A Detailed Description of Divorce Fantasy

If you didn’t read this blog it would be easy to have the impression that divorcées have the midas touch, and everything falls in their favor.  Given how prevalent this misconception is it has surprised me how easy it is to prove the opposite.  Often times the proof is in plain sight, and even located alongside the nonsense being peddled to married women in an effort to sell them divorce.  This is the case for the article I am sharing today, titled Divorce Fantasy.  This insight doesn’t come from a manosphere related blog, but straight from downtown hamsterville.  The article is located in the divorce section of She Knows Love*.  The most recent entries there include all of the standard nonsense.  For example, in the post Eating your divorce cake, married women learn that if they divorce they will find themselves pursued by hot young men:

Older women are having their “divorce cake” and eating it, too! Countless stories keep surfacing about women in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, dating men 20-plus years younger.

I award this post extra irony points for using How Stella Got Her Groove Back as an example.  That would make even Lorraine Berry proud.

Another recent entry in the same section is an outstanding example of Dalrock’s Law as it explains that women won’t necessarily lose their husband as their best friend after they divorce him.  And why not?  What’s a good legal ass raping between friends anyway?  And besides, divorcing him will likely only make you better friends in the end:

The “BFF with your ex” phenomena is not fiction. These days, in many post-divorce situations it’s become fact.  Recently, I attended a friend’s daughter’s wedding.  He had been divorced from his ex-wife for many years and didn’t speak much about her. At the reception, I was surprised to see that his relationship with the ex-spouse appeared to be sweeter than the wedding cake.

Yet another recent entry reassures women that divorce will work out well for them:

So you married your best friend now you’re getting divorced — now what? As devastating as the idea of divorce sounds, it’s not necessarily going to pan out negatively. In fact, we found lots of divorce success stories out there.

Wait.  Marrying your best friend and then divorcing him?  Why does that seem so familiar?  At any rate, she explains that she doesn’t know the stats on how often divorce makes women happier.  She is in luck;  I do.

But my favorite recent entry in this section is Newly divorced: Try a one-night stand?, which includes this nugget of wisdom:

Is there anything you ever wanted to do with your husband but thought was a little too kinky? Do it now! One-night stands are all about your pleasure; it doesn’t matter what he thinks of you.

But all of this is just good clean hamster rationalizing fun, right?  Women don’t really fall for this nonsense, do they?  The stats of course prove that they do.  Interestingly one of the bloggers on their site gives us an inside look at what happens when divorce fantasy collides with reality:

During the twelve years I was married, I spent many hours fantasizing about divorce. At first it was just a whisper of an idea, held guiltily for a moment and then dismissed, but as the years passed it became something of an obsession. Whenever my marriage made me unhappy, which was often, I escaped in my head into the world of divorce.

It started as a whisper?  You don’t say! Sorry for interrupting the fantasy ladies.  I won’t do that again:

It was a place where women were free and could choose, where women decided everything from the mood of their day to what to watch on TV or where the family would go on vacation. It was a place where I didn’t have to compromise with a difficult spouse. It was a place where I could make my children infinitely happy, a halcyon world of simple pleasures and contented days.

But what drove her to this fantasy place?  I was surprised to learn divorce fantasy is about power:

This fantasizing was the perfect antidote to a marriage that had become a struggle for power over the smallest of choices. The problem with my life, as I saw it then, was my husband, and I imagined divorce as a process that would remove him but change little else — a sort of neutron bomb that eliminated men but left the rest of the world intact.

She describes this fantasy as a sort of disease which is contagious:

[Divorce] has become so ubiquitous that it threatens even strong marriages, as if it were something that could be picked up in crowded malls or during the coffee hour at church.

She points out that despite the prevalence of divorce and the constant messages selling it, the reality of it is seldom discussed:

Yet despite the wide experience of divorce in our society, most people who’ve been through it don’t talk about it much — outside self-help circles and therapists’ offices — because other people don’t like to hear about it. They don’t like to think about how it happened to their parents or how it changed their friends, and they can’t bear the thought of what it would do to their children. It’s one of those taboo subjects — like cancer or war — too difficult to explain to those who stayed home, too depressing to ponder for more than a moment.

Next she describes how her fantasy turned into reality:

…I came to believe that I was prepared, that I knew what divorcing my husband would bring. I knew I would be alone. I knew I would have less money. I knew I would be a single parent, and that divorce would be difficult and painful for my children. I knew that, eventually, I would have to tell my husband what I was doing.

