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An inconsolable reader writes:

I’m at the age now where fully half my friends are divorced.  Some of them are remarried already.  Some of them are single, and acting like it.  That’s great and all, but I don’t have any desire to relive my single life.  I’m happily married, and I feel like I’m starting to lose my friends because they want to go out and party.  What do I do?


Of course fully half of your friends are divorced.  That’s what divorce means, silly.

But you probably weren’t friends with their wives or husbands before they were married…let’s do the math – ok, minus half of your friends at the outset, wait – half are still married… So that’s one quarter to start with or 25%…but then are half of them still married…?  Wait, ok, half your friends… Let’s see now… total is x minus 25% plus…

Oh, fuck it.

I never was very good at math.  And I think it’s safe to say that divorce, like math, is messy and complicated and traumatic.

First you think you’re on solid ground…then the numbers get bigger and bigger (most marriages end over finances, you know) (I made that up, but it sounds like it could probably be true) – then you half to start dividing and subtracting – friends, partners, time spent with each, their children…

And then all of a sudden – WHAM! – they start throwing in variables – solve for “x” this and solve for “why” that – and there you go – a bunch of Exes asking “Why?”

Well they’re not the only one.  Consider the remainder, those of us left over in relatively happy, stable relationships (this is not turning into a physics lesson – I did worse in physics).  All of a sudden we have a bunch of free radicals (this metaphor is getting messy) running around acting crazy, knocking things over.  It’s like …

It’s not like anything.  It’s a massive change in the middle of their lives and they feel like they have to make up for lost time.

So they start acting like they did in their youth, running wild, drinking, going to clubs, having casual sex with heavily tattooed personages of doubtful character.

There was a question in all this…what was it?  Oh yes.  What do you do…

What you do is wait.  You have to let them get it out of their system.  If they think you’re old and boring and want to run around making new friends, well, it’s probably fine, because all they’re going to do is meet a bunch of needy losers in the same position, or a bunch of kids to whom the age of your friends will seem a novelty.  They’ll get over it, and so will your friends.  Try not to get your feelings hurt, remember why you were friends with them in the first place, and be patient: when the well of disaffection runs dry, they’ll remember why they were your friend, too, and you’ll have lots of fun new stories to tell.

If they don’t get strung out on math.



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