Rejection and Chicken Soup

I’m an omnivore (natch) but I keep an eye out for vegan recipes because of one of my daughters. This is the daughter who lives with her dad when she is not at uni. Continue reading Rejection and Chicken Soup


Listening to the radio yesterday and Hella Pick, the guest on Desert Island Discs, when describing episodes in her life, mentioned that she had returned to London to get married, having given up her job in the US (she was UN correspondent on the Guardian). The marriage evidently did not take place, but she glossed over what must have been a difficult time, simply saying that the relationship ‘unravelled’.

I was very much struck by this – it suggests complications and complexities without attributing blame or wallowing. Admittedly I suppose a lot of water must have passed under the bridge by then (she is nearly 90). And perhaps my initial assumption that she had been ditched is wrong. and maybe her terminology masks her own part in the end of the affair. (It used to bother me when my ex referred dispassionately to ‘the date of separation’ when I wanted to say ‘the day you abandoned us’.)

Googling when I got back home, I saw that she wrote the obituary in the Guardian when her ex-fiance died in 2009. He was Ralf (later Lord) Dahrendorf. She does not appear in the obituary and lists his many achievements as well as his three marriages. I notice she mentions that ‘modesty was not among his virtues’. Two clearly intelligent and independent-minded people. I do wonder what the relationship and the split were really like! (NB she arrived in the UK alone aged 10 as part of the Kindertransport.  Many Kindertransport children never saw their parents again, but Hella Pick’s mother joined her not long after.  Her parents had divorced when she was just 6, and her father went to live in the US.  She says that was the last she saw of him and that he had no interest in her.)

There was a Huffpost article recently in which Jennifer Aniston described her two (now ended) marriages as successful.  And I love this! When my ex first disappeared I had all kinds of unhelpful ideas about my marriage having failed, feeling also as though I were somehow branded with the words ‘can’t keep a man’. But after a while I started to change my thinking.

It’s absurd to make a promise when in the first flush of love/infatuation, perhaps immature, perhaps driven (unwittingly) by forces such as hormones and body clocks, peer pressure and fairy tales, FOR THE REST OF TIME. I think that this business of ’till death do us part’ and living happily ever after contributes in no small measure to the hurt and upset when there is separation. Naturally both partners don’t always reach the decision to separate together, so that too explains a lot of the hurt. Sometimes it takes a little while to realise that if one of you no longer thinks the marriage is a good one then by definition it isn’t.

For a while now I have been thinking, not ‘my marriage failed’ but ‘my marriage ran its course’. And now I am going to add ‘unravelled’ to my vocabulary for use in describing the end of my marriage, even if the sharp yanking of the cord was his buggering off, and even though I still feel great animosity towards him for his continued bad behaviour. It unravelled. Move on.