And that was when it all blew up.

Once she pulled the trigger on her fantasy, reality showed up:

…divorce threw me into a remarkable and unexpected emotional landscape, a place outside normal society. It is a shockingly unprotected place, windswept and empty. There is little to lean on for support.

She also tackles the pervasive myth that divorce is clean and simple:

Divorce robs you of much. It takes away your mid-career wealth. It takes away your place in society. It takes away the easy reassurance of two-parent child rearing and all the benefit of the doubt we give to intact families.

She closes by echoing the sentiment of another divorcée, describing it as a sort of death:

And make no mistake — divorce is a death. It kills the dreams of your youth, those innocent beliefs that your marriage can weather sickness as it can weather health, that life will be kind and fair, that the joys will be shared and the vicissitudes bring you closer.

*You have to love the fact that women’s sites always include divorce as a subset of Love and Sex.

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52 Responses to A Detailed Description of Divorce Fantasy

  1. Anonymous Reader says:

    An entire generation has grown up with this stuff. Compare “The Parent Trap” from the mid 60’s with “An Unmarried Woman” of the mid 70’s. It’s been a while since I saw either one of them, but I do recall the first movie was all about twin teens seeking to reunite their parents, while the second movie was a celebration of divorce — if memory serves, Jill Clayburgh winds up with a man who is a lot like her husband, but without any of his bad parts. I don’t think he’s a secret millionaire, though.

    But the point is, this fantasy of “empowering divorce” has been peddled by Hollywood since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, and so now we have an entire generation that has grown up with it. It’s embedded into the larger culture like a fat tick, or maybe a leech, feeding off of the host and providing disease in return.

    All the first-person, oh-my-gosh postings about the reality of divorce are not much vs. the Hollywood divorce romanticization machine.

  2. Sojourner says:

    Oh yes, divorce is death. I liken the feeling to a spiritual tearing as if the “two become flesh” is literal and sure enough the flesh is ripping apart. And now all I can feel is the scars. Like I said in the earlier post it is an ugly thing and a terrible thing to live through.

  3. Kai says:

    The problem is that people are terrible at statistics, and great at selectively remembering anecdotes to agree with what they want to believe.
    I do believe that somewhere out there exists a couple who divorced amicably and are great friends who no longer sleep and live together. Each one of the crazy examples doubtless exists. Where people go wrong is noticing only those freak stories, and not the multitudes of less happy endings. People are notoriously bad at getting a realistic view of the numbers.
    As in many other areas, the fact that the voices heard all all from the minority gives people a very skewed conception of the majority.

  4. Ted says:

    I’m reminded of a famous quote about Fred Astaire-
    “”Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards . . . and in high heels!”

    As bad as the divorce was for this woman, she at least knew it was coming. And more importantly, she, at least in her pre-divorce mind, didn’t lose anyone she loved. The children, on the other hand, most likely love their father. And he, them. He probably still loved her, as well. She made a choice, expecting that she’d gain more than she lost. No one else had any choice at all. After years of planning, she chose to give up her security blanket. The children had their father ripped from their lives, with no warning, and lost all the advantages of a two parent family. He lost everything, in an instant. Yet she writes only of her own suffering, as if anyone should care. I’m glad to see it published, as it may make other women think harder before causing such tradegy. But it still sickens me.

    Also note that the marriage simply “died.” No one’s fault… It just “died.” Bullshit. She murdered it.

  5. jack says:

    THE POWER OF DEVLIN COMPELS YOU!

    Damn, Dalrock – Tour de Force.

    Like this:

    Hamsters wept.

    [D: Wow. High praise indeed. Thank you Jack.]

  6. Hugh says:

    If I didn’t know better, I could swear I just read Eve in the book of Genesis. Oh wait. I just did. But, who am I to understand what some wise old men were speaking about in metaphor over two THOUSAND years ago???

  7. Chris says:

    What Love? What Sex?

    No man will trust that woman. She is condemned to live celibate, regardless of what she wants.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wish my ex-wife had read/understood something like this… has no idea why I’m unhappy w/ her, just now figuring out her life has gone downhill.

  9. John says:

    Since the economy will never recover, I wonder if the attitudes doward divorce will strengthen or not?

  10. Dan in Philly says:

    Good grief that was depressing.

