Out of the 90% of Americans who marry by age 50, 40-50% of them get divorced; and ominously, the rate is even high for subsequent marriages. One law blog even claims there is a divorce in the United States every 36 seconds! And while the American Psychological Association calls divorce a “common experience,” that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. Divorce can cause immense heartache even when it’s what both spouses want to happen.
As these Whisper confessions show, the process of getting divorced is muddled and emotional. (As if you needed Whisper to figure that out!) But the good news is that for many people, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many Whisperers are renewed after their divorces, happy to re-embrace the single life again or move onto more fulfilling relationships. Others are not quite ready for the “re-embracing” phase, but at least they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in losing a relationship that was supposed to be forever.
15. Moving On
This Whisperer wants to get laid too – but NOT with his or her ex! In the opposite of #15, this person’s boots were made for walking. He or she is ready to move on. This is just more proof that every divorce is different. Two people going through the same situation can have completely different feelings. Who knows, maybe this person is the ex-wife from #15! Wouldn’t that be a twist! Sex can also make a person feel alive, needed, sexy (Well, duh), and treasured. It’s no wonder that a recently divorced person would seek out a night of companionship. This person should be careful not to jump into anything too quickly, though. This could lead to hurt feelings and being worse off than they were in the first place.
14. What Kids?
Ugh, what a callous jerk. I’m pro-choice all day, but nothing is more disappointing to a woman than to hear that her sexual partner would rather cast aside their (potential) offspring than take responsibility for the likely outcome of having unprotected sex. And when it’s her husband, the hurt and betrayal is that much deeper. Don’t a lot of people get married for the very purpose of starting a family? That’s something that should be figured out beforehand, not after you’re married and one person is expecting children while the other is not. Maybe this guy pulled the ol’ flip-flop on his wife after it was too late. At least this Whisperer will never have to wonder if she had a good reason to get divorced. Hopefully even though the husband did not want to be a dad, he has grown to love his children and take good care of them.
13. More Kids…
Another case of divorce opposites. One guy wishes his kids had been flushed down the toilet as zygotes, another guy flushes his marriage down the toilet in order to have kids. And now the ex-wife is left hanging. I can’t say I blame either party though. They both wanted children, it just wasn’t in the cards for them. This is a close second to the disappointment in Whisperer #13’s situation. It’s too bad the couple was unable or unwilling to adopt and make things work. The wife probably didn’t know about her fertility problems before the marriage. It’s likely that there were other issues at work here, too – if the new girlfriend was already pregnant before the divorce was over, she probably wasn’t all that “new.” Really, bro? At least let the ink dry on your divorce papers before you’re out knocking up other women.
12. Still In Lust
Sir, there nothing wrong with you. After all, you were married to the lady. Some might find it surprising that this Whisperer would still have romantic or sexual feelings for his ex-wife, but the truth is that many people still have feelings for their former spouses. (We’ll see this in a couple other Whispers as well.) Maybe this guy wasn’t the one who wanted to get divorced. Maybe he is nostalgic for better times, remembering romps that he and his ex-wife had back when they first got together and things were still “hot” between them. Maybe he just wants to get laid, and his ex-wife knows what he likes. There are plenty of reasons for someone to think of an ex-spouse in a sexual manner. One question, though: if the sex is still there, why get divorced? That’s usually the first to go…
11. Online Dating Woes
With so many people getting divorced, it’s surprising that this guy is having trouble finding a date. He should just find another divorced person so he won’t have to worry about being looked at as “damaged goods.” (Which divorced people are NOT!) Online daters could even see divorce as a positive aspect; the person has been in a long term relationship and knows what he or she wants. Divorced people are less likely to waste their time on something that isn’t likely to go anywhere. They know what works for them, and what doesn’t. Whether they’re looking for another serious relationship or just a little fun, they are likely to be upfront and direct about it. Some dating divorcees probably wish they’d been more direct the first time around…
10. Imperfect Family
This Whisperer’s story is unfortunate but not surprising. Second marriages end in divorce at least 60% of the time and third marriages fail over 70% of the time, according to the book “Should I Keep Trying to Work It Out?” by Alan J. Hawkins. Stepparent/stepchild relationships can be problematic and strain a marriage. What seems like a challenge that can be overcome if the new family just loves each other enough can devolve into a daily grind that wears the family down – or in this case, wore the family away. Hearing the words, “you’re not my real dad!” repeated on a daily basis are sure to put a damper on things. And how the mom or dad reacts can exacerbate the situation rather than improve it. Blended families are a balancing act and not everyone can stay up.
9. Good Answer
Sometimes children are relieved when their parents get divorced. It can be a relief to have constant fighting come to an end and to see parents happier on a day-to-day basis. But often, kids’ reactions and questions can be heart-wrenching and even catch adults off guard. To the mind of a young kid, this question seems logical. Kids form their expectations of the world from how their parents act and interact; so if two people who were supposed to love each other forever can “suddenly” stop, why couldn’t a parent stop loving his or her child? Mom’s reassuring response was perfect, though. Kudos to her for a quick-thinking answer that will put her child’s mind at ease. This is a valued response that makes things clear and simple.
