At a slightly drunken New Year’s Eve party I met a wise old party dude (WOPD) who explained the facts of divorced midlife to me.
These were his main points:
- No matter how long the marriage has gone on, when it needs to be over you should suck up and move on—there’s no resurrecting it.
- There’s no happily ever after post-divorce, or rather, there is a happily ever after but it does not involve sailing off into the sunset with your new love while violin-infested music reaches a crescendo.
- Because baggage. Yours, theirs, your kids’, their kids’, your respective exes’, your mailman’s, and pretty much everyone else’s baggage is much too heavy and occupies too much space to allow for an Act II.
- That doesn’t mean you can’t have relationships. The ideal length of a relationship: 4.5 months.
- That’s how long it takes for all of your partner’s adorable quirks to become annoying as hell. Then it’s time to go, while you still like each other and can remain friends.
- At about 3.5 months, it’s time to start looking for the next great thing, so it’s cued up and ready to roll when 4.5 hits. Kind of like landing your next job before quitting the one you’ve got.
I thanked WOPD for sharing the benefit of his long experience and many brief relationships with me. It does take some pressure off. I don’t have to find Mr. Forever, just Mr. 4.5 months, which, let’s face it, could be just about anyone.
He also told me it would take one year for every five that I was married to figure out Who I Am, Who I Want to Be, and Where I Want to Go. That’s four years = 48 months = 10.6 relationships at 4.5 months each. Best get on it.