In her letter introducing the section, Arianna Huffington writes about the family vacation she took with her ex-husband and children, saying, "spurred by our mutual devotion to them, we have made a huge effort to work through all the difficulties and be friends. And, little by little, with a lot of hard work, we've now gotten there." She adds, "I've always thought that, as a country, we do a lousy job of addressing how we can do divorce differently — and better." Divorcing better is also the theme of Laurie David's post on the family dinners she still has with Larry David and their daughters. She writes,
To this day I enjoy the surprised look on people's faces when they recognize Larry and realize he is having dinner with the kids and me! I'm sure one day I will read a gossip item saying how Larry was out to dinner with a woman who looks just like his ex-wife! Ha. It is his ex!
Heather Sellers is best friends with her ex-husband. Sascha Rothchild calls her first marriage a "learner marriage" — "my second marriage will work because I'm armed with the knowledge gained through my misguided first" (she also says divorced women are great to date because they like sex and won't give men "pressure to commit," unlike other loser ladies). The whole section takes a remarkably warm-and-fuzzy view of divorce — apparently it even makes you more dateable!
All this is certainly preferable to the competing tradition of divorce-is-a-failure moralizing. And for people who can manage it, an amicable arrangement — even one that includes exes at the dinner table — certainly sounds better for all concerned. But not all exes can be besties, and not all divorces turn out to be voyages of personal discovery. Amid all the sunshine and rainbows, I kind of wished for some acknowledgment that sometimes divorces fucking suck.
People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It's a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don't happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.
Oh, and also this:
The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me.
And now it's not.
Now the most important thing about me is that I'm old.
I don't agree with everything in Ephron's piece (I'm not sure the reason so many people got divorced in the seventies was that "we were unbelievably irritable young women and our husbands irritated us unbelievably"). But amid the contemporary wisdom that everything bad is actually totally awesome, it's nice to be reminded that sometimes bad shit is actually really bad, but at least it's kind of funny.
Introducing HuffPost Divorce: Everything You Wanted To Know About Divorce But Were Afraid To Ask [Huffington Post]
Happily Divorced Ever After [Huffington Post]
Why Divorcees Make The Best Dates [Huffington Post]
The Case For The Starter Marriage [Huffington Post]
The D Word [Huffington Post]