You are looking at The Artist Formerly Known as The Silver Fox, but you can call him Bossy’s Unhusband.
It’s been one year since Bossy packed up her car with one change of clothes because she knew she’d be back in the morning!
Many people and even friends and sometimes neighbors and occasionally family want to know why it is Bossy and her husband separated last May when in fact no one has separated from anyone else — and to that, Bossy answers: because! There. It’s always nice to clear things up.
Actually, it’s this: the way Bossy has it figured, when you have children, there are three distinct components to every divorce.
First there’s the couple:
Second, there are the kids:
But sometimes the kids also includes the extended family of friends who are integral to your life:
And third, there’s the family house:
But it’s not just the house as a material object, but rather the things that happen within that house:
To review, there are exactly three components to every family divorce: the couple, the kids, the friends of the kids, the kids of the friends, the extended family, the house, and the stuff that happens in that house.
Bossy and her husband decided to end their relationship as a married couple, but they made a commitment to each other and to all of the other components of their life together, and it goes like this: to have each other’s backs, to honor the past they’ve spent together, and to move forward as gracefully as possible, keeping the family house a continued hub where everyone can gather.
And when Bossy’s friends inquire in a perplexed and surprisingly annoyed way why Bossy’s car is always in her sister mercy I thought you moved out driveway, Bossy will continue to answer in this way:
In the very near future Bossy may have the finances to set up a parallel homestead within a pleasing proximity. But until such time, Bossy will continue to haunt her family house, prompting it to live and breathe in a big, odd, happy, evolving family way.
pamela dayton time saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:36 am
Good for you.
So many people aren’t able to be gracious when they are divorcing. You’re setting a good example for your kids.
MidLifeMama saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:38 am
There really are no rules around how to make this work for you. I personally think you are doing exactly the right thing for your family/friends/home and you will do what needs to be done to make sure everyone is OK. Kudos to you.
Sugar Jones saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:40 am
This post warms my heart.
WebSavvyMom saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:48 am
–>I was really hoping by calling him your husband mid-post that the surprise ending was he wasn’t your unhusband anymore but your husband again.
It’s great how well you two co-habitat without habitating?
I’m confusing myself.
Kevin Atkins saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:49 am
Families reconfigure themselves many times across a life. How wonderful and sensible and compassionate and humane to do it with love and respect and care.
As many polyamorists have noted, Americans don’t do breakups well. And, we have so few pop culture examples… or even deep culture examples of it. This is one right here.
I love my ex’s. Hopefully they love me. I want their greatest happiness, and I want to be part of their happiness. They’re all great people, that’s why I fell in love with them in the first place.
Thank you for telling your stories.
Meg T. saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:50 am
This is awesome. If only my divorced parents could have come to this agreement amicably like you. I miss awesome parties at my childhood home.
I feel like adult children (adult-ish, since I believe your daughter is in high school yeah?) of (un)divorced parents have a weird situation to begin with and to not really have a home base to return to while your folks split is rough. Good for you guys to think of all the components of a messy situation.
chook saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:52 am
this was a powerful post. wow.
Bitchin' Amy saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:53 am
I think you already sound pretty evolved. Actually, you and your unhusband sound positively rational about all this! Good for you and good for your kids, who are going to benefit hugely from this.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:56 am
Sounds like the Bossy family is very mature and loving and perfect for Bossy.
elz saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:59 am
You are handling this un-divorce with such grace and honesty. I’d wager that you are on better terms and more civil to your un-husband than many married couples! Good luck, sweet friend.
Deb saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm
Totally get it. Respect and love, babe. So much love. I think it sounds perfect, and perfectly component-rich.
Angella saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm
This is beautiful, lady.
LOD saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm
I love big gatherings like that. You might be working through a lot of marital flux, but you’re blessed out the wazoo.
Chrissy saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm
I love how grown up and mature your solution/situation is. Your children are super lucky to have such thoughtful and wise (and beautiful and cool) parents. xoxo
the 7msn ranch saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm
You’re one of a kind, Bossy, and that’s why we keep comin’ back.
Jessica saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Jennifer saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm
You are amazing!!!
