“Happily Ever, After We Split” –An Uplifting Article About Divorce? A Definite Must-Read.

Boy with parents.

       Divorce can be scary. Especially, when contemplating whether or not to take that leap. The best analogy I heard, when faced with that very decision, is this: it’s like a cat that falls from a window, from way up high. At first, it arches its back and scrunches its face, adjusting to the pain and taking an inventory of the damage. But then, like a cat that always lands on its feet, after the initial impact, most people look around and realize: I am going to be just fine; there’s a big new world all around me, just waiting to be what I make of it.

       I like that. A lot. To be honest, hearing that very analogy was one of the final pieces I needed before taking that leap on my own. And now, nearly two years later, there’s no doubt that, for my ex-husband and me, divorce was the right decision. In fact, my ex, and son’s father, is the very person who clipped and mailed to me the article I want to share with you.

       Only now, post-divorce, are my ex and I able to enjoy together (with our son, of course), long lunches filled with laughter, and exciting road trips to the National Aquarium – just like back when we were dating. Well, kind of. The big difference, is that now we know how our story as a couple ends. Still, we both couldn’t be happier with our current “relationship” (as exes and co-parents).

       Don’t get me wrong. A) I would certainly never advocate for divorce…at least not indiscriminately. Anyone who’s been through one, knows the process can feel a whole lot like Hell on Earth.  And, B) without a doubt, I’m a true romantic, a true believer. I wish to holy heaven that my union of matrimony had turned out to be the real deal: a joyful, enriching companionship, enduring forever and ever. Unfortunately, my marriage most certainly did not. And yet, I sense that my ex and I will nonetheless share an enduring, enriching, and even joyful companionship. It’s just that, it looks absolutely nothing like how I would have planned or expected it.

      Everyone knows our national statistic. The divorce rate hovers somewhere around 50%. The point is, as a society, maybe we need to reevaluate our expectations of marriage. And, until we stop getting divorced with such frequency, maybe we should consider learning how to divorce with a whole lot more civility.

       Wendy Paris, the author of The New York Times article, “Happily Ever, After We Split” tells a wonderful anecdote with commentary, exactly to that effect. Enjoy!

Posted by Maggie Fox Dierker, Esq.


3 Responses to “Happily Ever, After We Split” –An Uplifting Article About Divorce? A Definite Must-Read.

  1. Megan says:

    Great stuff Maggie! Your personal experience lends really valuable insight into a difficult life event. Wish I’d had such a resource when I was going through my own divorce!

  2. Thank you, Tamara, for such a lovely comment. What a conversation you overheard in that coffee shop.

    “…it’s about [our child] and getting [her] to have the life she would have if this wasn’t happening between us.” – such a good way of looking at it. When adults have to make the difficult {painful} decision to split, it’s so important to keep focused on minimizing negative impacts on all involved children. Essential, but that can be hard to do!

    You’re right, no matter the specific details of a break up or divorce, so many of the emotions we experience are more similar than different. I hope your situation continues to be simple, and wish you all the best. Thank you for reading!!

  3. T. Van Tuyl says:

    Great analogy regarding the falling cat, Maggie. Regardless of how much time that “fall” actually takes, it is a similar pattern for most individuals. Taking the whole picture in place, and thinking about how the end result and – when applicable – the long-term relationship needs to work, everyone’s best interests stand a much great chance of being met. That reduction of stress and pain is a good contribution in the sense that it leaves the individuals more in control, rather than the situation itself being in control.

    I was next to a splitting couple at a coffee shop. They were attempting, though very contentiously and with bitterness, to work out their own property settlement before involving their attorneys. One spouse was clearly focused on the financial part, while the other was more concerned about affect on, and stability of, their teenage daughter. Finally, the other spouse stopped and said, tearfully, “you’re right – it’s not about all the houses and horses and cars. It’s about her and getting to have the life she would have if all this wasn’t happening between us.” This statement even relaxed me! They agreed to a particular division of assets, and left both seeming to have a weight lifted from their shoulders.

    My own separation and divorce is much different than most, and thankfully simple. However, the emotions all seem to be the same, regardless of my, your, or any other story of divorce that I know. You shared great words through a peaceful thought for a not-so-peaceful process. Thank you!

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