Amicable Divorce

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it.

Or a myth, an urban legend of sorts.

Well, there are law firms that specialize in this sort of thing. Like this one in Royal Oak that C and I are using. They specialize in amicable divorce. And trust me if you want to save money it is the way to go. All told we’ll spend probably less than $2,000 on our divorce. That’s a bargain compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard, people spending tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Lewis Black has a joke about why divorce costs so much. Because it’s worth it! he says. It’s a funny joke, especially when Lewis tells it, but it’s pretty fucking sad too when you think about it.

Maybe at the time it seems worth it, but I’m willing to bet that in the aftermath, when the dust settles, some time passes, and things get to the point where two people can finally be civil to each other again it’s got to seem like a damn waste.

But it’s not just the  money. C and I want to be amicable. We want to get along, for our daughter’s sake of course — parents being civil to each other is one of the major factors that help kids adjust to divorce — but also because we’re genuinely fond of each other. We want to be friends.

That’s what we tell people; that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Many don’t get it, or just don’t think it’s really possible, even if they don’t come out and say so. Maybe not, but we’re going to try.

It isn’t always easy. We’ve had some rough moments, but we’ve managed to work through them. So far. And things do seem to be getting a little easier, as time passes.

I was chatting on facebook with an old high school friend. He’d been through a divorce, a pretty nasty one, that sapped his saving to the tune of some $50,000. And he said something that surprised me. When I told him that we were being pretty amicable, that we were genuinely fond of each other and wished to support each other through this process and hopefully remain friends, good friends, he said that must make it a lot harder. For him it was easier to hate his ex at the time. Maybe it was motivating. Maybe it was even necessary, a part of the process. I don’t know.

Maybe it is easier to be angry and hateful than it is to be sad and supportive of the other person. I can see that. Trust me. I’m good at anger. I’ve been doing it my whole life. My parents like to tell a story of how, when I was baby, I cried a lot, hard and loud. They said that I seemed as if I was pissed off at the world for being born. My response was always, Yeah, I’m still not too happy about it. But you know what? I’ve spent way too much of my life being angry and bitter and resentful for any number of reason. It may  have been easy at the time but in the long run I think it takes a toll that’s just not worth it. It may be harder in the immediate moment but I’m ready to try something different, something better.

Maybe in the end I can’t really do it. But I’m going to try.


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