Carroll saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Kudos, Bossy. Kudos galore!
But (sorry — it must be asked) is that by any chance a Christmas wreath featured above the front porch there…on Memorial Day?
No judgment, just curious…Maybe it’s some festive Philadelphia area tradition of which I am unaware 🙂
Julie Marsh saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm
I want Bossy’s family. In our case, my family allowed estate disputes to destroy the latter three components. Much admiration for your family’s devotion to keeping those intact.
habanerogal saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm
I LOVE that this arrangement works for your family an inspiration and an example to all families in transition.
KathyB saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm
Families and extended families can be the treasures of life. It seems that Bossy’s familiars know that already. I seem to recall that Bossy was nurtured in a somewhat communal high rise building. Gave a good foundation for finding your own path, huh.
Thank you, Bossy. You honor your council.
Charlie saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm
As splits go, I’ve seen far worse. Done far worse. Your post is a reminder that a couple is a community with bonds and history that extend far beyond two individuals.
Half Assed Kitchen saysJune 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm
I love how evolved you are, too, sweet friend. But I worry that someone else may snatch up the Silver Fox…
Meg at the Members Lounge saysJune 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm
Bravo, sweet BOSSY!
Annie saysJune 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm
Good for you, both, Bossy. You guys are the most civilized separating/and/or/divorcing folks I know. Also, you are both way more civilized than many still-married folks I know. Good for you.
Sally saysJune 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm
You have a beautiful heart. 🙂
tj saysJune 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm
…Sounds to me like Bossy may have the best undivorce EVAH’! ;o)
…Blessings Camp Bossy… :o)
Nancy saysJune 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm
Beautiful … loved and lucky children to have parents that handle the situation with such grace.
Cincy saysJune 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm
Oh. I thought you did it that way because you are, you know, bossy, Bossy. Seriously, kudos to you all!
Bev saysJune 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm
How very adult…and I mean that seriously! After two divorces before finally meeting and marrying my amazing husband of 25 years now, I had collected lots of family. I never divorced anyone but the husband, and even that was very cordial…it had to be because I was still a member of all these families. Now that I’m 61, all of my parents-in-law have passed and I miss them all.
Scottsdale Girl saysJune 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm
So much SELFLESSNESS during a time when so many would be SELFISH. You are smothered in love and awesome and unhubby gets some internet luv too!
Jami saysJune 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Got it! Thank you SO much for the update, because like a lot of people here, I was worried about the current status of your undivorce.
And I get it, too, because I’m kinda/sorta in the same situation. Only my alternate abode isn’t just around the corner, but it is close enough that we’re all together every weekend.
lauren saysJune 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm
grace and dignity my friend, grace and dignity.
Lynda M O saysJune 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Ditto to all the lovely comments above me. As the “survivor” of two Divorces that were acrimonious and ugly, I applaud the strength and fortitude of the members of the Bossy family. I only hope that some of us can learn from her example. Love to all the Bossy peeps.
Liz in Virginia saysJune 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm
This is my favorite blog post by any blogger, anywhere, ever.
JC saysJune 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm
Awesome post. You are a classy lady.
Joie saysJune 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Whatever you guys have, you should package it up and sell it to the land of divorce therapists, etc. Seriously, write that book and then you could really afford that home in close proximity.
Heather B. saysJune 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm
I’m really happy to see things going so well for you all, G. Like others have said there are no rules and you and your unhusband are doing what works best for you and your family. I love that.
Babybloomr saysJune 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm
Bless you for for acknowledging and honoring ALL of the ties that bind us to each other. If anybody can pull this kind of delicate dance off, it would be you, O graceful, leggy one…
As we say in Tennessee, ‘I’m proud to know ya.’
Kathryn (@kat1124) saysJune 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Look at you and your unhusband, rockin’ the undivorce! Glad for you, it’s so much better when we can work things out and stay friends. My philosophy is if I loved you once, there was a reason and I’ll probably love you in some way or another forever. Plus, when you have kids you’re family whether you like it or not.
