Written by Steve Kane
Writing about relationships is new for me. I’m a startup entrepreneur and investor, but I feel compelled to share my story.
When my marriage went sideways a few years ago, my ex and I both knew it. We went to therapy and explored other avenues to fix our issues, and ultimately we made what we thought was the best decision—but it was actually a horrible mistake:
We stayed together.
This choice resulted in many years of woe and unhappiness, followed by an even more difficult divorce—and an unnecessarily painful one at that.
Why were we so foolish? We didn't start out that way. My ex is an awesome person, partner, and parent. She still is. And while we eventually became irreconcilably unhappy, we had been mostly content for many years before that. It wasn’t a perfect union. (Does that even exist?) We had many stumbles and misfires just like any typical couple. But by most conventional measures, we were a decent success. At a certain point though, we knew we’d reached the end, yet we chose to go to marriage counseling to try to sort it out. The truth is, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do the obvious, logical, and most beneficial thing. Why couldn’t we acknowledge reality?
Maybe it was because I love the concept of “marriage.”
Straight, gay, or otherwise. I buy into the “traditional values” view that marriages and nuclear families are essential to a successful culture. I’ve always thought that marriage in general provides an optimal foundation for people, particularly children. Marriage creates the love, education, and support that humans need to try to pursue happiness.
But I also have an open mind about what constitutes a “family,” and what makes a family functional, successful, and best suited to offer such foundations. Now that I’ve lived through divorce—through the good, the rotten, and the downright appalling—I know what’s on the other side: a fresh start, for everyone, not just me. A new chapter. A family that has not been ruined. A family that has indeed been changed and reorganized, but one that is en route to being reborn and even strengthened over time.
Why I am, now, also very in favor of divorce.
I’m all for people getting out of unhappy relationships and ending situations that are bad for those involved. That’s why I wrote my first book, F*** It. Get A Divorce: The Guide for Optimists. I wanted to write the book I wish I’d had as a resource before and during my marriage denouement. A book for both men and women, that lets you know that it’s okay to want to move on from an unhappy relationship. In fact, it’s normal and wise to do so. Our right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” doesn’t end or get restricted when we pair off, or when we unpair. Hopefully, that pairing is an exciting, core part of that pursuit, but if it turns out the relationship has stopped being fulfilling, good news: we can all start over, no matter who we are or what our circumstances. And we can even do so without war, irreparable scars, or vertigo.
My book helps people envision what life might look like if they choose to start over, with gentle but real, practical prompts for self-reflection. I wholeheartedly believe if we prepare ourselves and try to stay focused on the positives, break-ups won’t be unnecessarily difficult. Moving on does not need to be a zero-sum game, with “winners” and “losers.” With forethought and a basic gratitude for life, everyone can emerge with love and dignity.
In the end, it’s not the end. It’s a beginning. With relief and renewal.
So what have you got to gain? F*** it. Get a divorce.
F*** It. Get A Divorce. The Guide for Optimists (FIGAD) is a smart, insightful guide for anyone in a marriage or long-term relationship contemplating a divorce or breakup. Penned by entrepreneur, investor and divorced father Steve Kane, and with guidance from an advisory board of relationship experts, FIGAD provides an optimistic roadmap for the divorce-curious, offering tangible resources and exercises for self-assessment and reflection. Steve engages readers with cool humor and offers relevant and timeless wisdom on beginning again and a fresh, modern take on marriage, history, religion, spirituality and tradition. Armed with tools to navigate the divorce landscape, readers will walk away with a sense of empowerment to make the decision that’s best for them.
F*** It. Get A Divorce. The Guide for Optimists is available via Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Get-Divorce-Relationship-Guide-Optimists/dp/1548121169
Steve also offers an "incognito" version of the book with an alternative cover/title for folks who prefer not to make it visible they're reading a book about divorce here.