    There is no thing in your entire life which will affect your life nearly as much as your choice of spouse, and it’s sad that this choice is often left to a silly 20 year old. Even worse, they believe the lie that if things aren’t working out, they can just divorce and try again. Ouch, reality hurts.

    My first wife bought the lie and left me, and slowly turned my daughter (who adored me) against me. In the name of empowering herself, she destroyed her child’s relationship with her father, setting her up for a similar fate, and by the way trading severly down in term of her second husband, who married her for the green card, and doesn’t drive, and works for her daddy, and is 10 years older and about 60 pouds heavier than me.

    Hope she’s happy. Ironically my second wife is about 100 times better as a wife than my first (I was much wiser the second time around), so other than my daughter, things really worked out for me. Though devistated for a time, as a man I had a lot more options and as a resourceful man took advantage of them. The divorce fantasy pretty much came true – for me who didn’t want it in the first place.

    Now I’m trying to bring up my children to be wiser and more virtuous about marriage. If they don’t want to stay together for life, just don’t bother doing it.

  11. Dan in Philly says:

    “Chris says:
    June 27, 2011 at 6:21 am
    What Love? What Sex?

    No man will trust that woman. She is condemned to live celibate, regardless of what she wants.”

    Oh, don’t sell her short. There are plenty of guys at bars who wait until a desparate woman gets drunk enough for a night of whatever. As long as the lights are off, they can both pretend they’re happy.

  12. Catholic Girl says:

    Frivilous seeking hedonistic divorce is horrible (divorce is only good in cases like adultery or something). Anonymous Reader how weird you brought up the film I was thinking of. I have always fantasized about the “Parent Trap” and a mother and a father (biological parents) being reunited and a family being together.

  13. Anonymous Reader says:

    Kai
    The problem is that people are terrible at statistics, and great at selectively remembering anecdotes to agree with what they want to believe.

    I believe the term you need is “confirmation bias”.

    Ted
    I’m reminded of a famous quote about Fred Astaire-
    “”Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards . . . and in high heels!”

    A popular feminist trope. Actually watching Astaire/Rogers movies reveals that she didn’t do everything he did … as she herself allegedly pointed out. Not to say she wasn’t a great dancer, she certainly was. But the grrrl-power snark embedded in the quip deserves refutation and contempt.

    Ted
    Also note that the marriage simply “died.” No one’s fault… It just “died.” Bullshit. She murdered it.

    A prime example of rationalization at work. Note the passive voice in “it just died”, that as you point out makes a divorce appear to be some random, natural event, like a tornado or earthquake. This is something that can be found all too often in the conversation or writings of divorced women … “it just happened”. Well, “it just happened” is not convincing out of the mouth of a pregnant 16-year-old, it has no credibility from an alleged adult. And an excellent point by Ted on who suffered from the divorce, and who the authoress is willing to write about suffering.

    Dan in Philly, your experience as reported is invaluable, although also somewhat depressing.

    One of the things that many women do that amazes me is: deliberately and maliciously harm some man emotionally, financially, even physically, and then somehow think that they can pretend it never happened, by “making up”. Words mean things. Actions speak louder than words. And none of it can be ‘taken back’, there are no “do overs” when it comes to deliberate harm of another person. Yet it seems common for women to say and/or do cruel things, then expect men to just go along in their fantasy that it did not really happen. Rationalization hamster olympics, perhaps.

  14. Dan in Philly says:

    cath, I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either. I know this is controversial, but break it down:
    When someone cheats, the deed has been done and there is nothing you can do about it. You can either divorce to retaliate, threaten divorce if the mate doesn’t shape up, or not divorce regardless. I would contend that of these three choices, just not getting divorced will end you up with the best life, particularly if there are children involved.

    Divorce has been discussed, and has horrible consequenses even if done for “the right reasons.” You cannot escape the terrible side effects of nuclear war just because your cause was just, they happen without regard for the intents of the one who pushes the button. In a similar way that one whose spouse leaves suffers even if they have been a perfect mate, divorce does not care who is innocent, who guilty, it punishes everyone.

    So what to do if your spouse cheats? Take revenge and cut off your own nose to spite your face? What will have the best outcome for you (this assumes your spouse does not want to divorce). Financially, this is a no-brainer. If there are kids involved, this is a no-brainer. In both ways, you will be better off staying than leaving. Also considering your social circle will change/be destroyed by divorce, you’ll be better off socially by staying. Lastly, there’s always the chance your spouse will stop cheating, and if you can forgive him/her, you’ll have back the life you wanted. So unless you are unable to forgive you should not leave a spouse for cheating, which really means it’s up to you, doesn’t it?

