After our divorce, we didn’t want to lose the friendship. We still helped each other through the hard times.
Last April I was eating my salad in front of the TV when the beautifully coifed anchor on “Entertainment Tonight” announced, “After the commercial break we go to a story you won’t believe: a man killed by a swan in Des Plaines, Illinois.”
I put down my salad and ran to call my ex-husband.
“Turn on Channel 3,” I told him. “They’re going to do a story about a swan that killed someone.”
Fred is the only person I know who would understand the urgency or relevance of my phone alert; he and I were once attacked by a murderous swan. We hung up and went to our respective televisions. We were finding our way into a stage in our relationship that didn’t have an easy label. Were we “broken”? I have always hated that label. As a therapist, I didn’t refer to divorced families as broken.
When we divorced after seven years of marriage (preceded by two decades of friendship), our friends prepared to take sides, hear complaints and grievances, and close ranks. After the official decree, we looked at each other outside the courtroom and asked, “Now what?”
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