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To D Or Not To D

To D Or Not To D
Heartbreak, Love

How to make the decision to divorce.


It takes balls to make the decision to divorce. Big ones. Balls of steel. And it’s an especially brave thing to do when you were born with lady parts that don’t include the aforementioned equipment because, believe me, at a time like this, you could really use them. If you’re a people pleaser like me, ending your marriage will probably go against the grain of everything you were raised to believe in, like pleasing others, for instance. The entire process is bound to give you indigestion on a grand scale so my advice, as simple as it may seem, is to keep a lot of Alka Seltzer on hand and a large bottle of vodka in the freezer.

Stick with it, people will tell you. Go the distance. Maybe it will get better, they will encourage. Sure, that’s easy for them to say! But if they were in your shoes, even if they only slipped them on for a minute or two, they wouldn’t be handing you these platitudes on a silver platter; they would be truckin’ on out of there faster than you can say “I am so out of here and boy do my feet hurt!”

The amount of guilt one has to endure upon announcing plans to divorce is an enormous cross to bear, especially in light of the myriad of people in your life who will be affected. These include, but are not limited to, your children (first and foremost), your parents and in-laws, your marriage counselor, who has invested countless hours trying to help you work through your problems, your pets, the dry cleaner, your yard man, the nanny, your car mechanic, waiters at the restaurants you regularly frequented, your pharmacist and last but not least, the friends who tried to warn you before you tied the knot (but who listens to that kind of advice when you’re buried under dozens of copies of “Modern Bride” magazines?). That’s a hell of a lot of pressure!

But figuring out how you’re going to break the news to all of these folks is nothing compared to the talk you’ll first need to have with your departing spouse. The guilt, the shame and the gamut of uncomfortable feelings that will ensue from that conversation are almost too numerous to list, but I’m sure you get the gist. Too bad it’s not like a game show where there’s a third party in charge of dispensing the bad news. After all, those game show hosts really know how to get rid of a persnickety loser faster than you can say “He is so out of here!” and they do it in such an up-beat way that it’s sure to catch even the angriest of departing contestants totally off guard.  “Thank you for playing our game; so sorry you lost. What parting gifts do we have for this contestant?” the faux-announcer in your head would cheerily intone. If only it were that easy! If only your husband could just go quietly into that good night without so-much as a fare-thee-well from you. But unfortunately, it rarely works out like that.

At first it’s hard to face the fact that you’re divorcing. And it’s hard to reconcile the hopes you had with the reality you now face. But the facts are, well, just the facts, ma’am. The point is that letting go of those hopes is the hardest part of all because hope really does spring eternal, especially if you’re totally in denial and keep going back to the well again and again trying to quench your thirst. Most importantly of all, the person you are disappointing here is the version of yourself that you have come to know as Mrs. Him. Letting go of that is going to be a bitch and I’m sorry to be the one to break the news. But in the end, when all is said and done and it’s all over but the shouting (the shouting will go on for some time, I’m afraid) you will be happy to have freed yourself from the bonds of unholy matrimony that have kept you enslaved to a man who absolutely doesn’t deserve you and never did. The only guarantee you have in this is that the question you keep asking yourself, “To D or not to D?” will eventually become a moot point and trust me, the quiet you will enjoy ever after will be its own reward.