Name Your Divorce Tigers

When I was pregnant, I read a book called Birthing from Within. What I remember best from the book is the idea of a birth tiger, which points out: a woman’s labor is designed to stop when she encounters a tiger. This is a built in survival mechanism. Since women today don’t often encounter literal tigers while birthing, the book … Read More

Be Careful What You Wish For

When Pete started a new relationship a few months after moving out of our home, at first I wished for his relationship to fail. Why should his life skip right along without missing a beat when mine was entirely starved of music? Less than a year later, it was clear that Pete’s girlfriend Taylor had become an important and loving presence … Read More

Interview: Samantha Ducloux Waltz

I have been admiring Samantha Ducloux Waltz’s fine writing and life wisdom since we read together from our work in A CUP OF COMFORT FOR WRITERS nearly a decade ago. Here she generously shared insights about her divorce experience with us. How did you know your marriage was over? When I was teaching at Sunset High School I was sent to … Read More

Black Friday Night

— Ryan Scariano My jade plant start loves the logic of streetlamps. She wants to prosper, to grow under the moonlight. She wants to shine off the gleam in the snow. She feels what I feel burning in the soft electric glow from the Christmas lights across the road. She wants to bloom. For her, during even the darkest hours, … Read More

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

When we go through a divorce process, so much of what happens is out of our hands. Being clear about what we can influence and what is definitely not ours to manage can help us conserve energy and emotion. Here’s a list I made for myself. The things you can not change The things you can change What your ex … Read More

Dear Divorce,

Your branding iron hovers over me as if there were only one way to give up hope. The lawyer has advised me who owes what. How we can expect to be judged. There are precedents for everything in the unwinding of yours from mine. I know there have been endless sons shuttled from half-home to half-home that won’t add up to anything … Read More

Running Filters

When Pete would trigger in me something big—often in that rushed and complicated time of handing off our child—I’d get lost for a while in the old spin, the suffocating stories, the righteous rage. Day by day, with great reverence for my tender heart, I’d reel myself back in with a practice that I call “running filters” through which I … Read More

You are Worthy of Gratitude, Deserving of Welcome

Remember when you met your child for the first time and marveled at the possibilities of who this new person would unfurl to become? You have the same opportunity right now, with yourself. Divorce is a death, and it is also a birth. The woman who brought you into your marriage has to give way to the woman who will … Read More

The Rage Diaries

When my friend Tom moved to Portland, he initiated himself into the city by writing stories that started with each letter of the alphabet. He’d wait until he stumbled upon something interesting that started with “A” and then write an essay about it. Then “B”, and so on. I copied this approach with a project of my own that I … Read More

Rage is Transportation

It’s so easy to decide that the feelings we have when moving through a divorce process are “wrong.” It’s also natural to try to bottle up and manage those “wrong” feelings as we attempt to steer toward our end-goal emotions. I wanted so badly to accept and feel grateful for my co-parent—and myself. But I found the paradox to be … Read More