On Normalizing Divorce

hands almost touching, brides, divorce

The myth of a wedding being a magical day that only happens “once in a lifetime” needs to be disrupted. It’s no secret that in the US, about 50% of married couples divorce. I got divorced when I was 26 while publicly blogging the entire wedding planning process (and divorce) on Weddingbee.

Many of us have gone through a divorce, and yet there’s still so much stigma that makes us feel like we’re broken in some way. Partially because we’ve been socialized to believe we must find and commit to “the one.” That our wedding day is the most important day of our lives.

Studies have shown that marriers who spend more on their weddings are more likely to get divorced. File that under “things I wish I could’ve shared with my younger self,” but also not, because it wouldn’t have brought me to where I am now.

I DIY-ed our divorce at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, which involved filling out forms with obscure jargon like, “Praecipe to Transmit the Record to the Prothonotary.” Toward the end of the filing process, I was handed a stamped form and told to walk to a library to use their typewriter to complete it. The text on the form had to be spaced perfectly, which meant carrying it back to the Court, only to be told I’d have to fill out a new form and try again. The staff at the library told me they weren’t allowed to assist me, and this was before I had Google at my fingertips. I felt like I was in a challenge from The Amazing Race, except at the end of the journey, I’d maybe win a divorce instead of $1 million.

All of this is to say that divorce is normal. If I shot your wedding and you went through a divorce, I want to acknowledge everything you’ve gone through to come out the other side. If you’re dealing with a separation or the bullshitery that is filing for divorce, I see you. Whether that means cursing at typewriters in empty libraries or going through the tiring process of legally changing your name back. You are not broken. I’m holding space for you here in the healing.

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