Keris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…
No, we’re not getting divorced, but I wanted to write about *thinking* about it. There was an article by Ellen Tien in May’s Oprah magazine, in which she claimed that she, and her friends, constantly fantasise about getting divorced:
“It’s the scarlet concept, the closely held contemplating of nearly every woman I know who has children who have been out of diapers for at least two years and a husband who won’t be in them for another 30.”
I can’t say that I ever fantasised about divorce (apart from the plan that, if I found myself single and heartbroken, I would repair to Lindos on Rhodes to lick my wounds and maybe have a Shirley Valentine moment or two), but I used to think about it a lot.
In fact, if me and David ever had a row or even if, unbeknownst to him, he’d done something to disappoint me or piss me off, I’d think “We should just split up” or even “We have to split up.” Then, a couple of years ago, things got quite bad for a time* and we had a serious discussion about splitting and realised that it wasn’t an option. Genuinely.
One of the things that kind of freaked me out after giving birth to our son was that it meant I was stuck with my husband. To me, having a child together was much more of a commitment than marriage. We could have got divorced before, but now there’s no way I’m taking Harry away from his father and there’s no way David would ever leave him. So we have to make it work.
The thing is, once I made the decision that divorce wasn’t an option, I stopped thinking about it and that feels great. I love the life coach Michael Neill and he says that you have to make a decision in relationships as to whether you are in it for now or forever and once you decide it’s forever, it makes things a lot easier. It certainly worked for us.
* The “bad time” came as a result of me not recognising PMT. Things also improved when I realised that my feeling that divorce was the only option came around the same time every month.