February 17, 2012
Loving too much on September 21, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
How many times do you think a woman should get divorced before she should begin to question the validity of her choice to continually get married? Do you think women should start to re-think the whole marriage idea after two divorces? Four? Five? Or do you feel that as long as the woman is happy going from marriage to marriage, she should do so, regardless of what she does to her reputation, her children, and those men she leaves behind? Is marrying a right, to be exercised as you please, or is it more of a responsibility, especially after multiple divorces? Should society simply turn a blind eye to women who marry time and time again, only to divorce a year or two later to start again? Or should someone (for example, a Super Heroine who specializes in breakups) start some sort of therapy group for women who unceasingly seek marriage, only to seek divorce? Thanks.
– Crazy Doug
Dear Crazy Doug,
How many questions do you have to ask Breakup Girl before she realizes they aren’t entirely hypothetical?
February 1, 2012
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have two issues/questions. The first is about getting over the breakup of my marriage. I am in the process of getting a divorce.
It is hard for me because we have a child, and I don’t get to say see ya and move on. I have to deal with him almost daily on visitation or money issues, and he is living with his girlfriend with whom he cheated while we were together. I hate seeing the cozy little family he has created without me, but I want my son to be able to continue to see his dad. Any ideas on how to deal with all this?
The other issue is that my friends want to set me up, and I would like to get out and about again, but I have been a stay at home mom, and haven’t had much of a life lately. I don’t know if I am ready, even for Transition man. Transition man, by the way, has been defined to me as the guy you don’t take home to mom and dad or your kids as the case may be, but who keeps you company in a rough time. I am definitely not looking for anything more, it will take me awhile to get past the betrayal and history, but I would like somebody to take me to the movies, etc. Where does Breakup Girl suggest I start?
– Looking for Transition Man
BG’s advice after the jump!
January 10, 2012
Dear Breakup Girl,
My divorce was final a year ago. I had the opportunity to take my ex to the cleaners, so to speak, in court (nude pics of him and his lover in a hotel room and information regarding his affiliation with a prostitute). However, I chose not to give all my money fighting in the courts and settled out of court. I sometimes regret my decision — only because I want him to know what I know about his affair and his affiliation with a known prostitute. He prides himself on being a “highly moral and ethical person” (he is psychologist). I still have all the documentation I had planned on using in court…and have contemplated on sending it to his new bride (he mail ordered her from Russia via the Internet). Or just giving the info to him…to let him know he may have thought he got on over on me….but there are others that now know of his less reputable side. Should I simply leave well enough alone…my head says I should….my heart says I still want to hurt him as he did me. What do you think?
Don’t leave well enough alone. Leave hellish enough alone.
This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.
September 26, 2011
The fix is in on August 17, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl:
My two best friends (who are married) fixed me up with a friend of theirs, Dave, and we all went out a couple of times. Since then, Dave and I spent every spare moment together and our relationship turned very serious very soon. The problem is he’s in the middle of getting a divorce. I was very hesitant when we first started seeing each other. I kept telling him that he needed time to get through everything he’s going through and the last thing he needs is to be in a relationship. He just kept reassuring me and reassuring me. He told me that things have been over in his marriage for a long time. He told me he loved me and I was the best thing that ever happened to him. I kept saying that the timing was wrong and that he needed time to himself. He said that if the best thing in your life came along at the wrong time, does that mean you should pass it by? So I eventually caved in and got caught up in the euphoria that was our relationship. Three months later…
August 17, 2011
No escape on July 13, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Ready for some….humor? I divorced after five years last December. I went on my first date in 7 years 2 weeks ago - what a total, unmitigated disaster! Now I remember WHY it’s been 7 years, and will be 7 more. (I’d started thinking about this in the context of summer flings more than anything else.)
I got a call from a man I’ve known almost 10 years. We started out dating for a few months all those years ago, and he plain ole out-and-out dumped me. We played on the same softball team, and everyone knew before me. How fun was that? I got over it fairly quickly (hey, what choice do you have when you’re the pitcher & he’s the catcher…), about the same time he decided the cute but empty-headed bimbo (she was, truly) he’d fallen for was just that and wanted to come back. I said no, and we’ve been great friends ever since. We used to talk several time a month, then less and less, but it’s always been amazing that we can pick up exactly where we left off, no matter how long ago. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
June 16, 2011
Overworked on July 13, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My parents recently split up. Well now I live at home with my Dad. So now I am responsible for the housework. I feel like my Dad doesn’t understand how hard it is to have responsibilites one day when you’ve never had them before. He expects me to do all the house work and he NEVER helps me! To be quite honest he is a pig. Well now he is dating someone and all of his attention is directed to her. I feel like I am being neglected and unappreciated even more…. What should I do?
BG gets to work after the jump!
January 20, 2011
Read; weep. Nothing to add.
World of Warcraft is definitely not for someone facing the end of three decades of marriage. Yet I am all of these things as well as a Darkspear Troll mage, with my home in the Barren Lands, a savanna populated with livid pink T-Rexes who wear blue necklaces and matching earrings. I am Level 21 (out of 70), just high enough to get out of the newbie playpen and die suddenly as I stray past cave bears or mega-spiders. /snip/
In many ways, “WoW” was weirdly evocative of what I faced in life. I was newly alone and, like my avatar, dependent on the skills I had, not the ones I wished for. At each turn, I seemed to be facing new dangers. Often, I died. But I rose again and again, finding within myself a bedrock strength that even this calamity did not erase.
