Sometimes People Are Just Jerks

Yes, yes, we know I’m all about trying to help people find a way to let go gently when they are facing divorce. But that doesn’t mean I’m insane or a completely clueless pollyanna. In fact, I try to emphasize all that’s horrible about divorce, because I think staring the ugly in the face is one of the fastest ways to start getting it behind you. (And really, who would want to dawdle in the ugly?)

That said, I know it’s just simply very, very hard to look at someone you love or used to love and say, “I’m done.” But you know what? Call me crazy, but I do think you should do it when you’re looking at them. Or at least sitting next to them. (Chris was sitting next to me on our sofa, not looking at me, when he broke the news.)

Check out this unbelievable story, via And you know what? This wouldn’t happen only in New York. It’s just that it would only be witnessed in New York!

Creepy, right? I’m not usually a fan of evaluating other people’s decisions, but in this (anonymous) case, I think I can say: Discuss!

Bad News for Valentine’s Day

Turns out I’m not the only one who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day. Sure, there are all kinds of people who get cranky around this hallowed Holiday of Love, but I personally think divorced people get to be first in line. And I never even really liked it that much when I was married, so there you go.

But a new report is out, from the Globe & Mail in Britain, that says that there’s a spike in the number of couples who file for divorce right around Valentine’s Day. One reason the newspaper suggests is that it’s couples coming down from the Happy Holiday Hangover—having mustered through Christmas and New Year’s for the sake of the greater good, it seems like many people this this is time for them to find the New Me, as well. Or possibly it’s the thought of writing one more tepid valentine, or buying grocery-store flowers to celebrate a relationship they don’t really believe in anymore that drives people to do it. Personally I think that’s a pretty big step to get away from expressing some sentimentality toward a person you’ve shared so many years with, but I guess when you know it’s time to go, it’s time to go.

But truly, love is best lived in a daily manner, and not saved up for a single day. And though I find it heartbreaking to know that so many people are breaking hearts around this holiday, I’ll also have to hope that each couple finds its way to the other side with as little rancor and as much compassion as they can bear to. We can maybe sum up this latest news report thusly, in the wise words of the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger (he no stranger to divorce himself): “And you can send me dead flowers on my wedding, and I won’t forget to put roses on your grave.”


And So the Doors Are Open!


Welcome to the brand-new Falling Apart In One Piece website. It’s been rebuilt with YOU in mind, with many opportunities for you to share the articles you find here or share your own wisdom. (In fact, if you’re all about sharing, click on the What’s Your Story button in the header to see how you can share your story and be a part of the site!)

Find out the 5 FRIENDS everyone needs to have on their side in hard times.

Laugh at the list of IRRATIONAL THOUGHTS that plays on your mental soundtrack in a divorce (and add some of your own!)

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, this site will become a part of you. So please take a minute to share your story all over the place.

I promise, I’m a very good listener!

(Comments will be moderated across the site where people are sharing their stories to create a safe, compassionate, and hopefully occasionally funny environment, to help people find their inner resilience.

Main blog comments, however, are unmoderated, but I reserve the right to edit and/or delete hateful, mean and nasty.)

Not So Surprising News About Divorce

ABC News just came out with a report today that says women suffer the most in divorce.

The reasons? It all comes down to financial stress and lack of job opportunities for women who have been focused on raising children in those married years. And the stress about money has serious ramifications: “The incidence of physical illness is 27 percent higher in divorced women than in married ones after a decade.” And the social isolation that comes from being a hard-working single mom holding down a job (or two or three) doesn’t help, either.

I have always said I was lucky in my divorce, since I had a stable job and the bigger career. And I’m also lucky in that my ex-husband helped me by being supportive when I had to do all the travel and public appearances that were part of that big career—which of course was a way for him to be sure he didn’t have to give me as much child support, too. (What’s good for the kids is usually good for the parents as well; we all need to think about that upside a little bit more.) But even though I was one of the lucky ones, I still was completely unprepared for how much my divorce took my life—my habits and routines, my friends, my social life, and of course, my sense of self—and threw it all up in the air like a deck of cards.

That’s why I am glad to see more and more couples trying hard not to make divorce all about money, whether it’s fathers stepping up to the plate for a 50-50 custody arrangement, or some partners making tough decisions to keep supporting the partner who was tasked with being home with the children. At some point, we have to learn that we must do what’s good for everyone, even when we are doing something hard. So go ahead, call me an optimist that I think that’s possible. I can take it. ;)

A Blog Beginning

Well, hi there! Welcome to my new blog. I’ve been meaning to get to this for months, but I’ve been on a wild ride for most of this year (and yes, I know it’s November, though, frankly, I can’t believe it).

I thought 2010 was going to be a banner year for me. I was excited to publish Falling Apart In One Piece, as it had taken me many years to live it and two years to write it. But then things went all upside-down for me, with my mother falling gravely ill before the book came out, and then, in a terrifically heartbreaking turn of events, my father went into the hospital exactly seven days after the book was published. I retreated from promoting the book, resigned from my job, and did what had to be done to help my family get through this crisis. You can read a little about it here (and a big thanks to BlogHer for helping me start walking down the road to making sense of it all, a path I am still very much on, frankly).

So after my two brothers and I were able to help my parents through their last days, I took a few weeks for reflection, vacation, quite a bit of crying, and some time to think about what on earth I wanted to do next. And what I decided I wanted to do was to make more of the amazing conversations that I have been a part of since my book came out. And many of those conversations were started by you (both men and women), whether you signed my guestbook or found me on Facebook, to share your story or ask for advice or to urge me to keep writing about the challenges of letting go and the really satisfying work of surviving a hard time. (And yeah, I have a lot to say about that.)

Inspired by you, I’ve decided to start an online community where we can talk about how to move through a divorce, whether you are having a “good” one like I did (with an ex who was trying to help me understand) or you are having a War of the Roses kind of breakup (and if that’s your story, I say, wow, that sucks, I’m sorry to hear it. And yes, I believe you can still find compassion for yourself, if not your ex, to help you not be scarred by all the hate and rancor).

So thank you for being a fan of my book. Thank you for daring to be vulnerable and reach out. And please check back in in the coming weeks as I add features, articles and more. And, of *course* if you have any ideas about what you’d like this site to be, please email me at