5 Things That May Have Contributed To My Divorce

I've heard it said that the strongest human instinct is not survival, but denial.  Think about it a moment – there are many people that would rather die than change.  Suicide victims, for example.  They deny their relevance to the world and others, and escape their pain through tragedy.

Wow – I just read that back.  That's super-depressing.

Since this is a humor site, I have a pretty big hill to climb to take you from that place of darkness to levity.  I'm up for the challenge.  And I'll do it using a classic.

I actually only know three jokes (two are about Helen Keller), but this one is my absolute favorite joke of all time.

And it's even safe to tell children, so gather the kids around mom's netbook.

D.J.'s Greatest Joke He Knows (But Didn't Write)

How did the  mathematician solve his constipation problem?

He worked it out with a pencil.

I know – it's great.  I must have read that (yes, read) over 20 years ago, and it still holds up.

Feel better?  I thought so.

Now, back to denial.

This is me - except I have a nose and mouth

In divorce, I've found that the most rampant use of denial is when I find myself obsessing over judgment of my ex-wife's behavior.  Since she continue to puzzle me with decisions that are seemingly inconsistent with rationality, I can spend a LOT of time thinking about how screwed up that is.

What's the payoff for me?  I feel better about myself!  â€At least I'm not that big of a bozo!” I shout at the dog.

I'm not trying to be purposely cruel speaking about my ex.  I'm certain if you asked her, she could create a laundry list of my crazy.  But this isn't her blog.

When I'm busy obsessing about the insanity of her actions, what am I really doing?  Well,   I'm sure my therapist would agree that I'm using judgment as a distraction from dealing with my own stuff.  I have grown to understand that my feelings are always true, but the thoughts and  judgments  about my feelings are often defense mechanisms to protect my own  dysfunction.

Denial – plain and simple.

So, when I find out that my wife is still keeping my last name, despite how angry that makes me, spending three days barking about it   is probably unhealthy.  Why do I obsess?  Because I take it as an attack – which it's not.  It's just weird ex behavior, and apparently that sort of thing is common in divorce.

So, for me, it's important to identify my own stuff which I'm denying.  Like the fact that the reason I get so angry is because I think this is something being done TO me.

The truth is, when I strip away my own ego, I don't really give a shit if she keeps my last name.  I mean, at least we still have a doctor with the last name Paris.   My best guess is she probably just likes the name.   Seems like a stupid reason to me, but whatever.   I ate a gigantic pickle last night for fun at 10:30pm.   We all do dumb stuff.

Okay, enough bashing my ex-wife, who, truth be told, is mostly a lovely person.  I spoke to her the other day we found ourselves crying together thinking about a pleasant memory.  It was a nice way to go out, and it very well may be the last real conversation we ever have.

Since I will eventually re-enter the dating world and start pursuing relationships and intimate connections, it's important to take a look back and see what was learned, and what needs to be changed.

Here's a short list of poor decisions I made during the courtship and marriage which may have caused its downfall.

Let's get started.


5 Things That May Have Contributed To My Divorce

          1. Using Up All Romance In The Engagement – We were in Bali for a vacation, and I scheduled a helicopter to take us a remote beach, set up one of those picnics in the sand things where we were totally alone for an hour.  Plus, I told my then-girlfriend   that this was just a “small fun activity” that I had planned over a month ago, and that I didn't even really remember what it was.  Then, I waited until minute 59 to actually pull the ring out of my shorts and propose.  The problem is that I only had maybe one of those romantic gestures in me.  You can't go up from there.  It's all downhill.  Once I think I washed her hair when we took a shower together a few years later, but that was about as romantic as I got.

            Lesson Learned?  Build UP the romance – next proposal, I'm going to just hide the ring in her birth control clamshell case (one of the sugar days, obviously).   I will be able to consistently best that one.

          2. Bathing Too Much – I am a bath junkie.  When I met my wife, I was putting in a good three baths a week.  I'm such a bath whore, I don't even use them as a way to get clean.  It's pure recreation.  I still shower every morning, but nighttime is bathtime.  I load up with some food and a beverage, bring a book and my laptop, and slip into awesomeness.   One time my wife came home and saw that I was eating peel and eat shrimp and reading the latest Dean Koontz novel.   She became concerned for my sanity, especially when I tried to flush the shrimp shells down the toilet (I mean, it's right there!).

            Lesson Learned? If you're going to do stuff in the bath, let's limit it to washing, conditioning, and rinsing.   If you absolutely have to read, buy a copy of “How To Be Super Present With Your Gal” and show her what you're bringing into the bath.   Then pull out your copy of Penthouse you have stashed in the toilet tank after the door is locked.

