An Open Letter to My Happily Married Friends

Dear Happily Married Friends,

You may remember me as a twosome. I was married for a long time. I had a husband. And then we decided to separate and divorce. Now I'm just Becky, on her own.

First and foremost, let me say that I am truly glad that you're married and in love, that you're working on fixing that leaky roof and redecorating the master bath. I think that sounds like more fun than wrestling Cameron Diaz in a vat of baked beans. Honestly.

But I'm going to have to talk to you about something I've wanted to say since my husband and I split in July.

Divorce, unlike this flu I can't seem to shake, is not contagious.


I know, I know -- it may seem like I'm dying of divorce. But I can assure you I'm not. I'm okay; I'm going to survive. I know this because I'm a nurse and I watch a lot of hospital drama shows -- which, when you combine the two, pretty much makes me a doctor.

I've seen the way you look at me now and it's not in an "Oh, that darn Becky and her foolish hijinks!" way any longer. I see the pity and the sadness and I understand it. Getting a divorce sucks. I'm not sugarcoating it and I hope like hell it won't happen to you and your loving partner.

But I see something else underneath it, too. I know it's there because I used to feel it when my own friends struggled with divorce: it's a sort of smugness, and I'm here, talking to you through keystrokes on my computer, to tell you that you should probably rethink that attitude. I wish I had.

See, I didn't get all dressed up in the foofy white dress, march down the aisle, and say my vows in front of everyone I knew with the intention that I would one day be Becky, As Herself, again. Like anyone who gets married, I knew divorce wasn't an option. At least, I told myself it wasn't an option because we were going to make it, dammit!

Things don't always work out as planned, my dear married friends. Even with every intention of staying married, my husband and I grew apart. There's no one person, no catalyst, no particular reason for it, and most importantly, there's no one at fault. Just like it takes two to get married (in most states), it takes two to destroy one.

No, no, don't back away from the computer horrified. I'm not trying to tell you that this will be the Ghosts of Divorce Future for you, not at all. You'll probably be just fine, happy as clams under your new roof and redone master bath. It'll be beautiful and rosy, just like you two.

But in the event that it doesn't (no, not trying to be a fearmonger, just trying to be honest about this and level with you), maybe you can remember the words I typed on a blank computer screen and remember that if it happens, if you do get divorced, it's not the end of your world. Nor are you contagious.

It's just the start of a new life. And while those of us who have been or are going through a divorce don't forget where we've come from, we also know that we'll live. It's a hard road, my dear friends, and it's full of bumps and pot holes and things that scare you damn near outta your skin, but I promise you one thing: it won't kill you.

There is life after divorce. I promise.

Love You,

Becky, As Herself

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