Rock on with your UNdivorced selves. 🙂
Olivia saysJune 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Olivia still has the original husband but she also has an un-lover (also married) with whom she stays in touch – as well as the un-lover’s wife.
How do you un-love someone?
Susan saysJune 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm
It’s so inspiring when people behave like grown ups.
Elizabeth saysJune 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm
Even though I’ve never met the Bossy family I’ve always thought Bossy and her unhusband were adorable in the pictures Bossy shared. It made me sad when I first heard of the undivorce. But Bossy seems to be doing it right. Kudos to Bossy and her unhusband for showing some class and grace.
Chicky Chicky Baby saysJune 8, 2011 at 8:25 pm
Gah. Love you. Fer chrissake.
Ann saysJune 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm
Amazing. Seriously. My parents did this exact same thing but in two houses with divorce, remarriages, and with extra acrimony! See? Same same.
Cactus Petunia saysJune 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm
Sister mercy, Bossy! You and your Unhusband have got to be the sweetest and most evolved Uncouple ever!
rory saysJune 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm
I don’t know how you guys are doing it.
Miss Carol and me are going through a time and if it comes down to it, there is no way I could hang around and be kissy friends.
You’re a better person than I am.
Cupcake Murphy saysJune 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm
I love that Tribe feeling. There is nothing like it and it makes everything okay.
Beth saysJune 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm
Marie saysJune 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm
I love this post…..but especially “to have each other’s backs….”
Lori saysJune 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm
I love it. Growing up my divorced grandparents were always with us for special family gathering times. My Papaw and his wife and my Mamaw were good friends.
I wish more folks did it like them and you.
p.j. saysJune 9, 2011 at 12:16 am
You and your unhusband, children, friends, family, and home are all such a classy, loving act. You are an awesome role model for everyone who knows you – especially and most importantly your two terrific kids. Carry on! Amen to what everyone else here has said as well. HUG!!!
Jenn @ Juggling Life saysJune 9, 2011 at 12:43 am
I am happy for the update and also very pleased at all the positive comments above mine. It’s too bad Undivorce can’t become the new divorce.
Lynn saysJune 9, 2011 at 2:35 am
Just like marriage…it’s whatever works for the two people involved. Your un-husband could be a model. 🙂
Cindy in Walla Walla saysJune 9, 2011 at 3:47 am
Just “Wow” Bossy and Bossy’s family. You are an inspiration to us all. If every family behaved this way? We would live in a different world. An entirely different world.
Thanks Bossy and Bossy’s lovely extended family.
runnergirl saysJune 9, 2011 at 7:09 am
you guys really are amazing. Everything else that could be said was said well by the 55 people above me. Just wanted to throw my support into the communal pot!!!!
Heather saysJune 9, 2011 at 8:44 am
Since I heard your news way back when I worried about you. Being fresh off a real 7 states separate me and the ex divorce I was hoping you could do so much more then I could. (I was lucky, no kids TYVM) See we can only do so much and sometimes we need to take different paths in our lives so that we do not go homicidal or crazy or homicidal… most of the time (like me) you are filled with nothing but resentment for the life you were forced to live for so long before you got the courage to say enough’s enough. Looks like you two were lucky enough to stave off the resentment and entitlement that usually comes from possibly unwanted endings. Bravo for being so much more mature then anyone I know.
Dawn in DC saysJune 9, 2011 at 8:48 am
This post moved me. This is exactly what I had been hoping for when I divorced 20 years ago. I got the exact opposite and it really makes me sad. I’m glad for you and glad to know that it wasn’t just a silly dream on my part. This kind of arrangement CAN and DOES work. Good on you. Many blessing for you and yours.
kate saysJune 9, 2011 at 8:53 am
After my first marriage broke up I wanted to run over my ex with a bus. We had three kids together. I don’t feel like that anymore. I really wish though we could have both handled the break up better. I truly applaud you.
MomZombie saysJune 9, 2011 at 8:56 am
Every couple with children who is contemplating divorce should read this. You and Molly at Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce (http://www.postcardsfromapeacefuldivorce.com/) have done such a nice job of moving on with grace when your marriages ended. It makes me ashamed of my lousy divorce. On the other hand, how you handle a divorce says a lot about the people involved.
