, we all said a resounding yes.

As women, I think we tend to internalize relationship failures – be it with a spouse, child, other family member, or even with friends. Dare I say, we feel our failures in this department more so than our male counterparts.

We pondered this for quite a while and came up with the reasoning that it must have something to do with our natural, cave-woman instincts to nurture and build nests.

When we can’t nurture a relationship – especially one like a marriage, which is supposed to last forever and ever, and where we’re one of the main players — we automatically take the blame. Even if not fully warranted.

It’s long said that it takes two to tango. Well the same goes for “(un)tangoing.”

Despite each of us knowing our marriage endings weren’t totally our faults, we still did, and do, take on the immense guilt of “if only I’d said this, done that, tried this, went here, moved there, said no less often, said yes more often …” 

It’s a constant replay of what we did or didn’t do.

We also queried if it would have changed any of our actual outcomes.

In each case, we all agreed it was unlikely. That, if anything, it would’ve just prolonged what happened.

But that’s a tough call to make even now looking back. Simply for the reasons that the only actions we were able to control were our own and you can’t change other people.

As the night continued, the four of us loosened up. What started with a bit of initial shyness quickly gave way to the “real” side of each of us – complete with our guilty thoughts, guilty pleasures and how we each tend to curse when emotionally charged or giddy or drinking wine ... or talking.

The evening ended on a high note with promises to do it all again soon. As I walked out, I felt an immense sense of gratitude for my best friend and these two new women who will have some sort of hand in shaping who I’m becoming.

I hope I can return the favour.

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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