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.
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.