Love+, Relationships
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The Best Part Of Divorce? My Ex-Wives Club

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com)

When I was newly separated from my husband of seven years, I met a woman who was in the process of getting divorced. We were at our local watering hole — I’d met her through a few mutual friends, so we struck up a conversation.

At first glance, she couldn’t have been more different than me. The kind of woman that was intimidating. The kind of woman that all men looked at and bought drinks for. Tall and blonde with a sexy German accent, she was the opposite of my short, mousy brown American self.

But we started talking about what we had in common: our soon to be ex-husbands, what had happened to our marriages, and how the divorce processes were going. I asked her how her little kids, who were the same ages as mine, were handling living in two separate places. She said it was going okay except they always came back to her house bedraggled. Tired. Teeth unbrushed. Hair slightly matted.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so shocked but wow, she was describing my exact situation. A situation that was making me crazy and making me worry about my kids.

I needed her. Man, did I need her. A friend who understood what I was going through.

When I asked her how she handled it, she said that when her girls got home from their dad’s house, she would just brush their teeth, throw them in the bathtub and make them take a nap.

Doing that was much easier then trying to change her ex-husband, she explained. And his haphazard parenting just served as a reminder of one of the reasons she would soon no longer be married to him.

Twelve years later, I still hear that line in my head whenever I get frustrated with my ex.

“There’s a reason I’m not married to him anymore.”

And twelve years later, that woman is one of my closest friends.

I needed her. Man, did I need her. A friend who understood what I was going through.

At the time of my divorce, I didn’t have many friends. Before my husband and I separated, I had only lived in my town for a little while. We had moved from New York City a year or so earlier. And unlike New York City, we didn’t go out much, and we hadn’t become a part of the community. I was unhappy.

When I met my new friend in the bar, my daughter was three and my son was starting kindergarten at a new school. It was a private Episcopalian school where I was not only the lone divorcee, but also the only jew and quite possibly the only democrat.

To say that I didn’t fit in there would have been an understatement.

So I spent a lot of time alone with my kids. Alone with them at home. Alone watching them on the playground. I was even alone when I volunteered at my kid’s school —  the other moms just didn’t want to befriend a democratic jewish divorcee.

My friend and I clicked that night in the bar. We clicked because we were leading such similar and parallel lives. We shared our divorce stories. We bitched together. We bonded about sharing custody, about finances, about our soon to be ex-husbands.

And over the years, we’ve befriended a few more divorced women who, like us, just needed someone to talk to in confidence. Without judgement. Someone to get advice from.

My group of divorced female friends have all shared their experiences of marriages gone bad. Of libidos taking a dive. Of rediscovering their sexuality. Of shared custody and child support. We get this part of each other’s lives because we have all lived it, at one time or another.

It’s been almost 12 years since my divorce. I’m now remarried and happy in my life. I still get frustrated with my ex-husband and the way he parents our children. But I know who to call to vent those frustrations. My divorced girlfriends. They’re as good as my former therapist, and a whole lot less expensive.

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