Don’t make a song and dance of your divorce

Thursday, January 17, 2013
1:59 AM

My Nanna once told me that “no man wants second-hand goods” and that therefore I should get married as quickly as possible in order to avoid the horror of being “left on the shelf”.

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On this matter, as with the time she claimed pizza was an English dish “because Findus makes them”, my Nanna was awfully, terribly wrong. Men love second-hand goods, especially if the second-hand goods have never dreamt of hugely expensive, boring weddings involving summit meetings about place settings, colour schemes, ‘table favours’ and whether or not a dove release is “a bit 2011”.

Of all the unromantic reasons not to marry, the most compulsive came into my inbox this week: a new book has been published called ‘Dancing Through Divorce: Finding Healing in the Ballroom’ which suggests that the way to make it through divorce is to don lycra and rhinestones and start waltzing.

I have seen the divorce statistics. I have also seen Strictly Come Dancing. I find neither appealing.

Deborah Graham, a divorce laywer and divorcee, has written a book about surviving divorce through the medium of dance rather than, for example, the medium of alcohol or regrettable, short-lived encounters with whoever is outside the nightclub at 1.50am.

“Fighting fear, shame and vulnerability, Graham unexpectedly turned to ballroom dance. She chronicles her journey from struggle and negativity to courage, self-worth and beauty in her new book,” says the press release.

Graham herself adds: “At my first lesson, my instructor looked me in the eye and asked me what I wanted to get from dancing. I startled myself with my answer: ‘dance me beautiful’ was all I could say.”

I am beginning to see why Ms Graham is divorced. If I ever answer any question, unless it is “what is the worst post-divorce book you could ever imagine recommending?’ with “dance me beautiful”, you all have carte blanche to lamp me one. I will deserve it.

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce which is sad. That the lovelorn should then be expected to start ballroom dancing in order to survive the trauma is, however, a real tragedy.

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