Letting the Skeletons Out of the Closet for Halloween: 30 Things We Don't Want to Admit We Do During Divorce

Because it’s Halloween week, and because I really like connecting with you guys, I thought it was about time to address the whole “things we never talk about” theme, ie. the dreaded skeletons in the closet.

The truth is, divorce can get pretty ugly. Uglier than we’d like to admit. Uglier than we expected. Contrary to popular belief, I’d like to suggest it’s NOT because of the lawyers (ahem) but more because when we’re fighting for what’s ours—from the toaster to our self-respect—people can be harsh. And when we go home after a day of that, we have our own ways of dealing with our hurt feelings.

Gleaned from years of seeing divorce up close and personal, and of course experiencing it myself, here are some of the skeletons that might be in your closet—and an assurance from me that you do not need to be ashamed. We’ve all been through it.

  1. Watching sad movies on purpose, so you can tear up and pretend it’s because of the movie.
  2. Getting really into “chick flicks”.
  3. Doing M.A.S.H. like you’re twelve, “just to check.”
  4. Listening to sad songs on purpose. Performing them in the mirror. Wallowing.
  5. Making a list(s) of things you hate about your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.
  6. Saying you’re going to gym, and actually going to Dunkin Donuts.
  7. Starting yoga to help manage your anxiety, then quitting.
  8. Breaking your ex’s stuff (accidentally).
  9. Realizing you have their credit card info saved on your computer, and charging something on it, like a Spiralizer or a small beer fridge (accidentally).
  10. Grabbing some self-help books at Barnes & Noble, then being too embarrassed to actually go to the checkout. Waiting until you’re at home and then buying them for Kindle instead.
  11. Hiding all your embarrassing self-help books on Kindle. (Thank you, Amazon Whispernet.)
  12. Facebook messaging your ex from college, just to say hi.
  13. Surreptitiously dropping a banana into a box of your ex’s stuff before it gets moved to the new place.
  14. Burning mail that arrives with your married name on it.
  15. Burning other things.
  16. Eating your weight in candy corn. =)
  17. Enjoying the feeling of having people be interested in you when they find out you’re single.
  18. Starting kickboxing to help get your anger out, then quitting.
  19. Buying a new wardrobe you can’t really afford.
  20. Not being as “okay with it” as you lead most people to believe.
  21. Becoming irate when you realize how unrealistic most movies and shows about marriage and divorce are.
  22. Become irate because it’s Tuesday.
  23. Starting a swimming routine to help get your body back into “single” shape, and then quitting.
  24. Becoming really, really, really invested in the outcome of every series of the Law and Orderfranchise.
  25. Wanting to kill everyone who does the sympathetic head-tilt when they hear about your divorce.
  26. Starting a reddit thread about how horrible your ex was.
  27. Letting your friends think you’re actually more depressed than you are, so you can stay home and watch Law and Order.
  28. Being totally okay with preferring Law and Order over human company.
  29. Joining a book club to help get yourself out among the humans, then only going to the first meeting.
  30. Writing motivational messages to yourself on the bathroom mirror.
  31. Have a good one (or three) skeletons you want to share? We’re all listening! Leave a comment or tweet it.

    James J. Sexton