Seven Podcasts to Listen To During Your Divorce

Getting divorced means you will inevitably have more time on your hands than you used to. Time you spent fighting with your spouse will now be spent on more productive activities like going to the gym, watching TV shows you actually like, and standing in the kitchen eating yogurt naked just because you can.

This got me thinking—as did the fact that National Radio Day is coming up this Thursday—that podcasts are an awesome way to coach yourself through this transitional period. Let’s be honest, we rarely know what to do with new freedom when it’s granted to us, it typically takes a while to figure out who we are in this new world of self-discovery. So while you’re wading around in the pool of alluvial muck that will become your new life, why not listen to some interesting and motivating podcasts? These are my recommendations.

Stuff to Blow Your Mind – “Animal Sexual Fluidity”
So, this is an amazing podcast, and I recommend listening to ALL the episodes as soon as you can. However, since you’re going through a seriously confusing time in terms of your personal life, possibly your sexuality and maybe even your family structures, I’d say start with this episode. The bizarreness of nature—and its insistence on change—will help put your current transition in perspective, while distracting you with lots of sexually diverse and crazy sex-changing animals. It will blow your mind.

This American Life – “Break-Up”
This is an old episode of this now world famous podcast (ca. 2007), but it has always stuck with me because of how cliché—and how sad—breakups actually are. And also how necessary they are. The best thing about this episode is that Phil Collins shows up to discuss possibly the best breakup song of all time, and to tell the story behind writing it. You’ll laugh, you’ll relate to Phil Collins, you might cry a little—this is just listening gold.

Stuff You Should Know – “Polyamory
Come on, you know you’re curious—and now you can look into things that titillate your curiosity without guilt! This episode of the Stuff You Should Know podcast looks into the myths and realities of what it means to be in a committed relationship with multiple people—and it’s probably not what you were expecting.

Serial
Officially, this podcast has nothing to do with your divorce, except that you are going to get so into it that you’ll forget all about your divorce for a few precious hours, and focus instead on this masterpiece of storytelling. The podcast is twelve episodes describing one reporter’s experience of re-opening the real-life 1999 murder investigation of a high school student. If you find yourself running over and over your divorce in your head, this is the podcast to break the cycle.

Berkeley’s Happiness Matters Podcast – “Is Divorce Always Bad for Kids?”
There’s a common perception—or maybe it’s just conventional wisdom gone awry—that having two parents together, no matter how unhappy they are, is better for children than having two divorced parents. This podcast episode looks at that question in detail, providing a lot of research context, in order to find out whether divorce is really always bad for kids.

Sex Nerd – “The Sex Slang of Urban Dictionary” (in 2 parts)
This podcast is genius from the folks at The Nerdist, and taps into subjects of interest and humor around human sexuality. This two-part episode is both hilarious and extremely useful (because you’re going to need to know this stuff now that you’re single). Enjoy your lesson!

RadioLab – “Who Are You?”
Let’s face it: you have no idea who you are anymore. Don’t worry—it’s totally natural to feel that way after a divorce. Even if you’re not getting divorced, it’s healthy to wonder about this question at least every few years throughout your life. (If you’re not getting divorced that means you’re just reading this post because you think I’m entertaining, and that means you are already awesome, so stop worrying.) But seriously, “Who am I?” is pretty much the most important question we can ask ourselves after “How do I get food?” and “Where’s the bathroom?” so this one really deserves your time. Plus RadioLab is funny.

 

Love and Radio – “Thank You, Princess.”
Did you know people buy used panties off the internet? Or that some people will literally pay good money to be harassed in a manner that possibly reminds you of your divorce? Have a listen to this crazy episode of Love and Radio, which is essentially an interview with a self-described “Humiliatrix”… and be prepared to be completely weirded out, yet completely fascinated. I want to put out a quick disclaimer that this is at times a strange podcast, and that this episode in particular is pretty out there. As such I’m not condoning the subject matter, some of which is likely to be illegal—but it is REALLY entertaining.

