When Life Changes are Legally Finalized

I don’t generally blog about what I am thinking or feeling (no surprise), but I also don’t really blog about anything too personal. I talk about what I am doing. I post pictures of my kids. I post things that I find online that I think are interesting, funny or just want to share. So consider this a very rare post indeed.

Today I received notification that my divorce was filed earlier this week. I knew the date of the hearing, which was just a matter of routine. Or as the document I hold in my hand says:

Now, therefore, it is ordered, adjudged and decreed, as follows:

1. That Plaintiff be and is hereby granted an Absolute Divorce from Defendant and that the bonds of matrimony heretofore existing between Plaintiff and Defendant be and they are hereby dissolved.

2. That the Separation Agreement and Property Settlement Agreement settling all maters between the parties dated February 7, 2008, be incorporated herein by reference.

We have been separated for a year and 3 months, and we really have settled into our separate lives, but raising the kids together. Now that I have my own house, I actually do feel pretty settled in my life. The latest economic turmoil is not good for anyone’s psyche, but personally I feel okay.

Many people reading this post may already know this, because I have repeated this over and over the past year, but our relationship came to a natural end. We had lots of good times in our 17 years of marriage, and we have two great kids, but the connection between my ex-wife (which I can now officially say) and me was over. And this is not a terrible thing. People expect to marry for life, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Geese may mate for life, but not people. Although the divorce rate is the lowest it’s been since 1970 (3.6 per 1,000 people), about 40 to 45 percent of all marriages will end in divorce, according to an Associated Press estimate.

And in some other statistics I looked up earlier in my separation, in every adult age group, approximately 30-40% of people are single, according to the US Census. So even though it seemed to me at the time that everyone was paired up, that was not the reality. Maybe the single people were home watching tv and the couples were out having dinner and going to the movies. Those are two things I have always been comfortable doing alone, so I was an outlier in those situations.

So now I move ahead in my life as a single, white male (with two kids), and all the baggage that entails. As a symbolic gesture I did change my match.com profile from separated to divorced, but I don’t know about telling Facebook that I am single. So do not feel sorry for me or mourn the loss of my previous life, but raise a glass to my new life and my happiness.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen