Cohousing is like marriage. And getting out is like divorce.
I have admitted that my guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I swore to give it up but then I realized I lived it. The women frequently gang up on one person and scapegoat. That had never happened to me until I lived in cohousing.
Now on the show is a woman going through a divorce. A high profile of high profile divorces. Tom Girardi is a famous lawyer who was made more famous in the movie Erin Brokovich. He is now accused of stealing money from the clients he helped after their tragedies. His wife, Erika, left him right before the lawsuits so there are a lot of questions. Why did she divorce him and leave him now? Where is all the money? Did she know what he is accused of doing beforehand? The other housewives, and the viewers, want to know.
We may never know, but we can see how she feels and what she says on the show. The latest show she felt ganged up on. She called it torture. I could tell that she was having fun at a dinner party. Finally getting some peace in all these changes in her life. Then, the conversation turned to her divorce again and how some of the other housewives don’t want to be included in the same sentence of the accusations of stealing from orphans. Erika feels like it doesn’t have anything to do with them and is hurt that they are pushing her away. It seems she just wants to have fun, have friends who will just love her for who she is, and have support while she goes through not only the changes of divorce and lost of love but also accusations that she had something to do with the accusations as well.
It’s a lot. I have nothing in common with Erika but I feel for her. I would never have felt comfortable marrying someone with so much money and being dependent on them. I couldn’t imagine going through something terrible like a divorce and have your friends treat you like a social pariah.
In every divoce, there is life changes. Someone has to move out. Maybe both parties. There is a loss of friends. (I’ve met so many people this year on meetups trying to meet new people because their ex got custody of the friends). Even when the couple is struggling, there are choices to be made. How do we keep going or do we change our lives? It keeps many people in for years. Who wants to move? Who wants to lose income? Who wants to hurt their kids or lose friends? It’s not an easy decision.
Cohousing is similar. You are investing in a house. You are committing to all these people. It hopefully will work out and the community gets through the rough patches. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Then you move. Then you find new people.
I don’t know the truth about Erika Jayne but I do know, things will get better for her. And those hard choices are usually for the best. No one should shame someone for changing their life.