Happy listening, and Happy (early) National Radio Day!

Respectfully,
James J. Sexton

Think They're Still Together? Teen Couple Movie Edition

We had so much fun in our last installment that I thought it’d be a treat to once again use the firm’s years of experience in the world of failed romance to offer our predictions on the Romeos and Juliets of our formative years; the people who really taught us how to love — teen movie couples! Grab your popcorn and let’s go for a walk down Romance Lane…

She’s All That – Laney & Zack

Still together? NO.
Zack and Laney came from two different worlds – a cool jock one and a loser art one. In true teen movie fashion, what started out as a bet led to true love. Zack was trying to prove to his friends he could turn any girl into prom queen and while Zack thought he was teaching Laney lessons about popularity, turns out Laney was teaching Zack about the real world the whole time. They got together in the end, but I don’t think it lasted. Zack doesn’t know which way is up, he’s a ship without a sail and eventually I think that got to Laney. That and the hacky sack. They probably made it through the summer but when it was time to head off to college Laney wisened up and kicked him to the curb.

Pretty In Pink – Andie & Blane

Still together? NO.
Blane, major appliance, and Andie, poor person, were mismatched from the start. Blaine was ritzy and rich and Andi was poor and stricken with terminal Duckie disease, but they fell for each other against all odds, and against Steff’s wishes. Sure they showed a divided town that love knows no boundaries but they totally broke up like a week after prom. The thrill of their social subversion wore off pretty quick and they realized they had nothing to talk about. Andie was always going on about sewing and being destitute and Blane couldn’t focus on his Ferrari catalogs while she was yapping away. So, they broke up, Duckie came out and Steff murdered a prostitute.

Clueless – Cher & Josh

Still together? YES.
Would Cher and Josh break up? As if. (See what I did there?). After playing cupid to set up two of her teachers, Cher turned her attention to more trying charitable work by making over tragic fashion victim Tai. In the process Cher chipped through the veneer of her superficial personality, found herself and accidentally fell for her own grunge listening, save the whale protesting, college liberal stereotype of a step-brother. Woopsie.  Odds and social convention may have been stacked against them, but I think they made it. Cher grew up to be Elle Woods and probably joined her father and Josh in the family litigation business. Cher still has her ditzy side but Josh finds it endearing. And Josh’s veganism became less annoying, and more of a fad so Cher hopped on the soy wagon. They bicker and get on each other’s nerves, but there’s a solid foundation there.

Sixteen Candles – Sam & Jake

Still together? NO.
Sam and Jake got together after Sam’s whole family forgot her birthday and a lot of questionable, often racist things happened at a school dance and house party. Sam’s unrequited love was finally, um, requited thanks to Farmer Ted’s matchmaking skills. Sam and Jake shared a tender kiss over birthday cake and a million girls’ hearts exploded all at once. But did their love flourish? Maybe for the rest of Jake’s senior year, but after that, probably not. But what a year it was! Homecoming, winter formal, and prom were, I am sure, wonderful experiences. Then Jake split town for college and Sam basked in the warm glow of her hard earned popularity for another two years of high school.

Empire Records – Corey & AJ

Still together? NO.
It was hard for Corey to realize she wasn’t in love with Rex Manning and that she was in fact in love with sensitive artist AJ, but she got there in the end. And really, what better way to bounce back from total humiliation at the hands of sexy Rexy than having AJ profess his love on a record store rooftop? But did it last? Nah. Corey and AJ moved to Boston where Corey obviously developed a cocaine problem to cope with Harvard stress. AJ dropped out of art school after one semester, hitchhiked to Portland and founded a radical yarn bombing collective. Corey suffered several nervous breakdowns but eventually became a doctor and on slow nights in the ICU she gazes off into the distance and thinks of AJ and what he’s up to. He graffiti knits on lampposts, Corey. He’s happy and thinks of her often.