          3. Never Cooking – This one is about managing expectation.   I love to cook – it's super easy.   You just hit up an online recipe, read the reviews, and follow instruction.   That's all there is to it.   And I made the mistake of telling my wife before our first date, that this was a passion of mine.   In fact, it WAS our first date.   I prepared a meal and had her over.   The problem is, I'm insanely lazy once I've seen you naked.   I live alone now, and if I cook something impressive for myself once a month, that's a lot.   It's a ton of frozen pizzas and rotisserie chickens from the grocery.   So, it's not like I didn't cook for her – I just didn't cook much.   But a wife feels that you must not care enough about her if you're not cooking once in awhile.

            Lesson Learned? Pretend that you're interested in the idea of cooking, but that you're all thumbs, and really screw up a meal.   Douse a chicken and mushroom dish with tons of paprika.   Tell her you're sorry if it's not good.   It won't be.   Then, you won't be asked again to cook.

          4. Not Reigning In The Farting – 'Nuff Said

            Lesson Learned?   Go see the gastroenterologist and sign up for their experimental treatment program.   Even if it involves a partial lobe lobotomy, it could be worth it.   Your marriage is at stake.

          5. Eating A Skin Tag – I have this running joke that whenever a woman I know gives birth, I tell them to eat the placenta because I hear it gives you super-powers.   I'm not sure why, but that is funny to me.   Anyway, one day I was sitting naked at my wife's computer (which is totally normal behavior for a well-adjusted man, by the way), and she noticed something on my back.   She told me I had a “skin tag” and she would cut it off for me.   Since I was busy looking at the latest Cats That Look Like Hitler photo, I grunted, “Okay.”   My wife grabbed the kitchen shears, and cut the thing off.   As she is a   pet surgeon, I was not worried.   However, I noticed she didn't scrub in and I received no anesthetic or stitches.   Just a quick snip.   So, then she presented the removed skin tag to me – it was the size of a pencil eraser.   I played with it for a moment and rolled it around   my fingers.   Then, for a laugh, I plopped it in my mouth and swallowed.   I thought this was hilarious.   She was appalled.   I mean, she seriously freaked out.   Again, this was just skin, and I was probably fresh off a bath, so what's the big deal?   I can't just throw it down the garbage disposal!   That's not cool.

            Lesson Learned? Next time, just throw away all skin tags that are cut off my body.   When you eat things that are severed from your skin, as funny as you think it is, other people will believe that you're nuts.   Plus, from a taste level, it was maybe only a 3.

So this is a start.   Ladies, if you're reading and had any sort of attraction for me prior to reading this, I'm sure that has doubled.   I read recently in Seventeen that what girls want most in a man is honesty.   Well, there's some honestly.   Oh, here's some more honesty, now that I'm thinking about it – I have an En Vogue song on my iPod.   Actually, two.

76 thoughts on “5 Things That May Have Contributed To My Divorce”

  1. rmharrington says:

    Interesting reasons for a marriage to fall apart. Thank God mine is still holding after 40 years, and I have committed several of your errors. It was humorous yet sad to read this story. Thanks.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      40 years! Congrats!

  2. Hugh Bostian says:

    I wish more people would write sites like this that are actually interesting to read. With all the garbage floating around on the internet, it is refreshing to read a site like yours instead.

  3. Lori says:

    Maybe the skin tag would have been higher than a 3 if you had been a little sweaty. Then it would have at least been salted.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      I’m replying to this two years later! How awesome am I? (Pretty goddamn awesome!)

      Salted skin tags are gross, Lori. GROSS. 🙂

  4. Mere says:

    I, too, love baths. Absurd baths with books, laptops, food and beverages. Why do people think that’s strange? My boyfriend always seems offended by it, but I think it’s mostly because I have a laptop near water (it’s not ANYWHERE close to being submerged, under any circumstances).

    Thanks for sharing that list. It helps keep my new(ish) relationship in perspective 🙂

  5. jamie says:

    Dousing the skin tag in paprika would have made that completely normal behavior as well as raising the taste to about a 4 on the taste scale.

  6. Tanimalie Letuli says:

    hilarious…just hilarious. you brought me to tears! definitely intrigued and will be back for more.

  7. Shankar says:

    Fresh. Honest and bare. Written in a sense of wisdom and hope that followed after wading through months of deep sorrow. We in india wonder why the westerners see divorce as an easy way out. We have a rule here. If you can survive being married to someone for a year, you’ll be fine with that person for the rest of your life. You’ll have moments of utter hopelessness but you need to realize that opting out is like hitting the reset button. Whoever you find again, you’ll be starting on the exact same journey and will reach the exact same point in life again. Divorce is the solution for a dead end (like indefility or continued emotional or physical torture) not a mere roadblock.