    Threatening to leave if the spouse cheats might intimidate the cheater into staying, but if you do not intend to follow through, it’s a hollow bluff that sooner or later will be called, so I don’t think that would be any real answer.

    To me, there are only 2 reasons why one should divorce: If your spouse is physically abusive (and I don’t mean hitting back if you initiate things, I mean real abuse), and if your spouse leaves. If they leave, after a while waiting on them to change their mind, I think it’s ok to agree to divorce (such was my case), but even then, make sure you’ve given them enough of a chance to change their mind, so any regrets can be squarely laid at their feet.

  15. Kai says:

    “Anonymous Reader says:
    I believe the term you need is “confirmation bias”.”
    Yep. Confirmation bias, a little bit of a self-serving bias, sampling bias in what is heard…
    I went with the broad explanation.

  16. J says:

    @Catholic Girl

    I assume your parents are divorced. If so, your fantasy is the natural one, The original Parent Trap with Haley Mills came out during the period in which my parents were divorced. I saw the movie and spent a lot of time fantasizing about it as well. My fantasy however came true however when my parents remarried each other. It was not always for the best. I was certainly better off economically in a two parent family and in some respects there was greater stability. In other respects, things were more difficult. I spent all of time in fear of their conflicts and of another break-up. The emotional trauma and fear of repeating my parents’ mistakes made me overly cautious in getting married myself. Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for.

  17. NeverAgain says:

    My ex thought it would be easy when she butchered our marriage. What she got instead was a ruthless, brutal SOB to deal with. Its been 3 years now and I asked her last week if she ever expected it and she admitted that she had not and didn’t even know who I was.

    And yet when I told her I was still upset that I was missing half my kids childhood, we have split custody, she said she was said she was missing it too. Yet it was her fault, which I was more than happy to point out.

    [D: Welcome to the blog.]

  18. Dalrock says:

    @J
    The emotional trauma and fear of repeating my parents’ mistakes made me overly cautious in getting married myself. Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for.

    Fear can be healthy if it informs your decisions in the right way. From what you have previously shared, it seems like this fear/caution prevented you from marrying an alpha who would have been unfit for marriage and instead waiting for an outstanding greater beta. Not to minimize the trauma you experienced (I can only imagine), but the fear itself seems to have ultimately proved beneficial in this respect at least. Would you disagree?

  19. J says:

    @D

    Would I disagree? That’s an interesting question and one I’ve been reflecting on a lot since my mom’s death. It’s true that I’ve learned a lot from my experiences, as has my husband who went through something similar. Certainly, we’ve been able to give our kids a lot more than what we were given, emotionally and spiritually. I think we are both more aware than many parents/couples. OTOH, I sometimes can’t help but wonder what we might have made of our lives had we had less to overcome. What we have is hard won. We’ve done each other some damage in trying to learn what others seem to just know. It’s truly hard to say. The one thing I know for sure though is that you can’t change your past, only learn from it.

    BTW, I don’t know that I’d call my husband a greater beta (though he is certainly no alpha if high notch count is what makes an alpha). This from Vox Day is the closest the manosphere comes to describing my husband:

    Sigma: The outsiders who don’t play the social game and manage to win at it anyhow. (People love my husband; he finds people annoying and draining. Alphas OTOH thrive off of other people and need to be the center of attention.) The alphas hate sigmas because they are the only men who don’t accept or at least acknowledge their social dominance. (NB: Alphas absolutely hate to be laughed at and a sigma can enrage an alpha by simply smiling at him.) (Watching alphas quiver when my husband simply smirks at them is great fun. I dislike alphas for their conceitedness, always have.) Everyone else is vaguely confused by them. … Sigmas often like women, but also tend to be contemptuous of them.(I’ve never worried about my husband cheating because he can barely tolerate one relationship with a woman. He married me because I lack a lot of the qualities of the women he holds in contempt. Another woman in the mix would drive him insane.)

