Lance Armstrong's ex, Kristin Richards, tried to be "perfect mother"

Filed under: Media

Kristin Richard, formerly known as Mrs. Lance Armstrong, recently spoke to Oprah Winfrey about her marriage to the world's most famous cyclist. I suppose, without having known any of the details, I just assumed that Lance had initiated the split. But it seems that it was a more thoughtful and complicated breakup than that.

Richard does not place blame on Armstrong for what went wrong in their marriage. She reports being dazzled by the big diamond on her finger, and not really thinking closely about what marriage would or should be like. I can remember that when I began my first marriage, fifteen years ago, I was not really sure what came after the wedding. What was I supposed to do now? So, I thought about what I had seen my mother doing. Well, I could make dinner. I didn't yet have children. Only my husband liked to cook. I was working, but not in a career-- I had barely graduated from college. My primary occupation was that of wife.

I know how easy it is to sublimate your own personality to try to fit into some kind of mold called, "wife," or "mother." I was wearing kind of raggety shorts and a T-shirt and flip-flops soon after I married and a college student said to me, "I didn't know that married women could dress like that."At that time, I felt that I must be doing it wrong. My professor ex-husband didn't help: he wanted me to give up wearing my favorite jeans, the ones with the holes in the knees, when I went to playgroups with other faculty wives. He certainly had an image of what a perfect wife and mother should be: long hair, no  makeup, no shorts, jumpers (long dresses).

Everybody warns us about post-partum depression, but what kind of vitamins should we take for post-marriage depression? I admire Kristin Richard for having enogh sense of self to realize that she had sublimated who she was in pursuit of an ideal that only existed in her head. I think that a lot of women struggle with this. Have you struggled with maintaining a sense of self and with navigating your identity after marriage and children?

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