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There is no opposite to euphoria

If you can swerve the courts, if you can, as Kipling extols, ‘keep your head’ (regardless of what others are doing), be accepting without being dogged about it, then divorce eventually simply becomes an administrative, logistical and methodical process bordering on the clinical.

There are weird similarities with planning a large or formal wedding. The reasons for doing it almost get lost in a sea of paperwork and tasks. But whereas the voyage to marriage is buoyed by waves of hope and visions of future happiness, there is no opposite feeling to this euphoria when riding the divorce tide.

Reversing course (in the absence of gifts and cake, noted with dark humour by a friend) is not unlike unpicking a detailed embroidery frame and being left with a piece of pocked fabric. But better to be freed, a touch careworn, from the hoop than exist within a constricting circle for aesthetic value alone.

Getting married is, seen from the distance of time, a rather elaborate ego trip with two indomitable captains at the helm of a vast ship intent, if not on colonising, then staking their claim on the social landscape. Divorce conversely is deeply humbling, a contracting experience undertaken solo in a small rowing boat.

Both of these journeys are valid and if divorce’s only reward is cynicism towards and derision of marriage it’s a sad world that we live in. If you can exit the contract gracefully, give credence to its worth to others for whom dynamics remain healthy and balanced, then you can choose to live with just as much fulfilment.

The world doesn’t stop being your oyster because you’ve gone through a divorce, you just need to navigate through the doldrums to reach calmer waters. Sift through the jobs that need to be done, weather the occasional storm, maintain an even keel and step ashore in your own time and with a spring in your step. No shipwrecks here.


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