Was-band?

January 16, 2009

My ex-husband has just gotten remarried. It’s a weird feeling because, as of nine months ago, he was still legally my husband.

Some of the timing isn’t his fault. We’ve been separated for almost two years, and our divorce was relatively easy and uncontested. Part of the delay stemmed from lawyers with a penchant for long vacations (his), mysterious yet debilitating stomach maladies (mine), and an indifference to the possibility of our repeat business (both—probably common to all divorce attorneys outside Nevada).

Part of the delay also stemmed from a Puritanical Massachusetts rule that requires an unwaivable 120-day waiting period after the divorce hearing before the divorce can be finalized—a hearing which (again, only in Massachusetts) both parties must attend in person before a judge. My lawyer tells me we got off easy, having had to attest only to our current addresses, the date of our separation, and the fact that our marriage was irretrievably broken. She’s actually seen other unhappy couples grilled about their motives, their sincerity, and even their sobriety levels.

So while I don’t entirely blame my ex-husband for moving on so quickly, it’s still an icky feeling—like the feeling you get when someone pokes you deep in the belly button. He must have proposed to his soon-to-be-bride—the woman he left me for—almost as soon as the ink was dry on our divorce papers, if not before. He will have two spouses in calendar year 2008, leading to possible confusion come tax time. Maybe instead of “joint filing,” there’s a “group filing” box he can check.

While I’m very glad the marriage is behind me, I still have trouble thinking of him as my ex-husband. I’m currently dating a guy I can see myself married to someday, so I’m not one to cast stones, but as of right now I have just one husband on my ledger. And “ex” seems to imply a disrespect for the entire institution. I’ve heard Kristin Armstrong, former wife of Lance, use the term “was-band,” which seems just about right. I also read an interview with Jennifer Aniston referencing her 30th birthday and “the man I was married to at the time.” Classy broads both.

I guess I have trouble with the implications of marrying someone, vowing it’s forever and always and til death us do part, and then turning around and making that promise with someone else. Elizabeth Taylor might beg to differ, but doesn’t it lose some of its clout the second (or third, or eighth) time around? Especially when your first “forever” is still closer in your rear-view mirror than she appears?

It’s different, I suppose, when it’s your second or third or eighth—when you really believe that this time you’ve got the right person, the one, the partner who can make you happy ever after. They say that remarriage is a triumph of hope over experience, and maybe that’s just about the size of it.

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One Response to “Was-band?”

  1. penelope Says:

    I hear ya.

    I’m currently not even officially ‘divorced’ and I’ve started seeing someone (with my ex’s knowledge and consent), and you know, I’ve been thinking about how I feel kind of disillusioned about the whole “marriage” thing.

    Maybe ‘marriage’ should become obsolete in our society….I mean, after all, how many people actually STAY together these days?


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