Monday, October 10, 2011

Is Texas for Exes?

We baby boomers redefined marriage – and divorce. I believe the statistic is that 50% of boomer first marriages end in divorce. That translates to a lot of exes, perhaps even too many for a state as large as Texas.

This week, two very dear girlfriends each received the news that their ex was getting remarried. Though I don’t think either of them were pining for the ex, or waiting on any type of reconciliation, it was still a jolt to the system. Emotions that we work diligently to keep tucked away and hidden suddenly rise to the surface, and we have to face them head on. Though we heard the music in the background for a long time, now the fat lady is actually singing.
I have two exes. I am a lucky lady. Both of my exes are wonderful men and I remain friends with each of them today. I am also friends with their wives; vibrant women who have always been kind to me and most of all, extremely kind and loving to my daughters. We are all able to gather together for monumental family events like graduations, weddings and the birth of our first grandchild. When you share years of marriage with someone, you can’t simply discard all the feelings and memories because the relationship comes to an end. Well, at least not without a lot of therapy.
I certainly have many friends who would gladly ship their exes to Texas if they could. Not everyone is able to remain friends after a divorce, and it is usually for good reasons. Things like physical or emotional abuse are unacceptable and cannot be forgiven. In those cases, it is best to cut all ties and be done with it. But for those of us who were lucky to have shared a marriage with someone wonderful, it is a blessing to be able to maintain a friendship and retain the happy memories.

So what do you do when you get the news that the wedding bells are getting ready to chime for your ex? Here are some handy tips from someone with lots of experience:

Deal with those initial feelings and get them out of your system. If you need a good cry, rent a DVD like Hope Floats or anything based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. Grab a half-gallon container of your favorite ice cream, along with a box of tissues, and have at it.
Plan a dinner party inviting all your divorced friends. The theme for the evening is “Reasons We Got Divorced in the First Place”. Rehash all the things about your ex that drove you to drink.  Start off with their annoying habits. This is sure to lead to uproarious laughter which will set the tone for a fun, though productive, night.

Reflect on all you have achieved in your personal life since the divorce, especially the rebound fling with the hottie who was ten years younger than you.

Start the diet and exercise program   again.
Call your ex, congratulate him, wish him the best and then ask when your invitation will arrive.

Send the happy couple a card or even a small gift – even though you weren’t invited.

Take those old records off the shelf, sit and listen to them by yourself. Mandatory listening includes Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, Helen Ready’s “I am Woman” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.
Decide if you want to test the waters and find a soulmate with whom you can grow old. If the answer is “yes”, book a flight to Texas. I hear there are plenty of available singles living there.

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