The Divorce as a Swimming Pool Metaphor

Several youngish divorced women and I recently swapped stories of our “crazy year(s)” — that whacked-out period after our marriages ended when we had no idea how to behave like normal single people. The conversation brought to mind a favorite relationship analogy: Divorce as a swimming pool. It goes like this:

Swimming pools are great.

A lot of us grew up aspiring to have one in the backyard.

The thing about a pool, though: It can be 95 degrees outside, but when you get out of the pool, it feels like it’s about 40.

There are healthy and obvious ways to handle this sudden chill.

But some of us are rather helpless and sit there shaking.

We may even jump right back in the pool.

And end up swimming with some questionable company!

We may find some alternative means of comfort without a full-on pool immersion.

Or we may avoid water for a while.

We’ll do other things.

Grab a book.

Gossip with friends.

Venture to the snack bar.

Then after a while, we contemplate getting back into the pool.

But it may feel like we’ve forgotten how to swim.

So we decide to go for a walk or bike ride or something so that whatever bad thing that happens if you go swimming again too quickly after eating doesn’t happen to us.

After all that, many of us will find it safe to venture back.

Some of us, though, will decide on a different experience.

Some will opt for really beautiful, interesting and challenging places that freak out our friends and family.

And others will decide there are options having nothing to do with water.

To each her own.


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