Matrimony to Acrimony

Melody Ruth Bromma

A few years ago I met and married the man I will call “Mr. Slick.” It was a storybook happenstance meeting in a foreign country and rife with long distance longings. We only dated for two-and-a-half months before tying the knot in a Las Vegas suite and riding a gushing wave of romance to Bangkok for what would turn out to be our ill-fated honeymoon.

I might not be sitting at my kitchen table, ruminating on my relatively short marriage to Slick, if I’d read the statistics offered by the Marin County Psychological Association – namely, that 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 60 percent of second marriages end, and a shocking 73 percent of third marriages fail.

Being Mr. Slick’s fourth wife, the odds of our marriage failure were probably at 100 percent, and we have now contributed to those sorry stats.

Our ages played an equally discouraging role. A Bowling Green State University study by Susan L Brown, Ph.D., found that the national divorce rate among adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2009. Roughly one in four divorces in 2010 occurred between persons aged 50 and older, according to the study.

But who looks at numbers when they’re gazing into the sunshine of their beloved’s eyes? Not me.

On a hill overlooking Sausalito, I was woefully ignorant of my triple whammy of unfavorable: I was wife No. 4, living in Marin and over 50. The end was inevitable.

But sliding down into depression and anger is a choice. I don’t take it. You don’t have to either if an ending is looming for you. I’m excited to share true stories of how I’m coping, and how others have triumphed over what is arguably the most stress-inducing life change that nearly 60 percent of Marinites will endure in their lifetime.

Slick and I rode our wave of love around the world a few times, and its crash and my recovery are the journey I will share with you. Divorce affects the majority of us as children or adults, so as I share mine feel free to share yours.

I would love to hear your story of love or love lost. The names, genders, locales and identifying details will be omitted to protect children and the innocent.

I believe love has no reason for being; it is simply a force of its own. Loyalty, fidelity and respect are human choices. Let’s help each other choose wellness over statistics.

Melody Ruth Bromma is a California-born writer and songwriter, whose critically acclaimed work includes collaboration with multiple Grammy Award-winner Ramsey Lewis. She has appeared on NBC, NPR, MTV Radio Network and other media outlets. Write to Bromma at

(2) comments


Excellent writing, interesting statistics, and quite inspiring!!! Best of all, the positive choices you make. I admire your courage, sensitivity, and very strong Heart to BE HAPPY and HEAL!!

Desperate Salon

Actually Melody I think you are wife number five. I know Slick.

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