Why Is the 50 Billion-Dollar Divorce Industry Still Socially Antiquated?
The ‘dirty’ word and whispers only added to my emotional puddle
Do you know what’s almost as shocking as the “D” word, aka divorce? The fact that it’s a fifty billion-dollar enterprise. But let’s not stop there. How is it possible this financially robust divorce industry is still socially antiquated?
I mean there have to be others out there like us, right?
What with the fifty billion-dollars and all?
The other, shush, don’t say it…divorcees?
Yet when it happens to you, the unwanted whispers start.
They’re followed by the ‘I’m so sorry,’ ‘What a shame,’ and ‘Do you mind if I ask what happened?’
It’s a pursed-lip conversation. The insinuation of a dirty word or a disease an otherwise ‘happy’ couple would never want to catch. Less they get too close to you. A failure of sorts. Something that hopefully happens to other people.
All this while you have collapsed into a self-made saltwater puddle. Not deep enough to drown you but high enough to keep you trapped there.
While I sat slumped in my emotional pond I craved the others like me.
The ones who had successfully made it to dry land. Not the ones watching from their waterless perches. The ones like me. The ones who had gotten dirty enough to create the puddle.
You know…the ‘divorcees.’
I wanted them to tell me how those twelve inches of water evaporated.
Because mine kept filling up. Not just because of the unwanted spousal high jinks but because of this fall from relationship grace. I found it overwhelming. Not to mention heartbreaking.
I didn’t feel as if I had anything to be embarrassed about.
I felt strong.
I chose to leave an unhealthy relationship. I chose to put my children in a home that could know peace again. I ventured out into the unknown. I left someone who I thought was the love of my life.
I faced my fears.
I was brave.
Lots of people stay. In fact, many who label divorce a dirty word aren’t necessarily happy. They have just made peace with a different type of peace. The one that says society frowns upon this and it’s scary. And leaving…well, leaving is hard.
I finally had enough.
I picked my soggy self up and decided to write about divorce.
As a freelance journalist and former business columnist, I would now discuss matters of the heart. And it would be ‘go big or go home.’ I began writing a national divorce column on Beliefnet, an outlet with eleven million subscribers.
You can imagine the shock when I announced I planned to write about a topic that others only whisper about.
“Oh, you don’t want to write about that, do you?”
“Why would you want everyone to know your personal business?”
“You wouldn’t want to write about that for very long would you?”
Well, yes, I would.
I want to scrub the ‘dirt’ out of divorce.
I want to tell people you can still invite me to couples things. I’m not diseased. I’m just newly single. I want to tell them if you pick sides you will not only hurt me you will hurt my children. I want to tell them we are still a family. Not some emotional casualty of suburbia.
I want to write about divorce, relationships, and self-restoration.
I want to be a part of transformative change in the divorce industry. I want to contemporize the conversation and erase misplaced stigmas.
I want to pull others out of that emotional puddle.
And assure them their feet will feel the dry ground again.
Far away from the whispers.