I got off the plane and in the car with 6 other women, perfect strangers. I was in Nebraska, a state I’d never been before nor expected to ever go. I was there as the keynote speaker for the women’s retreat, Jumping Tandem. Given the nature of my previous three years, keynoting was also unexpected. Quite. My heart contained all the feels. Wait, let me clarify: my heart contained all the wrong feels…
…I am divorced, therefore horrible.
…I am dating someone new, very seriously, and I am So Incredibly Happy, therefore horrible.
…I am the only woman who’s ever been divorced & moved on quickly, therefore alone…and horrible to boot.
The 6 of us chatted for awhile and I calmed a bit. We stopped for lunch and I sat across a genuinely sweet woman. I asked why she and her husband waited so long in between her oldest teen and the youngest kiddos all under 5. “Oh,” she said with a lighthearted smile, “I switched husbands.” I squirmed a little, knowing I too, was in the process of switching husbands myself.
I wanted to stand and kiss her on the cheek for such a brave show of transparency without doing the thing a lot of women usually do. We start by berating ourselves and our horrible choices and the self-deprecation rolls down not like justice but like thick, dirty molasses to the point it’s generally uncomfortable. (Kind of like how I started this post).
I felt alone in so many ways, and then she casually flung open the door of everything that still felt terribly taboo in my soul: divorce, but mostly remarriage, i.e. switching husbands.
After I left my ex, I didn’t go to any divorce support groups. Dunno, maybe I should have. I didn’t connect with enough other women who at the time I felt understood my specific issues and the specific issues my ex and I faced. Without feeling anyone could relate (falsely) it was easy to believe no one else coped the way I did.
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