    I hate these classifications as you know–mostly because, due to alphabetical order, the underlaying assumption is that alpha is better than beta. I have never gone for alphas, nor do they find me a source of the ego gratification they tend to want. Low notrch count and high achievement probabbly make my hubs a greater beta in manosphere terms, but he lacks a lot of the comfiness that Athol talks about as necessary for a good marriage. I like the warmth of a greater beta, but it’s hard to get from my husband–a source of friction in my marriage at times. OTOH, being something of an outlier myself, I suppose I am sort of a female sigma. (Yes, I know that the manosphere wouldn’t find that possible.) I would eat a true beta for breakfast.

    A lot of my initial bond with my husband came from shared cynicism, pain, contempt for idiots, not caring what others think, etc. Time has mellowed us both, but I wouldn’t say either of us came into the marriage with the traits or skills that make one a good partner. Our pasts both hurt and helped us.

  20. Interested says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to care about trying to educate people on the dumb choices they make. Yet another couple in my neighborhood is about to bite the dust. Seems the wife has been hanging around the newly divorced neighborhood gals who cheated their way out of marriage and now her husband is only worthy of contempt. Forget the fact that she has no job, few marketable skills, and is 40-50 lbs overweight with three kids in tow. The EPL gang has her believing it will all be OK. She will have no money issues and the parties will go on all the time.

    Even sadder is when I comment to a woman friend whose opinion I value that this soon to be divorced woman is going to find it tough to find a man of substance to have any LTR interest given her situation and appearance I get this retort:

    “Not all men are as shallow as you”

    So there you have it. All these forty something women deserve successful, fit, handsome men who can look beyond all their physical, financial, and mental issues to see their wonderful attributes. What those attributes are, I cannot even guess.

  21. jso says:

    “I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either.”

    agreed

    if the husband is sending his wife to the hospital on a regular basis, I would say that is a legitimate basis for divorce, but other than that?

  22. Anonymous Reader says:

    Interested
    So there you have it. All these forty something women deserve successful, fit, handsome men who can look beyond all their physical, financial, and mental issues to see their wonderful attributes. What those attributes are, I cannot even guess.

    The ability to love a gardener who turns out to secretly be a millionaire, surely.

    [D: Good one.]

  23. uncleFred says:

    @Kai:
    “I do believe that somewhere out there exists a couple who divorced amicably and are great friends who no longer sleep and live together. ”

    There are a sizable number. A small percentage of all divorces to be sure, but still tens if not hundreds of thousands. That is beside the point. I know several such couples. They all, 100% of my anecdotal sample, say that divorce was the worse experience of their lives. This is true of both parties, without regard to remarriage. They refer to it as death. They speak of mourning. Those who have a suffered the death of a close friend or family member, acknowledge that their divorce was comparable, and in some cases worse. Generally the men are more able to communicate their feelings, perhaps with a bit of ruefulness, usually the women just speak to how horrible the divorce was, become upset, and change the subject. But without regard to gender, these people actively counsel their children, and/or nieces and nephews to be very careful in selecting a spouse.

    The women in this group appear to have killed their hamster in this regard, Perhaps the continued presence of someone who is now a close friend prevents rationalizing the experience. Another consistent thread with these couples, is that their close friendships made the transition to living as a single person much longer. Those who either remarried or entered a LTR found that few prospective partners could understand and accept the friendship with their ex. Each acknowledges that they made a huge mistake either in selected a spouse or in the divorce itself, and in one case both. They generally feel that their divorce represents a major failure in their life. The longer the marriage lasted the deeper these feelings seem to be held, but even in the shortest marriage, which lasted about three years, the feelings are consistent.

  24. Dalrock says:

    @Ted

    She made a choice, expecting that she’d gain more than she lost. No one else had any choice at all. After years of planning, she chose to give up her security blanket. The children had their father ripped from their lives, with no warning, and lost all the advantages of a two parent family. He lost everything, in an instant. Yet she writes only of her own suffering, as if anyone should care.

    Excellent point. I wonder if this is because she lacks the capacity for empathy for others, or because she thinks her audience (married women fantasizing about divorce) will not be persuaded by concern for others. She clearly is trying to warn other women off a destructive path, so this could simply be a calculated decision based on what she knows of the mindset from first hand experience. I’m not sure which answer would be more troubling.