Gramps saysJune 9, 2011 at 9:56 am
Gramps saysJune 9, 2011 at 9:58 am
Owengirl79 saysJune 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm
You go, Bossy! You (and the unhusband) are beyond wise and so classy. It can’t always be easy but the high road never is!
kerry saysJune 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Wish my brother-and sister-in-law could have gone this route. Instead, they embarked on a scorched-earth divorce. Very damaging to them, their child and everyone who loves them. Y’all have made lemonade out of lemons. Cheers!
foolery saysJune 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm
And may it always be so. My highest respect and admiration to you both!
Meg saysJune 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm
Been thinking a lot about you, Bossy, and the undivorce. I think this is one of the most enlightened, unselfish approaches to the D word I have ever witnessed. You should write a book.
kathy saysJune 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm
I think it’s great that you can think of all your loved ones who are affected by the divorce. Could you and your un-husband maybe share the house and the new abode? I mean, switching off so that you both had time there and at the new place. Sharing the cost of the new place?
Kim saysJune 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm
YOU are cool beyond words. When I ‘grow up’ I wanna be just like you! xoxoxoxox
Elise saysJune 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm
It’s unconventional (but since when has Bossy been conventional?) and I love that you’re making it work. I especially like the idea of honoring your past together. It may not work now, but there was something that made it work then and it’s worth remembering.
Shelia saysJune 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm
I’m really very glad things are civil and wonderful — and I realize I’m going to be the dissenting voice here and will probably be flamed for it — but I’m a little confused. When you say:
“…to have each other’s backs, to honor the past they’ve spent together, and to move forward as gracefully as possible, keeping the family house a continued hub where everyone can gather.”
I don’t know. That sounds a lot like … a pretty good marriage. So I don’t get it. Maybe the particular thing that isn’t working (since, by your definition, everything else IS) is … intimacy? You don’t have to answer … and we can label it rhetorical … but what confuses me is why, if you care so much about each other and everything remains the same, what’s going on?
But then, maybe that’s why you’re calling it an “un-divorce,” which, according to language standards is actually staying married (un = not, therefore: “not divorced”).
Sorry for being the only one to voice something other than utter amazement and adoration. I’ve just always understood that brokenness is painful.
Nevertheless, good luck to you!
mitzie saysJune 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm
The best gift you can give your children is an intact family. Looks like the un-divorce does just that.
Frimmy saysJune 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm
I’m in the exact same situation. You explained it so well. And yes, not a lot ‘get’ it but I think we have a better relationship than many conventionally married couples who have grown to tolerate and resent each other and basically lead separate lives. My son sees his parents speaking respectfully to each other even when disagreeing, working toward common goals, laughing a lot together and loving him with their whole hearts. It seems like it could be a lot worse.
Alexandra saysJune 10, 2011 at 1:22 am
What an example.
No anger at all.
I hope I would be able to do the same, though I fear my Divorce would be motivated by an episode that invovles anger.
DawnA saysJune 10, 2011 at 9:58 am
In what is usually a very unbalanced time you have managed to maintain balance. Others should follow your example.
Piper "Ace" Benjamin saysJune 10, 2011 at 11:19 am
Great post, Bossy. It all makes a lot of sense to me.
I’m sure there are moments where it doesn’t make sense, but you have a humongous Great Dane to distract you from that.
That IS a Great Dane, right??
Frumptastic saysJune 10, 2011 at 11:57 am
If only more couples could separate this way… Perhaps you need to write a book chronicling how to divorce peacefully and with grace.
Michelle saysJune 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm
This is the happiest divorce I’ve ever heard of. Maybe? Happy? Or at least no skewer-throwing involved?
surly girl saysJune 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Sorry, but I agree with #70. If you really want your kids to be “loved and lucky” and to be “amazing” and an “inspiration” to them……stay together.
