It’s fine. I can do this. I’ll sell the house. Move somewhere cheaper. Find a new school (kids are adaptable right?). I’ll take on more work. A small flat somewhere edgy. We don’t need holidays – they loved those yurts at Bestival. My friends will rally. I’ll find inner strength. I won’t let divorce define me.
Oh. I’m not getting a divorce. Husband and I get on quite well actually. I just slipped into divorce fantasy. Because, where there were one or two a year before, suddenly it’s a pandemic. An explosion. I wonder if all this break-up reverie might be good for my marriage (wow, that’s a horribly smug thought), what with the ‘I can’t believe this is the last time’ looking each other’s eyes break-up sex (bear in mind he doesn’t know I’m divorcing in my head) and then ‘I can’t believe we nearly lost each other sex’ (again, he has no idea that we were almost separated).
This month’s casualties – among my lot – include the man broken by the over-enthusiastic presence of his challenging in-laws; the couple defeated by years of unsuccessful IVF; and the husband – a lawyer – who ended a three-month work stint in Dubai by emailing divorce papers (plus a request to be known henceforth as Ann). And that’s just this month.
It shouldn’t be a shock. Our parents were the most divorced generation in history. But until now divorce was something grown-ups did. Like pensions.
Once the first few shock revelations turn into monthly break-up updates, a kind of divorce malaise sets in. It starts to feel like the norm, just another life stage along with teenage crushes and weddings. You find yourself mentally preparing for it. Heck it might even be relaxing – I’d get every other weekend to myself while the kids went to their dad and wouldn’t he take them on at least one holiday a year? Isn’t that the deal? Relaxing. I wonder how I’d fare on Tinder?