    1. Katjaneway says:

      Your reasoning is somewhat sound. But, things can change after a year, too. Yes, you can be blind. “He’s never done this before!” Actually, he has, you just never noticed – because people don’t change. I knew my hubby was  susceptible  to becoming an alcoholic because he was pre-disposed to it as a child and his father is a bad one. But in the first year I knew him (we were living together but not married) he didn’t drink. Until he met his best bud – who is an alcoholic. Now, we’ve been married for almost 3 years, and it’s been getting bad. We have tons of other issues too, but this one just takes the cake. If he can’t get it under control, I’m not willing to live with it. Sometimes you just have to stand up with yourself and say “I can’t live with it”. My husband is not an angry drunk, per se, but he’s argumentative and combative and doesn’t listen. And after awhile, that really wears thin to argue with a drunk man. Or, if you don’t argue, he’ll get in your face and force the issue. So, yeah. Sometimes, you have to make it stop. Regardless of how many years you’ve dealt with it.  

  8. Bleu Pills says:

    Really, she want’s to keep your last name? That’s kind of weird, but, awesome that you can brush it off.

    Personally, I wouldn’t have kept my ex’s name… if I’d taken it in the first place 🙂

    I’d say it was #1 that did you in.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Way late reply, but yes, she still has my last name.  She just thinks it’s cool.  Can’t blame her.  Ha.

  9. KarolineRiskowski says:

    That was exactly what I needed; my divorce became official this past May 13. I have been trying to figure out exactly what I did wrong to contribute to my divorce. We’re still best friends, and while I am grateful we have that, I am still pretty bummed out, wishing that someone or something could make it all not true. I needed a good laugh. I’m still living in P-town, doing my physio therapy so I can walk normally again……damn contractures…… I’d love to know how you are doing; I’ll send you a message with my contact info.

  10. carolynita says:

    ok, the skin tag, seriously groww.

    eew, just… ew

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      @carolynita I didn’t say I was proud of it, and let’s face it, if you’ve ever eaten salami, skin tag would be a step up.

  11. carolynita says:

    That was supposed to be gross but in my defense I don’t sleep very well and the w is just mm’s above the s. I’m also mildly dyslexic.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      @carolynita I remember this old joke that went “Did you see the protester at the Learning Disability rally with the ‘Dyslexics Untie!’ sign?” I told that during math class to a pretty girl I liked. She didn’t laugh.

  12. carolynita says:


    mms – millimeters.


    1. D.J. Paris says:

      I love that my mechanical error caused you pain, and for that, I am terriblly sorry.  (see what I did there?)

    2. D.J. Paris says:

      This makes you sigh?  God forbid I make a real mistake.

  13. atvelasquez3 says:

    This rocked.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @atvelasquez3  Thanks!!!

  14. Angela says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

  15. Katjaneway says:

    Bah. Honesty! I married a man that is so honest it hurts. I mean, yes, honesty is important. Don’t be goin’ around lyin about how much you had to drink as you stumble into the front door. However, there is a limit. My heart had to become harder. I was too sensitive. Or maybe, I was just fine, and my hubby was just mean. This isn’t no “do I look fat in these jeans?” it was more like “How’s the dinner I made you?” “It’s so-so.” You don’t have to be “OMG this is the best meal EVER!” But you know, think about what you say, first. And yes, the skin tag thing is NASTY lol. And I’m one that can talk about bodily functions around the dinner table if I wanted to. And bathing too much? Nah. I take baths too because I’m cold all the time. I never use them to clean myself because it’s difficult (for a girl with longish hair anyway). I use them to get warm. And I’d read in there and keep filling the tub (letting it drain using the thing on the front) until I ran out of scalding hot water to use. And the romance thing is kind of important. My hubby isn’t the romantic type and it really sucks. I like the attention I get from it. It doesn’t have to be a  helicopter  ride (although that would be super cool) but a little note or a txt. Or a  surprise  dinner (cooked or not). And if you say you love to cook, then yeah, they’ll be an  expectation  for it. But I totally get what you’re saying. I started to like cooking a couple years ago and will fix something now and again, but it’s actually pretty rare that I do. I’m no chef – don’t be thinkin I’ll cook for you every night!

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @Katjaneway  Here’s what I learned.  “I am SOOOOOOOOO grateful and appreciate that you made me dinner.”  Now, if she asks for feedback, I have to be honest.  And she has to learn to hear the truth.  But, it can be said with compassion.

