People who know me understand I tend to be a salty man of grit, piss, and vinegar. I’m a very masculine man who only dares to show emotions of anger and disappointment (and the occasional jubilation) in public. I only cried before my first wife when I realized our shit was on the rocks and she decided to take the initiative, if you know what I mean. And twice as I had forgiven her the first time and even the second time (post-divorce).
At one point, I decided to act and finally divorced my first wife. That’s fine. I still help her out as she has majority custody of our child and we actually still love each other, but not the way we used to. Side-note: Divorce does not have to be ugly; it’s a myth that will forever be perpetuated by divorce attorneys. Unlike ambulance chasers (the proper legal term is “barratry,” which is illegal in the United States), I feel that divorce attorneys (I mean, “Family Law Attorneys,” who probably do more damage than they remedy), are widely sanctioned. I’m going to assume the reader has (or will upon finishing this article) seen “Kramer Versus Kramer.” This is the kind of myth that the Divorce Barratrers live on.
It does NOT have to be that way.
My ex and I handled matters through a mediator. In Florida, where I reside, mediation is not even required. Mediators know how to process the papers, which is well worth the money I spent. I filed and it was done in six weeks. Final. Clear. Amazing in a bittersweet way. Two years later, ex and I can still joke around. It can work. Believe.
Suddenly free of matrimonial obligations, I proceeded to sleep around town. I lost my virginity to the woman I had married. I didn’t know it, but divorce opened up some avenues. After leaving my own trail of tears, I reconnected with a college classmate. My first wife was a high school classmate. I like to know who I’m marrying and the length of friendship, I think, is a type of insurance policy.
So we got married, my college classmate and I. And it’s been a year now. It’s actually been really great. This is her first marriage, too. After a couple years of frowning for me, and much longer of frowning for her, we reconnected. Now we both look forward to the possibilities. And we did this after turning 40. Hell, we could have reconnected at 80 or even 90 and been just as happy.
So here’s what I learned: Divorce, especially in my case when I didn’t see it coming, is tragic. However, it can open new possibilities. You might have married your soulmate, but even soulmates can grow apart. Lastly, being divorced does not make one “damaged goods.” In fact, if you were married for a long time (in my case, 16 years), single folks of your same age range (who are probably divorced as well) will tend to see you as a person who can keep a commitment.
I’m Harrison Bergeron and I approve this message.