How To Survive A Divorce

The best thing you can say about divorce is that it's a great Scrabble word. Other than that, divorce is the pits.

Untying marital knots, like swimming down the Love Canal, ranks high among life's more unsavory passages. Though often referred to as a civil action, the process rarely is. Civilized divorce is a myth, and about as oxymoronic as any ever invented. A first foray into divorce, especially when it's yours, is always the hardest. But a conjugal split, much like indigestion or a surprise visit from the in-laws, can happen to anyone, which is why if it happens to you, the most important thing to remember is never take it personally.

Surviving anything depends on being prepared, and divorce is no exception. Familiarize yourself with some possible harbingers of marital decay. For example, it's not unreasonable to suspect that there might be a leak in your love boat if:
• The last time he hugged you was to demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver.
• You don't remember what he looks like without clothes.
• He works late every night-and he's a milkman.
• He only opens the car door for you when there's traffic coming.
• When you go out to dinner together, he asks for separate checks.
• He goes jogging in a sport jacket and tie-for the weekend.
• You only pretend to wash his socks.
• You often find yourself referring to your marriage in the past tense.
• You both have a headache every night.
• He whispers whenever he talks to his boss on the phone.
• You feel the most compassionate thing he's ever done was brake for animals-and that was only because he was in Safari Land.
• The only time he agrees with you is when you admit that you're wrong.
• He saws your double bed in half.
If you recognize any of those symptoms in your marriage, by no means do anything rash. Just remain calm and call your lawyer immediately. Though divorce might be the furthest thought from your mind, your mate might have a different perspective of distance. And once distance is involved, it's best to keep a step ahead.

A smart first step is training yourself to always get the last word. Since most divorces tend to follow somewhat similar scenarios, all you need to do is memorize a few simple rejoinders.

"I don't know what I ever saw in you." “Insight was never your strong suit.”
"Have you ever considered my feelings?" “What feelings?”
"What did I ever do to deserve this?" "What you've  always  done-nothing!"
"I'm leaving!" "Goodbye!"

For remarks such as "You don't expect me to believe that, do you?" "I suppose you think that's funny?" and/or "What do you want me to do, kill myself?" a nod is sufficient response.

It goes without saying that entering a marriage with an air of departure is not conducive to multiple anniversaries, but ignoring the possibility that his I do might conceivably mean until someone else comes along is statistically irrational, and could mean the difference between the DVD player winding up in your apartment or his. In other words, no matter how happy your marriage seems to be, a little insurance couldn't hurt. And the sooner you think about it the better.

Immediately upon returning from your honeymoon, begin putting all of your favorite records on tape (in the event of a split this will allow smashing the records with impunity). Whenever asked what you'd like for Christmas or your birthday, say land. Take out magazine subscriptions in your name. Monogram all household appliances, furniture and video equipment, and if you're planning on children, remember to have a tiny "hers" tattooed inconspicuously underneath their arms at birth.

If divorce does become a fait accompli, survival can be a piece of cake-and not just for the fittest. All you have to do is forget about revenge, regret, retribution or reunion and remember never to refuse a date with Robert Redford, Michael Jackson, Johnny Carson or any other celebrity; make it a habit to ride in stretch limos; become president of a major corporation (or a small country); appear regularly on the covers of national magazines; take a world cruise at least twice a year; lobby to have your birthday made a national holiday. And never forget, your marital problems are over!



Copyright Hester Mundis. All rights reserved.