from the Casper The Unholy Ghost Collection, 2013
Hey, it Happens
Divorce is never a cakewalk. Even when you divorce later in life (called grey divorces), the process still has many of the same issues as divorces where minor children are involved. Rather than hashing out the question of who gets the kids, for us, the question becomes: who gets the friends in the divorce?
Sometimes you get the friends; sometimes, your ex gets the friends. That’s not a bad thing because a deep cleaning of the people in your couple-sphere is probably in order. Things generally shake out as they should.
The Custody Count: One For Me, One For You
As you start your sorting process, keep a couple of things in mind:
If Backstabbing Barbie crosses over to your ex’s team, drag out the pom-poms and celebrate. Now you know who she is. Suppose Loser Larry stays in a huddle at the line of scrimmage with your ex and his new woman, high-five everyone around you. Now you know who he is. This is probably not the first time Loser Larry has done a little goal-line defense on behalf of your ex if you know what I mean (wink, wink).
Don’t think battle lines and allegiances will remain as they appear immediately following your breakup or divorce. Wait for the dust to settle.
Once your ex gets all cozied up with your replacement (let’s call them ‘Shiny New Love’), and they settle into a domestic existence, you’ll probably see surprising defections in your group of still-thought-to-be friends.
Fair-weather friends are likely to cross party lines if Shiny New Love happens to have a few shekels to rub together or if they hold a significant title or elevated station in life.
It’s a given; there will be late hits after the whistle has blown and the play is dead. Once your ex and Shiny New Love shack up together or marry, they mystically-magically(!) become legitimized in the eyes of all but your staunchest allies. Prepare yourself, because once this happens — Poof! — you never existed.
Try not to be offended by this; it’s not personal. It’s just human nature. People like to align themselves with what appears to be a winning team. They’re broadcasting with a megaphone that the winning team doesn’t include you anymore. Accept that.
There’s sound psychology behind my assertion.
When you are the aggrieved party in the Dump The Chump Game, you remind people that getting dumped can happen anytime and to anyone — including them. This possibility unsettles them, and as a result, they become uncomfortable with you, not even knowing why. Accept that too.
Your star is no longer rising, and your stock is in a downhill slide. In the eyes of your so-called ‘friends,’ you started teetering between HOLD and SELL the day you became an official dump-ee. Your now-devalued stock offers little or nothing to your waffling friend’s portfolio compared to the addition of Shiny New Love’s IPO (Initial Public Offering).
About this time, defecting contacts and Switzerland friends will hand you a steaming bucket of excrement and encourage you to dig in. Not only have former allies flipped on a dime, but they now dare to instruct you on your need to ‘take the high road.’
Don’t bother wasting your time or humor on a snappy retort — these folks aren’t likely to get it. They want you to ignore the stench of feces and turn a blind eye to the maggots wriggling in your lap.
The ‘Be The Bigger Person’ Directive
These do-gooders view themselves as morally superior to you and genuinely believe they are helpful when they offer you their pearls of wisdom. One you’re likely to hear is, “Come on now, don’t you think you need to be a little more forgiving?”
Let me translate that for you. They’re saying that since you, Darling Ex, and Shiny New Lover now share the same last name, it isn’t too much to expect you to hold your nose and gulp down some slimy wiggle-tails now and then. At least for the sake of everyone being together for family holidays and social gatherings — right?
Wrong. You have zero obligation to participate in these social gatherings. Politely decline the offer. You have spices to alphabetize at home.
A Betting Woman
I’ll lay you odds that you’ll also hear this classic gem as well: “Well, just because they ghosted you and cleared out the bank accounts on the way out [insert your drama here] doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still be friends with them. They’ve always been nice to us.”
Stop and take a few moments for that inane statement to sink in.
That’s as ludicrous as inviting a serial killer to Thanksgiving dinner. Making this even more of a head-scratcher is the justification: “Well, there’s no reason we shouldn’t invite them. They never murdered any of our children or dismembered any of our family members. Pass the cranberry sauce, please.”
They fail to see the flaw in that logic.
Here’s another way to put this in perspective. Would you invite a rapist over for dinner and expect your son or daughter to come after said guest heinously harmed them? I rest my case.
Just Hit Delete
Give a good hard yank to the bib they’re trying to tie around your neck. Once you’re free of that choking sensation, grab your technology as quickly as possible and block/delete these turncoats from anything and everything. Rinse, lather, and repeat until you’ve removed all double-agents from your social media.
While you’re at it, be a doll — toss them the bucket, bib, and spoon on your way out. They might enjoy a tasty scoop of wiggle-tails after finishing their turkey and dressing.
A Final Order Of Business
Now things have shaken out; you know for sure who your true friends are. Call them all up and have a divorce party. Let everyone know it’s a theme party and ask everyone to come in Egyptian garb.
To kick off the festivities, drag a toy snare drum from the attic and have someone perform a tense drum roll for you.
Close your eyes, and imagine yourself as Sethi (the Pharoah) in The Ten Commandments movie.
Find the most oversized spatula in your kitchen. Raise it with an outstretched arm. (Be serious as a judge and do not laugh during the formalities.)
Stand in the middle of the floor. With your most authoritative tone, firmly decree: “Let the name of Darling Ex be stricken from every pylon and obelisk in Egypt!”
Do another drum roll and follow with: “Let the name of Shiny New Love never be spoken again in my presence!”
Humor, Silence & No Contact
When everyone claps, have yourself a good laugh, and never speak of your ex again. Do you think I’m kidding? I’m not. It’s been a decade since my husband disappeared. I have yet to ask anyone who still maintains contact with him how he is doing or anything about his new life.
When I must reference him, I jokingly refer to him as “He Who Shall Go Nameless.” LOL
“So let it be written. So let it be done.”
‘Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh’