When my ex moved out, I talked to a lawyer for the logistics, but then I consulted the Divorce Whisperers: friends who had gone through it and appeared to have survived the process. I wanted to know what it would be like on the other side, and I wanted the perspective of someone with a similar worldview to mine (artsy Eastsider folk looking to co-parent our kids as best we can).
A friend told me the other day she was divorcing and wanted to talk, knowing I‘d been through it. This is not the first time this has happened to me, and I doubt it’s the last. Sometimes the revelation comes as a surprise, especially with couples that seem together and in love. But judging by my own experience, appearances can be deceptive.
Do I burst into tears and exclaim how sorry I am to hear the news? Do I jump for joy? (You’re one of us! One of us! One of us?) It’s never a good thing to be in a bad relationship, but divorce is so much more than a simple break-up. There are often kids involved, and a house that both parties feel anchored to. Then there is the expense and sheer magnitude of the change to your lifestyle that can truly be overwhelming.
It feels good to cry and laugh with friends about your divorce, and now that I am safely on the other side I see that I have become a Whisperer myself. If I can ease a friend through this process I feel like I am paying it forward… part of the child support/alimony agreement with myself. So if you find yourself at the awkward table at the next dinner party or school fundraiser, give a call or text and I’ll be there.