8. Divorced Dating with Kids
After reading Whispers #9 and #10, this person might have the right idea. As a single adult, you are only screwing up your own life with failed relationships. But when you have children, they have to be your first priority. Before introducing a new person into your kid’s life, you have to be sure that person is in for the long haul – or else your kids will have some really weird complexes about the way adult relationships work. It’s no good to have a parade of significant others entering a child’s life and then leaving a few months or a year later. A person who doesn’t have children might not fully understand the gravity of being involved in a kid’s life. Of course they’ll say they do, but it would be impossible to comprehend without having experienced it themselves.
7. Not a Happy Birthday
Even if this Whisperer wanted to get divorced, birthdays and special holidays increase feelings of loneliness. Divorce Magazine recommends having a coping strategy planned in advance of holidays or life events, saying that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness. Their writers suggest “seizing the opportunity to have lunch with an old friend, book a day at the spa, or lounge in a bubble bath with a glass of wine – whatever makes you feel happy.” Creating new holiday traditions can also give divorcees something to look forward to, rather than making holiday blues into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Divorce is also a good opportunity to rid yourself of holiday traditions you never really liked in the first place. Half of the family obligations will have become nonexistent.
6. Party Time!
This Whisperer is crazy! Question: why “forgive” your wife if you are just going to cheat yourself and then divorce her? It sounds like this person is using his spouse’s cheating as a reason to do some adventurous cheating of his own. Honestly, the Whisperer is more likely to end up with unusual sexually transmitted diseases rather than personal fulfillment. I get this guy was hurt and needed an outlet, but it kind of sounds like this guy never really forgave his wife in the first place. Rather, he lulled her into a false sense of security, then sprang his revenge on her when she least expected it. “Surprise, honey! I slept with hookers in the DR!” What goes around comes around, for both spouses, and two wrongs don’t make a right, even if some of the “wrongs” take place in exotic locations.
5. Still Faithful?
If there’s one thing Whisper teaches us, it’s that divorce has a lot of bizarre possibilities! Instead of having orgies in foreign countries, this Whisperer is getting her kicks in the most familiar way possible: with her soon-to-be ex. She asks if she’s wrong, but only the couple knows for sure. This seems like a situation that could lead to confusion and heartache for both of them. What happens when they have to meet in court or at the lawyer’s office the next morning? Is she still going to ask him for alimony? Also, it’s surprising that she was unhappy enough with her husband to throw him out, but is still interested in him sexually. Usually the sex is long gone by the time the papers are filed. But hey, if they can keep their relationship strictly based on sex for the time being? Power to them.
4. Finding Love
This Whisperer is an inspiration to anyone who is getting divorced. He or she had the courage to end a bad relationship and was able to find a good one – and not too long afterwards! There is always the question of whether a person will be better off getting divorced or sticking it out in an unhappy relationship. When people take the metaphorical plunge back into the single life, there is no guarantee that they will find love again. Like Whisperer #11 has experienced, post-divorce dating can be difficult. But as Crystal Jackson puts it in her article “I Didn’t Quit My Marriage, I Survived It,” staying on a sinking ship isn’t an option: “We (got) off the damn ship and start looking for a lifeboat—a whole new life.”
3. Counting The Seconds
High-five to this Whisperer for being so positive. That’s not the usual reaction to an impending divorce (remember the “Not a Happy Birthday” guy?), but sometimes a marriage is so miserable that it leaves no nostalgic feelings. The process of getting divorced can also be long and messy, so maybe that’s the relief that he or she is can’t wait for. Either way, this does not sound like someone who will be wallowing in depression and self-pity. This Whisperer will pack some suitcases full of sexy clothes and hop on the plane to Thailand with Whisperer #6! Or hopefully finding a more meaningful relationship like Whisperer #5. Or who knows, maybe this person will just enjoy the freedom and possibilities of single life once again!
2. You’re A Success!
Failure as a wife because she didn’t wash the dishes? Wow, no wonder this lady got divorced. I wonder what other things her husband complained about, and how much housework he was doing. Hopefully her ex-husband will one day come to realize that it’s no longer 1950. But for Whisperer #2, that doesn’t matter! She is happily living life on her own terms, without having to answer to an overbearing husband. Save her a seat on the Thailand Express!
(On the other hand, maybe the husband worked like a dog and she stayed at home with no kids watching Netflix all day and not doing the dishes. If that’s the case, the husband will just have to go on Whisper and tell us all about it!)
1. Football Stinks!
Cowboys? Giants? Redskins? Green Bay? Which linebacker is in the news for beating up his fiance? What injury does Tony Romo have this week? What team is going to be on the wildcard? (Is that even a thing?) Don’t know and don’t care! This lady (I’m assuming it’s a lady) should get together with Whisperer #2 for a Gilmore Girls marathon, order takeout, and use paper plates. No more listening to hubbies yelling at the home TV. Their ex-husbands are probably at the bar screaming at the football game, and ordering dinner there so they don’t have to wash dishes. Not having to pretend to care about a spouse’s annoying interests is one small silver lining of divorce, and one that works for both sides. The former husband is probably glad he doesn’t have to sit through Gilmore Girls anymore either.