I write about all kinds of stuff on here. Some of it is silly. Some of it is serious but not about me. Some of it is speculative. And some of it is very personal. One thing I haven’t written about much is my divorce. When it first happened, I wrote two pieces, here and here, sort of about it, but not really. That’s it, though. I think it’s a little odd that I’ve spent so little time on it, but it is explicable.
The thing that started me thinking about this was an article in Aeon called “A Manly Divorce“. It talks about how women write memoirs about their divorces, Eat, Pray, Love is probably the most famous, but men don’t seem to. The author then speculates about why that is. Most of it is the standard men-have-trouble-showing-vulnerability type stuff. Writing about battling depression for all these years is showing vulnerability. So, it’s not that. Instead, I think there are two reasons I don’t write about it.
The first is because divorce is the end of a relationship, and I don’t really write about relationships. Sure, I’ll write about a date or two, or how weird dating apps are, and things like that, but not relationships. It’s simply because it doesn’t seem fair to the other person to write about them. I may be fine putting my own stuff out there, but I’m not going to put anyone else’s stuff on the internet.
The second reason is that I only have one rule about what I write here. I only write things that I wouldn’t mind if my kid reads. (That was a horribly awkward sentence, but I can’t figure a way to rewrite it.) It would be hard to talk about the divorce in a way that I would want my kid reading.
So, I don’t think the reason I don’t write about my divorce has anything to do with being a man. I just think it’s not cool to write about divorce. Even writing this has been very uncomfortable for me. Maybe the problem isn’t that men don’t write about divorce but that women do.