EP: 094


Telling the Story of Your Divorce with Steve Friedman

In the midst of difficult life transitions like divorce, it is human nature to reach extreme, self-defeating conclusions: I’m incapable of love! All men are sociopaths! The world is unspeakably cruel! How can we take a closer look at what happened in our relationship and expand the narrative to something a little more nuanced, a little more balanced, a little closer to the truth? One strategy that works is to tell the story of your divorce in writing.

Steve Friedman is the award-winning author of seven books, and his essays on relationships have appeared in anthologies like Modern Love and The Bastard on the Couch.  Steve’s work has appeared in a number of national publications, including Esquire, GQ and The Washington Post, and he was the writer of the first Modern Love column in The New York Times. Steve teaches the popular writing course Divorce, Breakups and New Beginnings: Telling Your Story through the organization UNtied.

Today, Steve joins Katherine to discuss how writing helps people make difficult life transitions. He explains how the demands of storytelling impose order in a chaotic world and afford us a more nuanced perspective of divorce. Steve also shares the value of exploring separation in the context of a writing workshop and walks us through some of the exercises he uses to examine a story from different perspectives. Listen in for insight around what Steve has learned about love through teaching and writing about relationships and learn how telling the story of your divorce can help you move forward!


How writing helps people make difficult life transitions

Using storytelling to impose order in a chaotic situation

Why women are more inclined to take writing classes

The value of exploring divorce in a workshop setting

The ground rules of Steve’s divorce writing workshop

  • No judgement
  • Accountable for telling truth

Creating space to reach new conclusions with writing

The cathartic nature of journaling through difficult times

Exercises for seeing a narrative from different perspectives

Steve’s surprise at the blame women take on in divorce

The relief that comes from realizing you’re not alone

Why instant chemistry doesn’t ensure a happy marriage

Steve’s insight that no one is the ANSWER for anyone else


Steve’s Website

Books by Steve Friedman


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765


The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom edited by Daniel Jones

Modern Love: True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion edited by Daniel Jones

Modern Love in The New York Times


UNtied Events

Elise Pettus on Divorce Dialogues EP030