10 Things I Hate About You – Kat & Patrick

Still together? YES.
Bianca Stratford could only date if her uptight, ornery sister Kat did. New kid Cameron wanted to date Bianca. What’s a teen to do? Scheme of course. Cameron paid rough and tumble bad boy Patrick to woo impossible Kat, and wouldn’t you know it, it worked and along the way Patrick fell for Kat. Did they make it though? Yes. Kat and Patrick moved to New York after graduation and continued to have an on-again/off-again relationship for the rest of their lives. There are probably kids in the mix now that are raised on a steady diet of riot grrrl and unpasteurized milk. Begrudgingly they left the lower east side to move upstate to Rosendale or somewhere so Patrick could have more room to sculpt and Kat could have a proper writing room for her poetry. No one knows how the bills get paid but they do. Every six months or so there’s a big bust up and Patrick leaves for a few weeks, but he always comes back and the cycle begins anew.

Can’t Hardly Wait – Amanda & Preston

Still together? YES.
Preston loved Aman-DUH from afar for years. Finally, finally, finally he had the guts to tell her, in a letter, at movie history’s most wonderful and unrealistic high school party. The movie’s end credits told us “they are still together,” and while I find that a little questionable, who am I to argue with stone cold credits facts? They totally had a Barry Manilow cover band play at their wedding.

Drive Me Crazy – Nicole & Chase

Still together? NO.
Nicole and Chase were good friends until puberty and the cutthroat world of social climbing hit the scene. But one fateful day before the centennial dance, Nicole and Chase joined forces to trick two other students into loving them. It worked, but Nicole and Chase fell for each other during the process. Then their parents announced they were in love and moving in together. That’s odd to say the least. Girlfriend and boyfriend is hard enough, but add brother and sister on top of that, and it’s really hard to make a relationship work. They both went off to college and grew up and now make awkward eye contact over the Thanksgiving table.

Never Been Kissed – Josie & Sam

Still together? YES.
Sure Josie and Sam’s relationship was forged on a lie where the false circumstances actually made the burgeoning relationship really, really wrong. But Josie fessed up and explained she wasn’t in fact a high school senior, she was an adult woman reporter undercover, and their illegal and frankly very gross flirtation was actually totally cool. It’s hard to get past the original circumstances though isn’t it? He was a teacher; she was a high school student. It was totally and completely inappropriate no matter how ~mature~ and smart and interesting Josie was. Sam is the real grossie in this story, huh? Anywho, are they still together? Yeah. Once you get past the yuck, bleh, and ew beginning and they’re both legal adults, they are really sweet together and I think they made it.

Respectfully,

James J. Sexton

The United States of Divorce

For a change of pace, and to brighten up your Monday: Everything you never wanted to know about your nation’s relative inability to keep relationships going!

The Facts:

  1. There are 100 divorces every hour in the U.S.

  2. Slightly less than 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. This number is affected by outliers with multiple marriages, however.

  3. Like marriage, divorce in the United States is the province of state governments, and divorce laws vary from state to state.

  4. In the US, 41% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages end in divorce, and 73 % of third marriages end in divorce.

  5. The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.

  6. According to the 2011 United Nations’s Demographic Yearbook, the US had the sixth-highest divorce rate. Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and the Cayman Islands had the top five spots in that order.

  7. 2008 voter data showed that states that tend to vote Republican have higher divorce rates than states that tend to vote Democrat.

  8. New York was the latest state to allow non-consensual no-fault divorce, in 2010.

  9. On average, it takes about a year to complete a divorce procedure in the US.

  10. A few high-profile court cases have involved children “divorcing” their parents; these are not actually divorces, but the legal emancipation of minors.

  11. In 2015, the Manhattan Supreme Court ruled that Ellanora Baidoo could serve her husband divorce papers through a Facebook message, and she became the first woman to legally serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook.

  12. As of 2011, for states with available data, the dissolution rates for same-sex couples are slightly lower on average than divorce rates of different-sex couples.

