Featured, My head

The surprising feels of divorce

November 8, 2017
paddington reservoir

image: Leah Moore

It’s been 42 months since my husband and I decided to call it quits. It had been a rough couple of years prior to that and someone finally had to make a call. In that 42 months, there were deluges of tears, anger, sorrow, and intense upheaval before calm and peace was restored.

There were hearts broken, egos shattered and horrible words spoken before friendships were finally formed. But mostly there were dreams of a life shared that vanished like smoke sailing away on a wind.

I didn’t rush to get a divorce, not because we were holding onto hope of reconciliation or anything wacky like that, but because we’re both a bit shit at personal admin. Everything was calm, and settled. The money stuff (which is the stuff that often gets acrimonious) was handled in a civilized fashion to everyone’s satisfaction. We knew we were done, we just couldn’t be arsed to sort it.

I have moved on with my heart and given it wholeheartedly to another. So really a divorce is just a formality. Like those people who choose never to marry because it’s just a piece of paper.

My new partner didn’t care that I was technically still married, so I had both a husband and a boyfriend, a fact I never tired of pulling out at dinner parties for comedy value.

But then I decided it was time to pull my finger out and sever that final cord that bound us together. An online form, a couple of certificates scanned, a little signature from a JP plus $800 smackeroonies and I now pronounce you no longer man and wife. Simples.

So why did it feel so… so… I don’t know, sad? Heavy?


Like another severance, that was really done months ago in words and actions. This piece of paper (which I’ll apparently receive in the mail sometime) is really just another thing to go in the emotional filing cabinet with all of the other pieces of history but I was a little caught off guard by the feels.

It’s not wailing, or weeping kind of feels. There is no gnashing of teeth. That all ran out years ago now. It’s more just a weighty ho-hum as the final amputation of my husband is cast, and he is now officially my ex-husband. My dinner party joke is no longer. I officially need new material. I hate when a good joke dies. I wonder where they all go?

It’s funny because I hear of people having divorce parties. This does not feel to me like something I want to drink shots of tequila over whilst dancing the Macarena on a tabletop with my tits out. To be honest, I thought it might be quite symbolic if we went and shared a whiskey somewhere together but I didn’t suggest it in the end. Instead, I made the kids dinner and pretended it was just another day.

We did text on the actual day. Our appointed court time was midday and I watched the clock on my computer as I worked wondering if I’d somehow feel different after it was done. I did not. Next minute it was 1pm and I guessed it was done because no one called me to protest the dissolution.

We agreed it felt weird, and we discussed why that would be. And we agreed we were both a little bit sad. Because even after all the shit that went down, and the almost four years in between, it is a bit sad.

port douglas family wedding

image: Kirsten Cox

But when this photo came up in my feed today and it made me smile. That was a brilliant day. It was a bit rainy, but we didn’t care. My dress got dirty and I put my heel through the lace, but I didn’t care. In front of all of our friends and family we pledged a love to each other and our children. I guess on one hand, we broke that pledge, but on another more evolved hand, we still honour it.

He drives me crazy, and I he, but I will always care for the father of my children. I am with another man now, who fits me much better in so many ways, but I will always look at this image and remember those kids in the picture and how big their hearts felt on this day. I wouldn’t go back and warn them it would end badly because they both had so much to learn from each other.

Precious lessons from a precious union.

I would just wish them luck and tell them to go gently.



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  • Reply Staria November 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for this. I thought it would be more flippant (and I love that about your writing) but it was very sweet. Struggling myself, I needed it today.

    • Reply Danielle November 13, 2017 at 9:27 am

      I’m feeling less flippant these days…. I’ve noticed it in my writing lately! Hope you’re feeling better this week.

  • Reply anyone November 10, 2017 at 9:11 am

    So, did your affair precipitate your divorce? Was your ex seeing someone else, too? Any custody issues? Sorry for all the Qs…

    • Reply Danielle November 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I didn’t have an affair. I think you may have read into it something that wasn’t there. My marriage was over before I started dating again.
      No custody issues. I am the primary carer of our children.

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