  16. CrazyTragicAlmostMagic says:

    Ok, number 2, totally legit! I’m slightly excited by the fact that your all soaped up eating shrimp reading Dean Koontz (love him). However, all that excitement is offset by the fact that you ATE the skin tag. I’m just going to stick with “ew”. I think if I try to wrap my mind around it I might get sick. Also, cooking. I love it. I wish the Boyfriend was into it. I don’t think he even knows HOW to cook.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @CrazyTragicAlmostMagic  I can’t wait to eat a mole next.  On my bucket list.

  17. beingbeckyp says:

    Ok,gross.   I didn’t even READ the skin tag part.   Other than that, omg, this is some serious (yet funny) soul-searching!     And for the record, I think the fading romance part works both ways.   I have talked to SO many men in their 40’s who say that sex has just stopped in their marriages.   To me, you “signed up” for sex when you got married.   You can’t just say “Nah, no thanks.”   WTH?     However, I think it’s the men who stop being romantic to their women, which leads to the “You only touch me because you want sex”   Then it’s a vicious circle.   And what answers do I have?   Not a one.     So there’s that…

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @beingbeckyp  Well, some dudes get fat. You can’t bang a fat dude.

  18. Ericamos says:

    I never thought about a man being upset over their ex keeping their last name.  It makes perfect sense.  I used to think that the man’s feelings were probably hurt when the woman went back to her maiden name, but really, they were most likely rejoicing.  Also, I’d just like to say that I’m so happy that I found my partner in farting.  It’s just so liberating.  

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @Ericamos  Yes, let’s just never be in a room together unless it’s well-ventilated.

  19. Middletini says:

    I’ve gotta say, your lesson learned from #3 made me snort. My ex did the “screw it up on purpose so you’ll never be asked to do it again” thing a lot, and not just with respect to cooking. It made me want to reach into his rib cage and pluck out his still-beating heart and show it to him, especially after we had kids. Cooking is just not that hard (as you point out). Maybe if he’d at least had the bathing compulsion, I would have been able to overlook some of the selective incompetence. Kudos on shambling towards insight. 😉

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @Middletini  So, he washed the red sweater with the linens? Seem like a harsh response to that.  Take a Valium!

  20. Alejandra says:

    This post was sad, slightly disturbing ( I’m referring to the skin part…eww), but funny as well :))

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      My next goal – devour a mole.  Will keep you posted!

  21. TheDomesticBadass says:

    Yeah, about #3…Not a big deal in my casa, since I’m a chef, but now you’ve got me wondering if there was something to all those “failed” attempts at cooking from the men in my life throughout the years. When the hubs offers to cook, I make up some lame ass excuse about “Oh, why don’t you just go relax, honey-I’ll whip something up. You know how cooking relaxes me…”   For all I know this is a well constructed ploy on his part to eat gourmet every night. What he doesn’t know that it’s really me getting away with something. I mean I love the guy and appreciate the willingness and effort and all, but…well, I am not called The Domestic Badass for nothing… 😉

    1. D.J. Paris says:

       @TheDomesticBadass  Well, to be fair, you’re the only one that calls herself that.  (I’m going to get punched at BlogHer, aren’t I?)

      1. TheDomesticBadass says:

        @tfpHumorBlog if you tried my cooking, you’d be calling me a Badass, too. Plus 3.75 twitter followers can’t be wrong…I wish I could punch you at BlogHer (or at least shake your hand) but it looks like I won’t be able to be there 🙁 boo hiss…

  22. notasupermom says:

    I can’t even be funny about my divorce seventeen years later. But at least he didn’t eat a skin tag.  

  23. D.J. Paris says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Thanks Angela! (8 months later)

  24. KareDiane says:

    The image of leisurely munching on the peel and eat shrimp, then tossing the shells into the tubside toilet cracked me up.  I’m a water therapy junkie myself (bath OR shower), so I saw nothing wrong with this. LOL

    1. D.J. Paris says:


  25. thatnanothing says:

    Now that I’ve read about the skin tag, I have to ask if you remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      @thatnanothing  Okay, here’s the truth. Up until about a month ago, I always did remove the skin and put it down the disposal with the carcass. I tried it and now I’m hooked. Which is weird because it’s disgusting and fatty. I’m complicated.

  26. D.J. Paris says:

    @notasupermom  Yes, the other trauma he inflicted was much less severe, clearly. 🙂

  27. D.J. Paris says:

    @TheDomesticBadass    @tfpHumorBlog  I would say you were missed – but that simply wouldn’t be true.

  28. D.J. Paris says:

    Thanks for the kind words!