  13. Of marriages ending in divorce, the average length is 8 years.

  14. The average divorcee waits 4 years before remarrying, if they choose to remarry.

  15. Approximately 73% of people with parents still married make it to their 10th anniversary.

  16. 57% of people who grew up in homes where one or both parents were absent make it to their 10th anniversary.

  17. A third of all U.S. divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook.”

  18. According to U.S. statistics, if one partner smokes, a marriage is 75% more likely to end in divorce.

  19. Statistics have shown that approximately 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce that person.

  20. People enduring more than a 45 minute commute are 40% more likely to divorce.

  21. Among the occupations with the lowest divorce rates are agricultural engineers, salespeople, nuclear engineers, optometrists, clergy, and podiatrists.

  22. Among the occupations with the highest divorce rates are dancers and choreographers, bartenders and massage therapists.

  23. Other occupations in the top 10 include casino workers, telephone operators, and nurses.

  24. The Air Force has the highest rate of divorce out of all the US military services.

  25. Women initiate about two-thirds of all divorces in the US.

  26. Among first marriages, 15% of men marry someone more than 6 years younger. On second marriages, this rises to 38%.

  27. Less than half of U.S. children younger than 18 are currently living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage.

  28. The divorce of a friend or close relative may increase the chances that a couple will divorce.

  29. New York has the lowest share of currently married adult men in the USA.

  30. If you argue with your spouse about finances once a week, your marriage is 30 percent more likely to end in divorce than if you argue with your spouse about finances less frequently.

  31. Couples with no assets at the beginning of a three-year period are 70 percent more likely to divorce by the end of that period than couples with $10,000 in assets.

  32. If you have twins or triplets, your marriage is 17 percent more likely to end in divorce than if your children are not multiple births.

  33. If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical cancer, your likelihood of getting divorced is 40 percent higher than standard rates.

  34. Your likelihood of divorce is 20 percent higher if you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

  35. The only US President elected after a divorce was Ronald Reagan.

  36. Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander currently have the record for shortest US celebrity marriage, at 55 hours.

  37. Mel and Robyn Gibson’s divorce in 2009 is considered to be the largest celebrity divorce settlement, as Mel paid his ex $425 million.

  38. Among the most expensive celebrity divorces is Steven Spielberg’s settlement with Amy Irving ($100 million) and Michael Jordan’s settlement with Juanita Jordan ($168 million).

  39. In general, men tend to file for divorce in January over women at a ratio of about 2 to 1.

  40. The top 5 reasons for divorce include communication problems; infidelity or betrayal; financial problems; psychological, emotional, and physical abuse; and loss of interest.

  41. 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award, while only 29.6% of custodial fathers receive support.

  42. Among female respondents, those with a wedding bill higher than $20,000 divorced at 3.5 times the rate of those with a $5,000-$10,000 wedding bill.

  43. In recent studies it has been found that couple who meet online have a lower divorce rate and report higher levels of marital satisfaction.

  44. The use of Facebook and other social networking sites is linked to increased marital dissatisfaction and increased divorce rates.

  45. Among heavy social media users, 32 percent had thought about leaving their significant others, compared to 16 percent of non-social media users.

  46. Couples that use individual pronouns (“I” and “you”) more often are more likely to divorce than couples who use collective pronouns (“we” and “us”).

  47. Several studies have found that couples are more likely to fight after having a bad night’s sleep.

  48. According to a Brigham Young University study, couples reported lower marital satisfaction when one spouse’s gaming interfered with bedtime routines, with 75% of spouses of gamers desiring more marital input from their spouses.

  49. Interestingly, when both spouses gamed, a majority reported greater satisfaction in their relationships than the median.

  50. A 26-year longitudinal study found that when a husband reported having a close relationship with his wife’s parents, the couple’s risk of divorce decreased by 20 percent.

  51. Conversely, when a wife reported having a close relationship with her husband’s parents, the couple’s risk of divorce increased by 20 percent.

Are you sufficiently depressed yet? 

Respectfully,

James J. Sexton