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Checking The Box

Status Woe

Filling out any kind of personal history paperwork is a thankless task in and of itself. But if nothing else, it is seemingly mindless – name, address, employment, etc. You know the drill. At some point in the process, there is one standard box to check – Marital Status. Many people probably do not give it a second thought.


Last week, Brad visited a new doctor for a nagging case of “tennis elbow.” As we caught up on our day, he posed a question – “When you fill out forms at the doctor, do you check divorced?” We both kind of laughed. Commonly, we feel obligated. Technically, it is the most applicable. No, we are not married, but I would hardly call us single.

"Never be defined by your past. It was a lesson, not a life sentence."


Brad and I are not ashamed of our past, but it is simply just that – the past. It certainly is not our future, nor does it define us. If anything, going through divorce is what brought us together. Having each other as friends to lean on for support during difficult times created a deeper bond. Yet, a silly little box we have to check has the ability to make us feel uneasy about the whole thing. Labeling us as if we are being punished for not being married.

In more progressive situations, there might be alternative options. But it is rare. This is puzzling to me because of the world we live in. There are so many different types of relationships – domestic partners, cohabitants, engagements, committed relationships. The married box checker is no better than the rest of us, and vice versa.

Our status is right here, right now.

Truth is, I feel more married than I do divorced. If only Wife-in-Training was an option…I could check that box without a second thought.

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