Bill of Rights for Ex Wives

Divorced? Finally, a Bill of Rights for Ex Wives

RIP Nora Ephron: "Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever."

Nora Ephron was the original Ex Wife. The brilliant author and screenwriter was really the best, funniest and most courageous writer to pull back the curtain and reveal the indignities and horrors of being cheated on by your husband, of navigating the uncertain aftermath of post-split-with-children life.

Ms. Ephron died recently after living privately with an aggressive cancer. She was 71.

If you have not read her book "Heartburn" and seen the movie starring Meryl Streep playing the very pregnant, very cheated on Nora Ephron, do yourself a favor and do so right now.

She was founder and editor-at-large for Huffington Post Divorce, and the site said goodbye to her today beneath the headline: "Thank You, Nora Ephron, For Telling the Truth About Divorce"

It seems a fitting way to say goodbye to one of our favorite and most loved chroniclers of women's lives. She told painful truths encased in hysterically funny prose, with some fabulous recipes thrown in.

Beneath the veneer of incredible humor and wit, she rendered so many sad realities and conflicts inherent in post-divorce parenting.

In honor of Nora Ephron, and all the members of the Ex Wives Club, I hereby offer:

A Bill of 33 Rights for Ex Wives

  1. You have the right not to be cheated on – especially when pregnant.
  2. You have the right to make loud public scenes when finding out your husband is cheating on you – when you're pregnant.
  3. You have the right to announce your findings at a dinner party with close friends.
  4. You have the right to use cooking and food as comfort, distraction, revenge or weaponry – but, alas—chances are it will come back to bite you on the hips.
  5. You have the right to share your story (or, if you're Nora Ephron, write a best-selling book about it that gets turned into an award-winning movie starring Meryl Streep as you…and then get to be buddies with Ms. Streep.)
  6. You have the right to an honest accounting by your ex-husband of what he's done – only if you want it.
  7. You have the right to feel stunned and outraged that your life turned out this way.
  8. You have the right to pamper yourself, to nip or tuck or spa your way through the despair.
  9. You have the right to demand payment for your decades of unpaid labor and not feel one iota of guilt.

10.You have the right to tell your children the whole truth, (some of it only when they are old enough.)

Read the rest of the Bill of 33 Rights for Ex Wives

Read more from the series the Divorce Diaries:

Nobody Told Me Sharing Custody Meant Sharing My Daughter!

Facebook now a divorce lawyer's best weapon

Sex with your Ex? Why Divorce Sex is so Good and so Bad

15 Tough Truths about Divorce

Can Divorce be the Best Part of Your Marriage? 10 Tips on remaining sane and humane

Who Gets Custody of the Friends after Divorce


About the Author

Pam Cytrynbaum

Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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