  25. Dalrock says:

    @Interested

    Even sadder is when I comment to a woman friend whose opinion I value that this soon to be divorced woman is going to find it tough to find a man of substance to have any LTR interest given her situation and appearance I get this retort:

    “Not all men are as shallow as you”

    I don’t know if it is simply feminism or an innate female trait (or both), but the tendency of women to view any judgment by a man against another woman as being inherently mean is really baffling. The woman you were talking about threw her husband and three children under the bus, and your female friend felt protective of the woman. Whatever it is, I know it isn’t universal because my wife doesn’t tend to respond in this way. Likewise quite a number of the women who read this blog and comment don’t strike me as this way either. But the exceptions don’t disprove the general trend.

  26. Lily says:

    jso says:
    June 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm
    “I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either.”
    agreed. if the husband is sending his wife to the hospital on a regular basis, I would say that is a legitimate basis for divorce, but other than that?”

    So just the odd time is ok then?!

    And a lot of the complaint about female initiated divorce (and personally, I make a distinction between female initiated and female filing) is that she is breaking her vows by leaving, are these vows just one sided?

    “I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either.”
    And dan, presumably that works both ways then, one shouldn’t divorce over female adultery? (cuckoldry aside of coutse)

  27. Lily says:

    dalrock, what are your thoughts on this?
    “I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either.”
    agreed. if the husband is sending his wife to the hospital on a regular basis, I would say that is a legitimate basis for divorce, but other than that?”

  28. Brendan says:

    I am one of those few who is actually quite good friends with my ex-wife. It just makes sense to us. We do not dislike each other as persons, we share some common interests to chat about, and so on. No doubt I would not be as close to her were it not for our son, but much of our interaction is not directly child-related these days. I think this is becoming more common for people, at least in my anecdotal experience, although I also know quite a few divorced people who actively hate their exes or who, while not hating them, have basically deleted them from their lives (the haters tend to be tethered to them via kids, whereas the childless ones tend to be the deleters).

    On adultery, the key issue is whether the adulterous party wishes to continue the marriage. With female adultery this isn’t common. It’s one thing to forgive. It’s quite another to stay married to someone who is unwilling to be faithful, and does not want to be married to you because she wants other men besides you, and who sees you as a friend. It isn’t terribly easy to rebuild marriages after a woman cheats, because often by the time she cheats she’s already done with the marriage. So I don’t really agree that you’re best staying in an effective cuckold situation over divorcing, despite the incredible dislocation that divorces causes in all aspects of your life.

    Divorce was difficult, but it was also liberating for me, personally. I think my ex feels the same way. Both of us are mentally much better off than we would have been married to each other, because we don’t have the same expectations of each other that it is normal for spouses to have of each other (which each of us resented in different ways during the marriage). It’s always traumatic and difficult in the darkest moments — the ones leading up to the split are the worst, in my experience — but I have never really *regretted* the decision. I do regret the choice of spouse, most certainly (that may sound odd given that we are friends, but friends don’t always make good spouses) and regret things I myself did and didn’t do in the marriage, but I don’t regret ending it, and neither does my ex. We may be outliers, but that’s how it is.

  29. Dalrock says:

    @Lily

    dalrock, what are your thoughts on this?
    “I would actually contend that one shouldn’t divorce over adultery, either.”
    agreed. if the husband is sending his wife to the hospital on a regular basis, I would say that is a legitimate basis for divorce, but other than that?”

    I don’t see divorcing due to adultery as frivolous (for men or women), if that is the question. As you said the vows can’t be one sided. Same for real and especially continuing abuse. Abuse is difficult though because everything is now called abuse. The term has been robbed of any meaning. I took some heat recently for saying the woman we know who is divorcing her husband over long term unrepentant overspending wasn’t being frivolous either.

    But I think Dan is making a different point than jso. I think he is doing more of a cost/benefit analysis than a moral judgment. This is much more subjective and we can expect reasonable people to disagree. I generally disagree with his assessment on adultery. There may be exceptional cases where it truly was a one-off never to recur incident, but I am a bit of a skeptic there (for men or women). For me having absolute clarity outweighs the issue of blowback. This line you don’t cross, full stop. Mutually assured destruction worked pretty well with the soviets after all.

  30. Eric says:

    There’s no ‘fantasy’ about any of this: Women are taught by feminist culture to hate men and consider us unnecessary for anything but sperm donors. Alimony is just another entitlement for tolerating monogamy and ‘giving’ sex to a detested male.

    Women in our culture are incapable of intelligent, meaningful relationships with normal men. Their entire education rebels against it. They consider men as inferiors; divorce as an entitlement; abortion as a right; and slutting around with thugs as some kind of journey of self-discovery. A man has no one to blame but himself if he involves himself with an Amerobitch and ends up in divorce court. The results are predictable.

