And people are still talking about it
I broke up with my husband.
In the adult world, they call it divorce. A fancy name for breaking up or for legalizing it.
It’s a dirty word in suburbia.
It seems this shapeshifter of the couple’s world is frowned upon.
People will talk about it, whisper about it, and marinate over it. It will be the shock heard round the cul de sac and the echo over coffee and cocktails.
Call me naive but I had no idea leaving my husband meant gaining a new relationship role and moniker — ‘the divorced…
At sixteen, I believed my best friend and I would one-day live side by side. Our gorgeous families separated only by dreamy white picket fences. A romantic suburban euphoria.
By the time I was nineteen, I graduated to believing I had found the love of my life.
And of course, there was only one such love in the world.
One perfect match for two destined hearts.
Because true love is a fairy tale.
For those who are fortunate enough to find it. And nothing intensifies it more than youth. …
About a year into my divorce my children are in the kitchen talking.
“Dad called,” says one of them.
“Big surprise, there’s a game on,” says another.
In the collective moment, they are acknowledging their father’s absence.
Since I retained an attorney their father has shown up to their games and a few school events. Other than that, he calls if he needs someone to watch a game on television.
What my children don’t know is I have called their dad months before.
But my pleas fall on deaf ears.
I can tell my youngest misses him so I attempt…
I’m watching The Kelly Clarkson Show when she confesses she can’t imagine getting married again.
I’m like, “Girl, I get you! I got you!”
I tell my boys if they get married I’ll throw my body across the altar.
Kinda dramatic? My boys think so. They usually yell, “MOM!”
“Okay, okay,” I say. “But I’m only half kidding.”
Can you blame me? It took me five years to divorce my husband. Why would I ever consider attaching myself to someone like that again?
I was like divorce me. Please divorce me. For God’s sake divorce me. Just flipping divorce me…
“Colleen can do whatever she wants as long as it’s not a headache to me,” he says.
“I don’t like the way he talked to you,” says my friend.
Most people laughed when my husband spoke like this.
When someone is charming you can miss the danger in their words.
Especially since he used humor to mask the a__hole below. We had been discussing projects that were part work, part dream of mine. I could do as I wished as long as I didn’t interrupt him.
This was the overarching theme of our relationship.
My husband didn’t want to merge…
My friend was married for decades to a seemingly wonderful man. He traveled for business since their youth so there wasn’t a hint of suspicion. He navigated his second life well. I know what you’re thinking, she had to know.
But I can promise you she didn’t.
Not every affair is predicated by a bad relationship, sometimes it’s the person.
She asked me recently if I would write about the betrayal of affairs.
I heard this new song and it got me thinking. (Scroll to the end to see music video)
This melody is tempered by a woman who seems…
I grab a chair at the bar next to a good-looking guy.
He’s in his world and I’m in mine. I’m not there to meet anyone. I’m relishing the new urban lifestyle that affords me the luxury of doing something I have never done.
Have a drink alone.
At least, outside of my own home.
It’s my gutsy post-divorce caution to the wind ‘best life’
And I’m owning it.
Before long we begin chatting. He turns out to be interesting, smart, and thought-provoking. Even better, he talks about his wife and children. No pressure here. He’s simply traveling for business.
I’m a marketer, journalist, and former business columnist.
I didn’t want to live divorce let alone write about this ugly topic.
No one chooses divorce it’s typically the unfortunate result of exhausting all of our options, another’s bad behavior or the long-term deterioration of love.
For over a decade I have dedicated myself to counseling and research and for the past eight years, I have been a relationship columnist. My lengthy divorce made me seek the comfort and unity of others experiencing this heartache.
Here are my top 10 most popular divorce articles:
I left a diagnosed narcissist, one who was on the severe end of the spectrum. I have spent over a decade in counseling and research on the complex topic of Narcissistic personality disorder.
Here are my top 13 most read pieces on narcissism.
Narcissism is a severe personality disorder that wreaks havoc on those who love them. It is not an individual who is selfish, self-absorbed, or self-consumed. A true narcissist lacks critical empathy and that is what makes them so abusive…
“I’ve gotta go,” I say.
“Where?” My sister asks.
“It’s time for carpool and I need to be the first in line.”
Like most mothers, I am trying to over-correct the mistakes of the past.
Our own mom had been notoriously late. I was the last child picked up at school, at birthday parties, at you name it. It was stressful and I was going to make sure my child didn’t meet that type of anxiety.
“Colleen,” My sister says. “Did it ever occur to you that the first time you aren’t first you might send your child into a…