Why exactly the Huffington Post thinks it needs a special section on the subject of divorce is beyond me. I never turned on the news to hear "And after the sports headlines we'll be getting a brief update on global divorce news". And for the record I don't think sports are news either! Today a particular piece caught my eye and ire. And I do have some experience in the matter so here's a corrected version of "36 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Divorce".
"1. It's nothing at all like when your husband was away on business and it was nice to have the bed to yourself. That gets old. You get lonely."
1. Once you're divorced you can sleep around guilt-free.
"2. He's not going to be there. Ever. Never again in the way that he was. He's gone. For good."
2. That was the point. If you wanted him around you wouldn't have gotten divorced.
"3. Don't rush things unless you are in an abusive situation."
3. Don't waste your life putting up with something that isn't right and doesn't make you happy.
"4. You may want to hide when you are first going through divorce. You won't want to talk about it with anyone."
4. Yes you may feel this way. Or you may not. You may want to go out and enjoy yourself. That's ok too.
"5. You will have to remind yourself that you are not a failure. That the relationship simply ran its course, it had an expiration date."
5. If anyone tries to suggest that divorce is a sign of "failure" stop being friends with them and don't go to their church.
"6. You may never feel truly sure you made the right decision particularly if you have children together."
6. Or you might be confident that this is the best thing for you. And the best thing for you IS the best thing for your kids, they don't want to be raised by two people who don't want to be together.
"7. There is going to be an in-law situation and you won't know how to carry on your relationship with them."
7. You can stay friends with the in-laws if you want. You don't have to. Mine are lovely, we hang out.
"8. When your kids are sick, you are the only one home to care for them and he's not there to ask him for help."
8. You might need childcare support. The absent parent should help with this, financially or practically.
"9. When you are sick, he is no longer there to care for you."
9. Lets hope your hot new boyfriend knows how to stick a Lemsip in the microwave.
"10. You will miss his cooking, even if he isn't a good cook, but simply because there was someone else there to make meals and it isn't all on you. And if he was a good cook, it's going to be even harder."
10. If you had a long day - you can order delivery food. Or just have a sandwich.
"11. You still may call him by the pet name you had for him and it slips out when discussing a matter and it hangs there in the air and hurts."
11. If you ever called him "snugglewumps" in Starbucks you are weird.
"12. If you thought talking about money with your husband was hard, try talking about money with your ex-husband."
12. If it was always a problem talking about money, you were right to consider divorce.
"13. There will be no more "stay here with the kids for an hour so I can run out to do errands.""
13. You can say "stay here with the kids for an hour so I can run out to do errands." to neighbours, friends, relatives, that hot new boyfriend or your lodger. Also you can drop them off with an absent parent and have a spa day.
"14. It may feel natural to reach out to hold onto his arm when you go out for coffee to discuss the kids, but you aren't supposed to hold onto his arm anymore."
14. Missing out on intimacy? Buy a dildo.
"15. You will miss your wedding ring... feeling it there on your finger and what it represented."
15. Your wedding ring represented a relationship that wasn't working. Take it off.
"16. Your wedding album is like a ghost."
16. Why are you sat around flicking through old photos? Go out and get laid.
"17. You won't know what to do with your wedding dress."
17. The only people who ever get to re-use a wedding dress are divorcees.
"18. If you knew what you knew now, you wouldn't have spent all that money on that wedding dress. Instead you should have banked it to save for couples' therapy."
18. Couples therapy is usually overpriced.
"19. You might have to politely ask your parents to take down your wedding photo they still have hanging on the wall in the living room because it hurts too much to see it."
19. If your parents keep some photos up it should save you all that time spent flicking through old albums.
"20. It's not easy. Not even if you are the one who wanted a divorce."
20. Being in a relationship that doesn't work is exhausting. Making some meals for one is not so bad.
"21. You'll wonder if he's dating someone new and if he's thinking she's better than you."
21. You'll start dating someone new. That'll take your mind off things.
"22. When he gets serious with another woman, dealing with that woman being around your children is going to be harder than you could ever imagine."
22. Great news, if he starts seeing someone else she can help look after your kids while you run those errands. Plus kids benefit from relationships with a wide range of adults.
"23. After all the hurt subsides, you remember all the good things and sort of forget the bad and the hurt starts again but in a different way."
23. The relationship ended for a reason. It wasn't working.
"24. What if... there will be lots of these."
24. What if you meet someone great? What if you get a job on a tropical island?
"25. You will look at your kids, that are his kids too, and wonder how in the world are you going to be able to make it through all these holidays for the rest of your lives and still figure out how to be a family that is no longer living together."
25. Your kids will grow up. Then they can choose where to spend Christmas. As can you.
"26. You may notice it feels weird to still have the gifts he's given to you over the years, even if it's something as mundane as a toaster. And you may start having nostalgia about the toaster."
26. You may need counselling.
"27. You might fondle the silverware gifted to you at your bridal shower and feel bad that all your friends and family gave you all these wonderful gifts for a marriage that didn't last."
27. Who the hell fondles silverware? Get a vibrator.
"28. You may worry some of your friends might be thinking about those gifts they gifted you."
28. Anyone more bothered about the gift they bought you than about your wellbeing is not your friend.
"29. You may lose some friends."
29. You'll have more time to spend with your friends. You may gain some friends, reconnect with some old ones.
"30. Some of your family may not understand why you are getting divorced and that can be very challenging to deal with on top of dealing with divorce itself."
30. If your family are unsympathetic, divorce them too.
"31. There will be a bit of pain when you refer to him as "Daddy" to your kids, but that's his name and how he's addressed, so you must deal."
31. Use whatever term you're comfortable with. Your kids will adapt.
"32. You are going to want to confide in your ex because you are so used to doing so, but you have to learn how to stop doing that."
32. You're going to want to spend more time with friends. That'll be nice.
"33. It may take a long time for you to be "friends" -- whatever that means. It may never happen."
33. You can stay friends. You don't have to.
"34. There will be a time when your kids will wonder how the two of you were ever together in the first place. They may never even remember a time when you were together."
34. Your kids will grow up. You will wonder if they were ever small. You will be glad you didn't raise them in a house full of arguments.
"35. You remember what it was like to fall in love with the man you married and you truly wonder how in the world did it all fall apart."
35. You might wonder how you hung in there so longer.
"36. The above makes you terrified to ever get married again."
36. Next time you get into a serious relationship you'll probably do things differently.