In this episode of "Settle This Thing" Tamara and Drew take on the issue of your spouse constantly commenting on your driving. Of course this is annoying, but what if your spouse thinks you aren't driving safely? Now how much should he or she comment? Hmmmm. Voting is closed, but check out the debate.
Unlike the classic chicken and egg debate it's pretty clear that for a divorce to happen it must be preceded by a marriage. It's a bit like needing a job to be able to get fired. Divorce is one possible outcome of marriage and therefore, doesn't exist without it. Except that is on The Huffington Post.
Seven months ago the popular internet newspaper launched a section called HuffPost Divorce. It is not part of a larger section on marriage or under the broader topic of relationships. HuffPost Divorce stands squarely on its own. Since the launch I have periodically visited the page, but it has never settled well with me. Talking about divorce without talking about lasting marriages, and more importantly how to make them last seems like putting the focus on the pain and heartbreak and only telling half of the story. I've never understood why the site would skip over dating, relationships and especially marriage to go straight to divorce. So today I finally decided to find out the origin of this page.
According to site creator Arianna Huffington, HuffPost Divorce was inspired by writer/director/producer Nora Ephron who is also an editor-at-large for the site. The creative force behind such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, Ephron is divorced (twice) as is Arianna Huffington. In an introduction to the section Huffington speaks of her own divorce as well as that of her parents. She spoke of the difficulty of divorce, the challenges of co-parenting and a desire to provide readers with "insight, resources, community and some comic relief." An assertive and persuasive woman, Huffington started to sway me. As a marriage blogger I have learned about numerous resources available to support married couples, but maybe there's a void in the area of divorce and HuffPost Divorce could be just the resource to fill it.
Not so fast Arianna. I'm looking at the section right now and I see "Celebrities React to Schwarzenegger Scandal," "Rocker Peter Frampton splits from Wife #3" and then of course there's news about George Clooney's recent split from his girlfriend. Those stories certainly don't sound like they will be providing any insights. In all fairness there are other links on the page (just none with splashy celebrity photos) so maybe those are the articles that provide support. Nevertheless, by including this section without any discussion of marriage The Huffington Post seems to be saying that in this case divorce comes first.
If you've been married for more than a week, you should know there are things you never say to your spouse. First, there are the obvious ones such as anything involving the word "fat" or any reference to how gorgeous your ex was. If you make that rookie mistake, you should automatically revert back to being engaged because clearly you are not ready for matrimony.
Then there are comments it seems like you should know not to say, but if you're not careful they can slip out. I was on the receiving end of such a comment recently when my husband came home and told me about a conversation he had with friends over dinner. The group (which was primarily made up of married men) was discussing whether or not they would remarry if their wife died or they got a divorce. I waited anxiously for my husband to speak of his devastation if either event occurred. Then he told me what he said to the group, "I would definitely get married again." It was the "definitely" that stung. He seemed so sure about the decision. It felt like he might try to meet someone at my funeral. Or maybe if I were to survive this what-if situation and we just split up, he would pull a Kelsey Grammer and get engaged before our divorce was even final. Either way, the minute I'm out, she's in.
My husband later defended his comment saying actually it was a testament to how much he enjoys being married to me. It meant that if I went away (willingly or otherwise) he would in some ways be trying to recreate the type of relationship we have with each other. Okay, that was a pretty good recovery. Plus, when I thought about it, would I really want my husband to emphatically state "I would never get married again" as if my death or our divorce would be his ticket to sweet freedom?
If you want to know the best way to handle the remarriage question with your spouse, I have a few suggestions. The first rule is to avoid all extremes. "Definitely" and "never" should not be spoken. The important thing is to express the appropriate amount of hypothetical grief. Say something like "I really don't know what I would do because first I would have to get over losing you." Then tell your spouse that just talking about all this makes you uneasy and ask to change the subject.