Bush Babe saysJune 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm
You are the most grown up people I know! Wonderful – Stella IS lucky to have you guys as a Mum and Dad. Hugs and congrats (and a happy lean from Axel) for being so together…
cat saysJune 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm
I wish my divorce could be an undivorce. We are civil. We are still living together until we sell the house. But our child is out of the house and someday we won’t be able to afford where we live. Well, actually now, if we want to plan for retirement. The idea of home being a place where things happen is what I will miss. That and owning a little bit of dirt you can dig in. I don’t care how much I will “love my new life.” I wasn’t looking for one. I thought I liked the one I had. Well, most of it.
As far as people asking you why or what happened, well until you go though it, you can’t explain it. It’s not as if one day one thing happened and that ended it. It’s always more complicated. Usually though, one thing tips you over and that ends it. One last little bare thread breaks and you realize, no, I can’t do this anymore.
I am truly sorry you have to go through this.
Anonymous saysJune 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm
OMG…People…This is a blog. It is not real life…
p/f saysJune 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm
Did Bossy notice unhusband’s two left ears?
Jason saysJune 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm
This is kinda pretty much how my ex and I split up. Among other things. Ahem.
Jolene saysJune 11, 2011 at 5:43 am
good weekend dude)) same at ?????? ?????? in comment some guys wrote)
anonymous saysJune 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm
what happens when the unhusband or unwife wants to have an ungirlfriend or unboyfriend?
runnergirl saysJune 12, 2011 at 9:16 am
Don’t be a jerk, anyonymous…..This blog, as far as I know, is Bossy sharing bits and pieces of her REAL life. She is not required to share 100%; everyone has an element of privacy to their lives; some people share more than others. And it’s one person’s side of their story, just like any fiction or non fiction work you might read. I’m not much of a blog reader; I tend to read blogs of people I’m friends with, or people who make me laugh or educate me or if I have an interest in what they are sharing. (That makes 3-4). If you don’t understand something or agree with it, ask a respectful question, don’t mock. No one is obligated to share every private detail with you. This isn’t politics, it’s real people.
Wacky Mommy saysJune 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm
It’s always so shocking when people behave 😉
mitzie saysJune 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Ignore post 84 from Jolene. It takes you to some random page in Russian? Croation? Serbian? I would worry about virus infection.
Lois saysJune 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm
I think everyone should read this post. And go to college.
km saysJune 13, 2011 at 9:31 am
You are a good person Bossy. You have already achieved success in life in balancing all of that with humor and grace.
Philip saysJune 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm
Just catching up on last week’s bossyblogs, and came across this gem. thank you so much for sharing…you’re an inspiration to us all, bossy.
the muskrat saysJune 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm
I still find this a bit sad. But in the happiest of sad ways.
michel saysJune 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm
I remembered this when I read your post, Bossy.
Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting saysJune 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm
One of the many 238947239487234923 facets of the 2384927349283742 reasons why I freakin’ LOVE you.
Suniverse saysJune 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm
Oh, Bossy, I just found out this minute about your Undivorce.
Not that I should have known earlier, but I want you to know that this is lovely. And I’m hoping for the best for all of you.
Miss Britt saysJune 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm
OK, so I’m ten days late, but I just want to say – whatever works for you. Obviously.
And I hope I get to hug you next month and wish you lots and lots of joy in person.
Beth saysJune 22, 2011 at 12:10 am
Though I hope I never have to do this, what I think is so brilliant is that you have kept the home-hub for Bossy’s daughter. As the adult child of divorced parents, I never wanted to be married, because I never wanted to break up a child’s household. Now that I am (married, with child), at least I have a concrete example of how you can divorce, if you have to, without doing that.
Kim saysJune 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm
Bossy, you are awesome! I know it probably isn’t always an easy thing to have your ex’s back but what a good reason you have for keeping your end of the deal; those beautiful kids of yours!
I’m sorry to be annoying, but I can’t help wondering…if your unhusband has a job, how come HE doesn’t get an apartment instead of you hopping around?
J saysFebruary 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm
Divorce scares me. Not that it isn’t the right thing sometimes, but the courage it takes to accept it and move forward must be so difficult. You seem to be handling it better than most.
Dara saysMarch 17, 2014 at 11:33 am
Can Bossy please send me the Bossy handbook/guidebook/iPhone app for “The Undivorce”? That’s what you should do…write that up and send it to me!
It sounds a bit like heaven….