Sometimes our happily married friends pity us divorcées and wonder how we can manage without a man in the house. Here is what I have to say to them:
Dear Married Friends,
You do not have the flexibility or freedom as we do to be nomads in India or get lost in the labyrinth of Venice. I pull a painting off the wall or raid my china cabinet and use that money for new adventures. Post-divorce, we take off for parts unknown and I do not plan trips with military precision as I did when married. We do not have the constraints of a spouse’s schedule and take journeys when our time and money allows.
I am glad, dear married friends, that you enjoy your lives filled with cocktail parties and soirees. You are happy with this, and I am so glad to be off that party circuit. I spent a chunk of my life preparing hors d’oeuvres and entertaining my husband’s friends and colleagues that could have been spent with the kids. I feel that I missed out on some of their fleeting childhoods and I grab every minute of it post-divorce. Instead of attending long business dinners as when married, I catch up with friends for quicker lattes. I have more me time post-divorce, and spend it reading a great Scandinavian mystery or lounging on the couch with my cats and a magazine. I have the time and energy to try new pursuits, such as Zumba.
Dear Married Friends, I told you while married, that I was like a single mother without the sympathy. Now I am one and can enjoy the autonomy that goes with it. I no longer cook huge meals, but make quick and easy ones. I am not tethered to my kitchen, as a few married pals are who have burly husbands to feed. I play my 1980’s records loudly and take dance breaks. I am no longer banished from my bedroom due to loud snoring, nor exist on a few hours of sleep because of this. Even strangers comment on my zest for life, and this is due to being divorced.
Two married relatives expressed their condolences about my newly purchased house going into disrepair, since I had recently been divorced. I inquired what they meant, since that statement made no sense. They both said that I lost my handyman to fix things around the house, since I had divorced him. How can one lose something that one never had? When things broke in our marital home, my husband either said he would fix them or have a buddy do that job. I either waited for months or risked his ire by calling in a repairman. Now when I have a plumbing issue or my appliance does not run properly, I can have it repaired right away. I am not the only divorcée who has also learned to do minor repairs herself and gained a sense of fulfilment in that department.
A few married acquaintances expressed sadness for my sons having a broken family. I clarify that they lived in a bed of thorns when we were married and now are flowers blooming. My well-adjusted sons are so much happier in this post-divorce era and our relationship has become so much closer. My sons and I are pursuing interests that laid dormant during the time when my husband and I were together. When stress is removed from the equation, then creativity and energy emerge.
Yes, I have much less money than when married, but I have gained so much more in relationships and opportunities.