  31. Anonymous Reader says:

    UncleFred
    They all, 100% of my anecdotal sample, say that divorce was the worse experience of their lives. This is true of both parties, without regard to remarriage. They refer to it as death. They speak of mourning. Those who have a suffered the death of a close friend or family member, acknowledge that their divorce was comparable, and in some cases worse.

    That reminds me of a woman I knew back in the 1990’s. She had been divorced and later widowed. Her husband was murdered in the course of an armed robbery. About 10 years after the murder, she was packing up to move to another state, to help her daughter care for a newborn, in part because the husband was in the Army. In the course of helping her in a very minor way, she out of nowhere said that she’d been divorced, and widowed, and the divorce was worse.

    I’m in no position to disagree with her on that, and yes the plural of “anecdote” is not data. But it’s a sobering anecdote.

  32. Dex says:

    Using a fantasy as an analgesic until it hardens into a plan, formed with clinical detail… This mirrors almost exactly the pattern of thoughts involved in a suicide attempt, with divorce as death.

    I’ve known a few people who killed themselves and some who attempted it. Those who attempted and failed were the ones who were found out and prevented from going through with it for a relatively short period of time, usually just a few days. That’s about all it took to reframe suicidal action as useless or misguided.

    This analogy could be useful in that it shows the way to intervene, assuming one gets the chance. Inject reality. “Your divorce won’t be like you imagine it any more than your marriage turned out like you imagined it would.” Get the person to wait a bit. “Just tell me you won’t do this until we’ve talked about it some more.” Reframe. “it sounds like you really need things in your marriage to change. assuming you stayed, what specifically would you need to change?” A new plan. “What’s another way that could happen?” And so on. It’s doable, the trouble is all the people egging the divorce on and so few people able to actually intervene.

  33. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Another interesting thing is that she never connects the fact that if all the time she spent preparing and fantasizing about divorce she would had spent it trying to connect again with her husband and/or fantasizing and preparing for a better marriage things very likely would had not ended in divorce. Does she really thinks that her time spent at the library was not detrimental to her relationship? Self centered thinking at the worst…I really hope many women read that and can catch this.

  34. John says:

    This website is the equivalent of the reality shows on TV. When a single guy has sinking feelings about his current status, spending a few minutes here should wake him up as to what awaits him to “the other side”.

    It is really a shame that marriages have deteriorated to the point that they are just little war zones instead of places where comfort, peace and a sense of identity are present.

  35. J says:

    @D

    Mutually assured destruction worked pretty well with the soviets after all.

    LOL. Apt metaphor!

  36. J says:

    Another interesting thing is that she never connects the fact that if all the time she spent preparing and fantasizing about divorce she would had spent it trying to connect again with her husband and/or fantasizing and preparing for a better marriage things very likely would had not ended in divorce.

    It’s quite possible, but it takes two to make a marriage. Certainly, both sposuses should make everty effort to resolve problems before even thinking about divorce. However, we don’t know what happened in the marriage to put the writer on the course she took. Her husband may not have been interested in re-connecting with her. There are men who shutdown on their wives too. It may have been productive to take the energy spent planning the divorce and putting it into problem-solving or their differences may truly have been irreconcilable. We just don’t know from reading what Dalrock quoted (or maybe even the whole article which I have not read).

    A couple that my husband and I socialize with just separated. It was no surprise; they had been unhappy for years. She was chronically miserable because he had ceased to be the guy she married. He was chronically depressed and apathetic. They tried counseling togerther, and he was in therapy for his depression. They finally threw in the towel (mutually). I wonder though might have happened if he had been able to re-connnect with her instead of rebuffing her attempts to reinject romance into the relationship while apathetically waiting for the marriage to die.

    In the meantime, both my husband and I have had a chance to talk with the couple separately. The husband is now living in a nice quiet apartment and is very happy to have the wife off his back and not to have to deal daily with their teen-aged son (ironically the alpha male of that family). My husband says he’s never seen the guy look healthier. His depression has lifted. He is more on top of things at work and is enjoying his music more. (He and my husband sometimes gig out together.) The wife is struggling a bit financially, but she’s lost a whole bunch of weight. I asked her how and was told that she did it without trying to. She just was no longer frustrated and “eating emotionally.” Their kid seems unaffected at this point.

