Sisterhood Blog

On HuffPost, D-I-V-O-R-C-E Gets Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

By Elissa Strauss

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Divorce is almost always presented as a prickly topic, one that imbues it survivors with bitterness and regrets. And so when I first heard about The Huffington Post’s new section devoted to divorce, I expected ranting. But most of the contributors on the site appear to be reasonable and sincere grown-ups — a mixture of financial experts, religious figures and everyday people who have experienced divorce; their content provides readers with sound advice on how to move through a period time that is almost always difficult. They make divorce sound, well, okay.

As a child of divorce I have felt, even with my new husband, the shame associated with divorce. My parents’ divorce is not just sad, but a little embarrassing — as if it could have avoided if they had exhibited a bit more rationality and restraint. There’s a sense that they, and we as a family, failed.

The essays and articles on Huffpost Divorce don’t see it this way. There, the issue at hand isn’t whether or not you get divorced, but how you divorce. I feel like my parents put so much energy into debating whether or not they should divorce, and then, later, agonizing about being divorced, that they had little time to consider whether they were divorcing well — which, they definitely weren’t.

Huffpost Divorce makes me think that divorce might be on its way to shaking off the stigma it has long carried. The articles acknowledge that it is a hard, emotional, and life-changing decision, but also often quite practical and necessary. As a child of divorce — and a member of “the divorce generation,” — I am fully in favor of this move to normalize divorce, to rid it of its scarlet letter and imbue it with a bit of dignity and respect.


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