Rabbi Lisa Greene

What Do You Wear to Get Divorced?


As that day in court approached, I focused on what to wear. Did I go for the elegant suit—“I am accomplished”—statement? The casual—“I don’t care about you any more”—capris or shorts? In the end, I chose a sleeveless, bold blue dress and added pearls and lipstick.

I picked my ensemble with more challenge than anticipated. Who was I really dressing for? Myself for sure, to strengthen my resolve, and, ironically, for him, as if to say, “I am a beautiful, confident woman. This will not knock me down.”

Later, it hit me. No one talks about this! We spend great amounts of time planning what to wear to our weddings. Even a low-maintenance bride takes time to decide traditional or not, long or short. But, who talks about what to wear for divorce? Who tells you when to stop wearing your rings?

Who tells you what it will feel like not only to lose a friend and partner but also how to now negotiate against him? Who tells you how it will feel for you and your children to do any number of things you have done previously as a family? How to answer the tough questions of sad children? Where to find the handbook for experiencing upset and sadness about things unimagined? Clothing against that new backdrop was a small dot in a larger pointillist picture.


RABBI LISA GREENE on the Lilith Blog.