  29. D.J. Paris says:

    I love that my mechanical error caused you pain, and for that, I am terriblly sorry.  (see what I did there?)

  30. JLEE5879blogger says:

    When I read #3, I was like, wow, I fart all the time! I wonder if it disgusts my husband…but then getting down to #5, O.M.G. it’s like we’re soul mates. Seriously…I have an obsession with eating skin sort of like Goldmember (Austin Powers) but not quite as disgusting…I mean, of course not, it’s mine!

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      OVER one year later and I’m finally replying to your comment! And yes, stop farting. You’re a lady for chrissakes! 🙂

  31. jo says:

    I don’t live in your country and really want to know what a skin tag is. Genuinely have NO idea. Also, re your name, many years ago I heard about a couple called Paris who named their child April ‘n. 🙂

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Oh, I’m not going to reveal the awesomeness that is a skin tag. Please get thyself to Google!

  32. Anna says:

    I am a torch concerned that you’re reading Seventeen magazine. Subscription? Read it in a doctor’s office? Spill.

  33. Anna says:

    Oops….damn auto correct. How I loathe thee. I meant to write ‘touch’ concerned.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Hey, where else am I going to get lovemaking tips? Yeah, I said “lovemaking”!

  34. Mel says:

    I’m still gagging at the thought of the skin tag thing. More about her hacking it off than you eating it. 🙂

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Look at me responding to comments from eight months ago! I’ll keep eating skin tags should they pop back. You can’t stop me!

  35. ImPerfectlyGood says:

    I think you and my husband may be related! Except he eats his toenails…Aside from that you sound uncannily like him – oh and we are, for some strange reason, still together (???)

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      I’m going back through old comments, and I nearly vomited reading this. Well done.

  36. Nicole Polar says:

    Not gonna lie. I threw up in my mouth a little bit at the whole eating the skin tag thing. That being said, I get the upset over her keeping your last name. You feel like she didn’t earn it. I would too.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Glad I made you vomit. I achieved my goal!

  37. Carisa says:

    Here’s another joke for your bucket: what does an agnostic, dyslexic insomniac do?

    I’m sorry to read about your divorce, but like your method of healing. I laughed uncontrollably out loud over the skin tag thing. Good strategy on the cooking. I scavenger cook – it’s more challenging and fun unless I totally botch it up. Then we have cereal or toast, or daughter makes eggs, she IS the kitchen plan B.

    Romance – overrated. Drip feed that stuff. It lasts longer and the level of expectation doesn’t spike up or down.

    I hope you don’t spend much time obsessing on the name thing. It’s a good name. I can understand why she wants to keep it; maybe that is part of her healing too?

    Looms. I hope I am reading this correctly as your interest in the noun loom, not the verb. That would be weird if it was the verb. My kids are learning to spin on a drop spindle. Looms loom down the road.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Okay, I totally didn’t get the joke. Explain!

  38. Sheila says:


    1. D.J. Paris says:


  39. Denise says:

    Whoa, I think I’m most concerned that you were reading Seventeen magazine!

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      How else am I going to know 108 ways to give a young woman an orgasm? No, wait – that’s Cosmo.

  40. Kathleen Wiltsey says:

    DJ you are hysterical! My husband is quite like you.

    He doesn’t reign anything in and he eats weird things … mostly bugs … and mostly because I dare him to.

    He does cook and he’s pretty good at it too. It took him 5 years to perfect his spaghetti sauce recipe.

    He loves his baths and I have to sit there on the toilet lid to keep him company and he tells me funny stories from work.

    There’s plenty of romance and romantic gestures are few and far between, BUT when I mentioned that I wanted a vegetable garden, I came home from work one day and he had dug a whole plot for me.

    Yes, I’m one of “those” women that don’t mind getting appliances, vacuum cleaners or baking dishes for gifts.

    BTW, we’ve been married for 16 years and have 5 kids that are just as goofy as him … thanks so much for writing your blog. You always make me laugh.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      Thanks for reading and sending such a long comment! Also, you married a clearly amazing bather. That is the only thing that is important. Also, stop having kids! It’s enough, already!

      1. Kathleen Wiltsey says:

        Done with kids . . . 5 clones of my nutball husband is enough for any woman. Thank goodness they go back to school tomorrow!!

        1. D.J. Paris says:

          5 – your poor uterus. Gross! 🙂

  41. Carisa says:

    Answer: lay awake at night and wonder if there really is a Dog.

    1. D.J. Paris says:

      There’s one that sleeps between my legs. That’s all I have figured out so far.

  42. Jenn @The Art of Better says:

    thanks for the laughs while I’m parked in gridlock ATL traffic. I would keep the last name too.

Comments are closed.