One out of every two modern marriages ends in divorce, and 75 percent of those divorces are initiated by wives. Author Ashton Applewhite is one of these women, having sued for divorce after enduring an unfulfilling ten-year marriage. Cutting Loose is a wonderfully appealing book for women who want to leave their marriage but fear the consequences.
Shattering the media-generated image of the lonely, deprived and financially strapped divorcee, Applewhite provides a much needed reality check. Cutting Loose introduces 50 women, varying in age, race, class and predicament, who have thrived after initiating their own divorces. Their fears of financial, emotional and romantic ruin were never realized; on the contrary, their lives improved immeasurably, and their self-esteem soared.
Cutting Loose also answers the crucial questions: How do you finally decide to make the big break? What is getting divorced really like? What are the shortcomings of the legal process? What about custody and child support? financial and emotional survival? and how does a woman's self-image change during and after divorce?
A divorcée enthusiastically explains why shedding one's husband can be the smartest, healthiest move an unhappily married woman can make.
Applewhite, a freelance editor and writer, presents a composite portrait of today's strong and resourceful divorced woman, compiled through interviews with nearly 50 women of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds who initiated their divorces. As depicted here, marriage is too often an oppressive arrangement for women, one they can well do without. If Applewhite's figures are correct, three-fourths of today's divorces are initiated by women, and if her analysis of the situation is correct, they are better off, at least psychologically, for having taken the big step. Despite the financial hardship experienced by the women, especially those with dependent children, none regretted having gotten a divorce; indeed, some expressed regret at not having done it sooner. An admittedly unscientific sampling of womenApplewhite appealed for interviewees in The Pennysaver, Romance Writers Report, and other publictionsthese confident women eagerly share their experiences of coming to the decision, going through the legal process, coping with the financial consequences, regaining their independence, and parenting and step-parenting. While Applewhite declares that this is not a how-to manual, she offers plenty of practical advice on finding a lawyer, protecting oneself and getting one's money's worth, using a mediator, and the basics of custody arrangements and child support. More significant, though, for any woman contemplating a divorce, is the hearty you-too-can-do-it encouragement that permeates the text.
An empowering and comforting message for unhappily married women, but one whose validity is open to debate.