As I’ve mentioned before after the initial empowerment fades divorced women tend to find themselves excluded from their previous social networks. Married women tend to prefer to socialize with other married women. Since marriage confers status on women (which divorcées lose if they aren’t able to remarry), being dropped from the married social circle and being forced to move to the divorcée social circle is a painful loss.
This simple fact has Ask Amy outraged, as a married mother wrote in explaining that she and her fellow married sister and cousins don’t find they have much in common with her single mother/divorced sister. Ask Amy is of course free to rage against human nature all she likes, but she won’t be able to undo the status hit women take when they divorce.
As an added bonus, the letter writer deftly played the husband card:
She takes it very personally, and last year even came over to my home unannounced crying about it, which upset my children and caused my husband to threaten to call the police if she did not leave.
In the interest of bringing all parties together, I will offer a solution which I think Ask Amy and the letter writer can both get behind. Instead of not inviting the divorced sister, why not promise, no swear, in front of God and everyone they know that they will include her in their outings in the future. Then, when the time comes that honoring this promise would make them unhappy, simply leave her out.