8 Things My Best Friend Loves About Divorce
A guide to better divorcing, according to the modern divorcee.
Have you met GG? She's one of my girls.
I don't remember who convinced who to move into the same little street.
GG wasn't married at the time but definitely engaged.
I remember us scrambling to finish unboxing days before the wedding, so we had somewhere for the make-up and hair stylists to work on the big day.
I was renting my little oasis with my boyfriend, the man who I ended up marrying. But I know it was GG who convinced me to buy the house in the best way a friend can.
Sometimes when you look at a little street like ours, you think everything is peaceful, uninterrupted, and there would be no way the people who lived there could ever be unhappy.
The tree-lined streets with the effervescent parrots colour the surrounding with a warm hue. It's heaven.
But in GG's house, it was all turning into chaos. You wouldn't know it from the street. And in a few days' time, we mark the year anniversary of she started their divorce proceedings.
As the anniversary of their legal split engulfed her, she made it a resolution to celebrate how good divorce life was.
As her friend, I thought her list was too marvellous not to pass on to everyone else in her situation.
1. Swap trust for thrust
As much as loving someone is wonderful, heartwarming, and all those fuzzy things, GG loves she can finally go back to sleeping with someone. And forgo worrying if they're going to break her heart.
"Trust is one of those boring parts of life. It's like exercise for those who hate it."
I love her metaphors, by the way. Stand by for a few of them in this list.
"You exercise because you have to. You keep fit for yourself, so you live a long life, and stay healthy.
Trust is the same. You need it to keep your relationship healthy, to live a long life together and for a healthy relationship to remain strong. But you have to work so hard to maintain trust, and when you slip, you often go back to the start. It's like all that fitness evaporates."
I love this next part. She said this to me over coffee on a Monday morning. Who knew people had so much clarity so early in the week?
"Thrusting is the better alternative. You keep fit doing it, so who needs the gym, right? Incidental cardio and zero heartbreak. That's my kind of relationship."
2. New jewellery
GG loved her ring, but let's face it, she loved it because her ex-husband gave it to her. Women, GG reasons, feel forced by society, both locally and globally, to love their engagement rings.
No matter how small, cheap, ugly or unlike them the ring is, if they complain, they are acting like ungrateful bitches.
No one seems to care that the person wearing the ring has to wear it 'forever'.
GG looked down at her ring and scoffed at it. "I hate this damn thing. I've always hated it. But now I'm allowed to say it. What a screwed-up world we live in. We can only say how we really feel if we're divorcing the person."
Ever since her declaration of her true feelings, GG has been hunting for a new ring.
Not necessarily for that finger, but something that is hers. And she is loving the process. Any excuse to shop.
3. You have an excuse to check into hotels
Her house near mine will always be her home, but her husband took this too literally for her liking.
He didn't want to stay anywhere with her but in their house. His thoughts on the home were like the old burger versus steak saying, "Why should I go out for burgers when you have steak at home?"
And as much as she loves her home, a change of scenery, for a brief moment, breaks up the monotony. Having sex in a different location could have been the anecdote to their stale, uneventful relationship.
When she learned his approach to their home was because he was frequenting hotel rooms for sex with women he worked with, she understood his anti-hotel policy.
Every hotel worth going to he ruined with his affairs.
Thankfully, he ruined it for himself. She couldn't care less.
So once a week, she stayed in a hotel room for a night. Not to spite him, but to do what she wanted them to do for so long. Get the hell out of the house for once.
4. Screw the wallpaper
Compromise. The word all couples use on each other when one person doesn't like a part of their life.
'You want Italian for dinner, I feel like Mexican food. Let's compromise and go to the bistro down the road that does both poorly. That way, we're both unhappy.'
It's not compromising, GG reasoned during her post-marriage war, nor is it a mutual understanding of each other's wants.
It was sacrificing, and now she didn't have to do it anymore. She embraced it.
- Bye-bye wallpaper.
- Bye-bye ugly brown walk-in robe with its special built-in tie rack for her ex.
- Bye-bye ugly hot tub with the broken jets he promised to fix every weekend.
- Bye-bye bull sh*t compromising that left her with a house she didn't love.
5. Swap golf clubs for heels
And whilst she was on the subject of compromising, her ex-husband never understood her love for fashion.
She's a collector, in the true sense of the word. GG studies the designers and attends fashion shows, despite her position in the back row. She wasn't one of the fashion glitterati but it didn't stop her from being where the action was.
GG worked the stores every weekend, trying to learn the names of the assistants. This was in the hope they would let her know of the latest arrivals before anyone else.
But her ex-husband didn't care for her collector attitude. He accused her of having a vapid and superficial reason for buying designer wear.
"How are those golf clubs going? The ones you've spent thousands on and that take up half the under-stairs storage?"
"That's different," he would always say. "That's a sport."
It's not a sport if you don't actually play, only pretend to play to impress people at work. GG loved she no longer had to justify her hobbies to anyone.
She no longer needed anyone's permission to be herself.
6. Reasons to get the anger out
GG hated her mother-in-law. What a cliché, right?
GG hated her brother-in-law too, as well as his mousey wife who never remembered her name despite reading a poem at their nuptials.
Every time she left their house, she wanted to scream, but ultimately couldn't because her husband loved his brother. And couldn't see any fault with his wife's behaviour.
"I swear he isn't wearing rose-coloured glasses where they are together," GG would say. "He is wearing a rose-coloured paper bag."
There was something about the mounting anger towards her ex's family that made divorce a little easier. Almost fun in some ways.
All the anger she harboured towards them, she could dish out to her ex in court. "It felt better than a boxing session," she said. "I deliver my verbal kicks and I can see how hard they hurt when they land."
It wasn't her most dignified moment, but the man had cheated on her. He deserved some of her anger.
7. Revenge body
Too many wines. Too many blocks of chocolate. Too many meals out with us friends, including cocktails, pizzas and endless desserts.
GG felt her body turning into a giant commiserative lump. Her words, not mine.
Everyone thought the solution to her divorce was an edible distraction. Let's take her out for meals so she doesn't sit at home and wallow with ice cream. Instead, eating ice cream in public is a far more sensible alternative, right?!
As a result, her divorce body was spiralling out of control.
"Every time I get on the treadmill, I picture my ex's stupid face staring behind me. And it makes me run so fast, I haven't ever been so fit in my life."
She looks incredible. But more importantly, she says she feels incredible.
Good on her.
About the Creator
Ellen "Jelly" McRae
Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here: www.ellenjellymcrae.com
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