    It’s as happy an ending as you can get out of a divorce, but it’s also 20+ years down the drain. Ther was no real concrete cause for this (like abuse or cheating), so I do wonder if there was any way they could have reconnected. I do have to say that I did see her try and him not respond.

  37. Kai says:

    “John says:
    This website is the equivalent of the reality shows on TV. When a single guy has sinking feelings about his current status, spending a few minutes here should wake him up as to what awaits him to “the other side”.
    It is really a shame that marriages have deteriorated to the point that they are just little war zones instead of places where comfort, peace and a sense of identity are present.”

    It’s not necessary to give up *all* hope. Dalrock and others around here have happy marriages with decent women. The fact that the average has gone so far down the hole means that it’s a lot harder, but by no means impossible.
    A bad marriage is awful, but a good marriage can still be incredible.

  38. Kai says:

    “uncleFred says:
    They all, 100% of my anecdotal sample, say that divorce was the worse experience of their lives. This is true of both parties, without regard to remarriage. They refer to it as death. ”

    I don’t disagree. My point was simply that even if there are some couples for whom divorce was awesome and everything was better after, it’s a tiny percentage, and it’s delusional to assume that you will be so lucky.

  39. Dan in Philly says:

    “Mutually assured destruction worked pretty well with the soviets after all.” – Dalrock

    D, I understand your position, but what would you do if the deed had already been done? To use your metaphor, the soviets have already emptied their missle silos, and the choice you have is not between death and survival, but rather death with or without billions of souls’ lives on your hands. Though I understand that some would push the button anyway, I would not.

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  41. Gorbachev says:

    The problem is that culture sells married women a bill of goods – both getting into and out of marriages.

    And only men are shamed for divorce. Women aren’t.

  42. airb1nder says:

    I divorced my husband because he was abusive and controlling. He was a religious fanatic who put the Bible in front of me and harassed me until I said in my own words that homosexuality was an abomination. He referred to where we lived as “his house” and refused to allow books he did not approve of or television shows he felt were not Christian to play there. I was not only allowed to put approved art on the walls.

    It took me a long time to divorce him because I did not want to believe that my “true love” was this person who would treat me this way, and who would leave me with so few options. I gave up my career for him at 40 when he said that anyone could have a job, but true love was the most important thing. I knew I was facing a horrible choice: either live as a battered wife or escape as a marginalized, lost, impoverished person who would never know security in her lifetime. I chose the second because my belief was that maybe if I was not battered I could figure out how to live normally again, have hope again. I do not regret divorcing. I regret I was too naive to see I should have never married him in the first place.

    I actually left my first husband for him. He is now happily married and financially secure. The second is also happy and financially secure. I know you think these articles are a criminal advertisement to break up perfectly good marriages but neither of mine were good. I will have to live alone and lost for the rest of my life, and reading stuff that’s hopeful and upbeat about a divorced future with some hope in it is not a fantasy. It’s a lifeline.

  43. Gorbachev says:

    I know lots of men who can talk about abusive, violent wives; harpies that never, ever stop nagging or complaining for even one second, not just to their husbands but to everyone; women who abandon their husbands in favor of their kids as soon as the kids are born, using the husband as nothing more than a work horse for the rest of his life, and then ten years later she leaves him because he’s boring – of course, her abandonment of him and their relationship right off the bat merits no censure.

    I was nagged until I nearly choked; my wife left me and that was a huge plus. At the time, I was devastated. But for two years, she had been miserable. She barely understood why. She left, looking for excitement. She found it: Two men who literally used her up. She’s single, now; tired; looking decidedly older; and I’m living with a woman 11 years younger than me after several years of rediscovering myself through everyone I could.

    She’s now living on her own.

    But for every woman like her, having made bad choices, I know women who made out like gangbusters. I know men who did the same.

    The problem is: It’s mostly women who do well.

    Women basically run the family courts.

    There are women who lose out, but on balance, women run the system.

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  49. Ivar says:

    Ted, this often-mentioned quotation —
    “”Sure he [Fred Astaire] was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards . . . and in high heels!”– is more feminist fantasy.

    Ginger Rogers herself said many times in interviews that Astaire not only created their dance routines, he also did most of the actual dancing. For the dance numbers she normally wore dresses of light material that would billow as she turned, and Astaire danced around her.

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