for the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge of 20 February 2021, divorce.

I thought about writing a silly limerick, as this is such a good prompt word, but thought I’d try some prose instead.

I’ve never really known divorce. I have friends who are divorced, I have a cousin who is divorced, but I’ve never really seen it close-up. But I thought that, today, I’d post about it, particularly from my parents’ perspective. My parents both died in 2012, but were probably no older than many of you. He was born 1941, she 1944, and under different circumstances, they might still be here. In fact, I still enjoy speaking to my mum’s elder sister to this day.

Divorce was not a word in my parents’ vocabulary. My mum used to moan incessantly at my dad, anout my dad, she would even spend hours alone in a room, shouting (loudly) about my dad. But they stayed together.

After I left home, I presume it continued. From two hundred miles away, she would spend an hour on the phone, complaining about my dad. I used to say, if it was that bad, she should think about getting a divorce (after all, I was no longer a dependent). But she wouldn’t hear of it.

I listened to all of these complaints because I thought that she had nobody else to offload on. A few years later, I was staying with her. Somebody phoned and she spent ages offloading to them – and I realised that, far from being the only person available, my mum would offload on anyone who was prepared to listen.

It was an interesting lesson in people – while I took on board that my mum had a problem, and took the next step of trying to think of a fix, my mum simply wanted to broadcast to people that there was a problem. I’ve found in life that some people can be like that – and I find that their willingness to look for a “fix” governs my own interest in their problem.

But throughout this time, she would not countenance divorce. In fact when I look back at when she seemed happiest, it was when my dad moved into a care home. She was still a “respectable, married woman”, but my dad was not around to bug her.

So, I think she liked the idea of being married (certainly over being divorced) but on the subject of my dad in particular, she might have been more equivocal!


  1. My parents both complained about each other endlessly but stayed together 50 years until her death. That generation didn’t have the expectation that life was about being “happy” all the time…

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  2. Tough word…been there, seen that from my parents and me personally. My dad was a Jekyll and Hyde type of guy. You never knew when he would go from nice guy to ass hole and beat the crap out of somebody. Mom put up with it for 22 years before finally getting a divorce. My first marriage just ran its course with both of us growing up and wanting different things from life. If we were married for 20 years just to bring two beautiful daughters into the world, we did okay on that score. The rest…well, water over the dam.

    Marriage is a tough proposition that takes a lot of work – some can do it, some can’t.

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  3. My parents stayed together for their entire adult life, but they rarely displayed what I would call love or deep affection for one another. But they never separated or considered divorce.

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  4. Your parents were a little older than me but I am nearer their age than yours.
    This generation accepted that we didn’t divorce – you made your bed and you lie on it for better or worse. And if you had an early church upbringing, then you definitely knew it was wrong.. It seemed to be an American thing, it just wasn’t British.

    Your parents may have argued much of the time, and mum may have complained a lot about dad but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t plenty of happy times.

    My late husband and I got on much better once our children left home and we did far more together as a couple than we did previously.

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  5. My Dad never ever complained about Mum, but then he didn’t say a lot anyway! Mum had plenty to complain about him, but he didn’t seem to mind and in his last months said he never regretted marrying her. We girls have to admit to doing more complaining – I knew someone who spent every Monday morning at work telling us all her husband had done wrong at the weekend!

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    • I reckon you knew my mum!

      Seriously, one of her complaints was that he was never there – he used to disappear to an allotment – but really, if somebody had given me so much earache, I would have disappeared, too! It’s interesting that in my own marriage there’s very little shouting. Especially now that child has gone.

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