The Divorce Was Unfortunate, But I'm Glad We Handled It Like Total AnimalsCommentary • Family • Opinion • relationships • children • couples • ISSUE 45•32 • Aug 4, 2009 By Doris Reeves I can't believe it's really over. Twenty-three years of marriage, done. Signed away with a couple of forms. We used to be so in love. What ever happened? I suppose we'll never know. But if there's one thing I can take solace in after all this, it's the fact that—right up until the very end—we acted like heinous, backstabbing beasts.I realize this divorce has been tough on both of us, Neal. But at least we conducted ourselves without even a shred of compassion for the other person. That much we can say for certain.You know I'll always have feelings for you. Nothing can change that. Not the divorce, not the terrible things I said about you and your mother, or the months of ceaseless and petty bickering during which we stubbornly refused to acknowledge our own pain and vulnerability, and instead went at each other's throats like two ravenous wolverines fighting over the putrid deer carcass that was once our love.May I also say that, even though we have only a few paltry assets between us that could have been simply and amicably divided, I'm glad each of us chose to hire two lawyers. The six months of expensive litigation during which we went back on every vow of our marriage, dragged our young children through a painful custody battle, and alienated all of our mutual friends were truly an apt finale to the love we squandered.Life doesn't always turn out the way you expected, I guess. From the first moment I met you, I was sure we'd spend the rest of our lives together. We created a family, shared our joys and our fears, and grew closer in love and understanding. But if that dream wasn't meant to be, then I, for one, am glad that our last few months together were spent shrieking obscenities through locked doors in front of our kids. After all, we spent almost half our lives together. It only makes sense to part ways with nothing but malice and unfounded accusations of adultery.I hope one day I can look back on our marriage and remember the good things. We had some fun times didn't we? Like that summer we took the kids up to Lake Leelanau, and you covered your body in sand and seaweed and chased them around the cabin, pretending to be the monster of Gitche Gumee? We ate crabs on the dock with our feet hanging in the water, and I told you I'd love you until my last breath. And then, 11 years later, I stood in a courtroom and swore before a judge that I've seen you hit our daughter on several occasions, and that I worry about your drinking. Remember that?Memories like that will stay with us forever.Memories of the way we attacked each other's personal reputations like a pack of hyenas tearing apart a young gazelle. Of how we slashed and ripped each other like crazed sharks in a feeding frenzy, maddened into irrational spasms of carnage and gore by the smell of fresh blood in the open water. Of how we snarled and spat, like saber-toothed tigers digging their fangs into the flank of a stunned woolly mammoth and bringing it to the ground as it thrashes and howls in pain.We'll always have that.There's no reason divorce has to be a terrible experience. What's important is that we both know in our heart of hearts that our divorce was as bad as it could be. It's a comfort to think that the utter dissolution of our marriage was as ugly as humanly possible, without resorting to actual, physical violence. After all, we're adults, right? There's no reason we shouldn't handle this matter with the maturity of two screaming, biting five-year-olds.If not for us, then for our children. Or should I say your child and my child, now that the custody battles are finally settled?Well, my darling ex-husband, it has certainly been memorable being your wife, your lover, and the counterclaimant in several vicious lawsuits. Even though our marriage has come to an end in the most spiteful manner possible, I hope that when you think of me, your once-wife, and the life we shared together, some part of you will always know that you can suck my dick, you two-faced, no-good fuckhead. I hope you burn in hell.