My son and I learned “WoW” together. While he commandeered the keyboard, I sat beside him, to help him choose a path…My son has a generous, intuitive spirit. Though I’ve done my best to seem normal, like a weather vane he reads my moods. For weeks, I walked like the Undead through the routines of family life. I felt as gaping as the creatures in Undercity, a “WoW” metropolis, with their chests ripped open to expose neon-colored hearts….Then my son would invite me to play, his voice shiny with intentional cheer. I would find myself with his arm curled around my neck like the tenderest, toughest vine. His fear of what was happening to us moored me to earth. The end of love is a voyage to an unknown land, with mysteries and dangers that I had to learn to navigate…
So here are my “WoW” lessons, thanks to my son:…
Nope, sorry! Click here to behold Robin Kirk’s amazing essay in its full, gory, glory.
December 16, 2010
Remember when breaking up with someone over the phone was scandalous? (What, you couldn’t be bothered to jump in your horseless carriage and look your ex-to-be in the eye?) Now, Jezebel flags the inevitable: not just breakups, but full-on divorces, celebrity* and civilian**, announced — for the first time, to the divorce-ee — via Twitter. Mercifully concise, I guess, but #tacky! “Please,” writes Sadie Stein, “don’t let this become a thing.”
Hear, hear. Though actually, for legal purposes, tweeting’s too concise. Quoth a lawyer at Divorce Saloon: “To say that you ‘twittered’ your intentions to divorce your spouse to your followers on Twitter and that that is somehow enough ‘notice’ of a pending divorce action? That that would be tantamount to ‘personal service’ as required by statute? I don’t think the day will ever come.”
All of that said, while I’m all for every discussion about maintaining civility in the bluish glow of technology, I want to say this for the record: our little beeping and blooping machines have brought far more friends, lovers, and allies together than they have torn asunder. Tweet on!
* “In the past few months, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy and Eva Longoria all replaced the time-tested PR statement with a tweet. Maybe they feel like their fans deserve to hear it from them.”
** “Apparently one guy did this…without consulting the wife he was divorcing, writing ‘My wife has left me, I wasn’t good enough, isn’t that a shame’ before she’d had a chance to tell her friends or family.”
, Eva Longoria
, Jenny McCarthy
, Jim Carrey
, Kelsey Grammer
, public relations
November 18, 2010
Today’s New York Times featured a lengthy article about how today’s mix-and-rematch post-divorce parents with kids make it work: not by marrying and moving everyone, and Ann B. Davis as Alice, into the same ranch house at 1164 Morning Glory Circle, but…close. As a means of preserving their own semi-independence, and sparing the kids an extra intrusion, they’re moving — well, into different ranches on the same circle, say. Or even: same house; different floors, different doors.
In the articles first example, the triple-hyphenate Curtis-Hetfield-Petrini household (two divorced parents, now each others’ partners; three kids among them), for instance, lucked into a two-family town house in Brooklyn. My initial crabby thought: “Well, of course it works great for them. They have a ’sleek bamboo kitchen.’”
But (a) no fair, as we all know that when it comes to discord, creature comforts are more often cause than antidote, and (b) the article goes on to describe many types of blendy families in many shapes, forms, places, and real estates. And the broadest points are well-taken. First, the economic reality of a post-Carol world:
…What’s really driving the practice of committed couples with children living in separate abodes, [said Susan Stewart, a sociologist at Iowa State University who studies how families form and change over time], “is that middle- and upper-income women have their own money and independence. They are working, and can live on their own.”
And — most important — this, also from Stewart:
“The complexity of families is the real story. Family life is not what it was. The divorce rate” — roughly half of all first marriages still end in divorce — “has been high and stable since the 1980s. The majority of these people go on to marry or cohabit. Then there’s the change in custody patterns, with more and more fathers desiring more time with their children, if not full or shared custody. The traditional family — the married-couple-biological-children family — is in the minority.”
November 9, 2010
Next Page »
Arianna Huffington introduces a new section, HuffPo Divorce:
“I’ve always thought that, as a country, we do a lousy job of addressing how we can do divorce differently — and better. Especially when there are children involved. That’s why I’m so excited about the launch of HuffPost Divorce.”
Anything that can help families cope with divorce is a good thing. Better still, a considered collection of personal, legal, practical, and psychological pieces that approach and elucidate divorce in the myriad ways… now that sounds really kinda awesome! Inspired by Nora Ephron, fleshed out by family law professionals, essays and advice, and authors of topical books.
It’s almost impossible not to feel a tiny tad jaded, thinking about divorce-affected people as a publishing niche, but that’s exactly what we are. Half the population! I wonder if this is the beginning of more like this.
Meanwhile, I welcome the story and information sharing that may well become a resource for one of life’s most changing events. As a person who went through a starter marriage in her twenties, and who is a child of divorce herself (actually, once I counted and there have been no fewer than 12 divorces in my immediate family) I’d love to dip in now and again to say, find ways to manage doubled parental visiting guilt and the impending holidays!