At separation it felt like childbirth. I knew that nothing would be the same but I didn't have a clue how it would be from that day.
With more than four in ten marriages ending in divorce, more Australians than ever before are facing lives after separation. But in our fast-lane, fast-food culture, the expectation is that divorce should be as painless as ditching your Internet Service Provider.
For the first time, a divorcee has come clean about the trauma associated with one of our most common institutions. In 'The Divorce Chronical, Roberta Shaw takes her readers on an intimate journey through the roller coaster ride of separation and divorce.
Astonishingly, Roberta faced an unexpected hurdle when her book was accepted for publication in Australia, under the Family Law Act s.121, it's an offence to publish writing about divorce, especially where proceedings of Family Court hearings are involved. A court case ensued, and there was a tense wait while the court deliberated, eventually giving Roberta's book the green light.
In 'The Divorce Chronicle', Roberta writes with honesty and passion about issues that will resonate with anyone who has experience the breakdown of a relationship. "What I found most helpful from friends was for them to just sit there and listen. And to understand that when I speak disparagingly about my ex-husband, it is entirely my prerogative to do so. It never means they should join in."
Roberta is also adamant about the rights of separated women to make choices about work. "Once we separated it no longer made any financial sense to stay in a full-time job - after taking tax and child care out, I was left with a poverty-stricken existence," she says. But in trying to gain some government assistance to stay home and nurture her children (and herself) through the acute stages of the divorce, she faced astonishing resistance.'The Divorce Chronicle' is a searingly honest and real account of one family's experience of divorce. Roberta Shaw talks about love, family, sex, money, dating, loneliness and parenting in a post-divorce world. Revealing the innermost thoughts and feelings she had through her journey back from emotional, physical and financial turmoil brought on by separation and divorce.
Married for 10 years, before divorcing in 1999, Roberta began writing as a way to work through the grief and trauma of her separation. She now lives in Melbourne with her two daughters and is a freelance writer and journalist.
A dynamic book about pain, frustration, anger and sadness that can accompany separation, but it can speak also to those who have experienced any deep personal loss.