Telling the Truth About Divorce: A conversation with Jennifer Hurvitz Weintraub
She thinks it, she says it. Or rather, blogs about it.
And people love her for it.
Jen Hurvitz Weintraub, a.k.a. the tell-all blogger known as The Truth Hurvitz, launched her blog more than a year ago when she and her husband separated. In an exclusive interview for this blog, she said they’re still best friends and her ex, Mark, approves of everything she publishes on the blog.
“Mark just lets me go,” she says. “He was married to me, and he knows me. Luckily, I make jokes – ‘Mark, you’ll get $2 for every time I use your name.’ And he’s like, ‘I should get $3.’”
Being happily married is hard work, says Jen, “but being happily divorced is even harder. That’s what a lot of people are missing. When we divorced, I looked at him and said, ‘We’re not happy, clearly, but I’m not getting divorced unless we do it the right way.’ I said, ‘I’ll stay with you the rest of my life and we’ll be miserable or we’ll get divorced and we’re not going to fight over the beanbag in the corner.”
Jen and Mark met in Israel on a singles mission, got engaged six months later and married 10 months after that. They stayed married for 12 years, during which the family, including sons Jonah, 13, and Zachary, 11, relocated from Michigan to North Carolina for Mark’s work.
In North Carolina, couples must be legally separated for a year before filing for divorce, Jen says. The pair nested, sharing a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment and their marital home, the parents switching in and out rather than the kids, for eight months.
“I realized what it’s like for a kid to move in and out of their own house, and I was like, ‘Ohmigod, I couldn’t even.’ It was really hard.”
Nesting requires selflessness, she says. It’s expensive, too, paying for a fully furnished house and a fully furnished apartment. Now, she and Mark have their own residences, and the kids go back and forth, spending equal time with each parent.
Announcing the Divorce
The children were shocked when their parents broke the news. “We never fought in front of them,” Jen says. The four of them were all each other had, so far from friends and family for the past six years. The move, she says, contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.
“Everyone says to me – ‘Why not stay married if you’re still best friends?’ Mark and I talk more now than ever,” Jen says. “For me, it was about a sexual relationship, intimacy. I wanted someone to want me. My best friend was great, but I could find that other places. We didn’t have sex for a really long time. I’m not talking months; I’m talking years.”
That’s the kind of stream-of-consciousness tell-all that people love about her blog.
She started the blog as a catharsis. She kept going because of the way it resonated with readers. Now, Jen is working on a book deal and has a Los Angeles agency representing her.
The agency, when they came to her, said, “It’s like a train wreck but we can’t stop reading it; we laugh so hard but we feel so bad.”
“People say, ‘I wish I could say what you’re saying. The stuff that comes out of your mouth is exactly what I’m thinking and feeling.’ I get messages from men who say. ‘Ohmigod I wish my wife would read this.’ I get messages from women who said they read it with their husband and things are better, it’s like a light turned on. They’ll name which blog they read. They’ll say ‘this one changed my life. My wife is now putting out because of this blog.’ TMI, but you don’t have to use TMI to me because it’s how I write.”
The Story of Jen
When Jen and Mark split, they told their kids it was because “Mommy and Daddy are a great team but we’re not a great partnership, and we want to see fireworks. We want someone to love us.”
They were too young to explain that the breakup was about losing the passion or no sex, but they could explain that they wanted to feel in love again.
At 40 years old, Jen looked in the mirror and thought, ‘Ohmigod, I have hopefully knock on wood another 40 years to live and sure it’s fleeting and it changes and it goes up and down, but he doesn’t want me and I don’t want him and we went to therapy. It’s not healthy.”
Jen has always gravitated toward the spotlight. Growing up in West Bloomfield, she danced, choreographed and DJ’ed for Joe Cornell Entertainment, but she never wrote. When the agent called and said her blog was “Seinfeld-esque,” she looked around and said, “Am I being punk’d?”
One blog apologized to Mark and received some 3,000 hits. She admitted her part in the breakdown, winning a lot of fans. She writes about the importance of getting down with your man and not blaming the other person and looking at your own part in the mess.
“I was so angry during my marriage,” Jen says. “A lot of women are angry; anger is really a bad thing. We have to realize that it’s about the kids, through marriage and divorce, if we could just focus on what’s important to be selfless than selfish, that’s where we’re all missing it.”
“My blogs are like a manic roller coaster, one day I’m happy, one day I’m sad, and I think that’s life. I try to remember every day that these kids did not ask for this divorce. So I check myself and I say, ‘Look, I get mad at Mark, he’s dating women I can’t stand, but it’s his life and his journey, and my kids can’t control anything.’”
Would she be different if she could do it all again?
Perhaps. Jen admits she “was bitchy” and probably should have been “a little nicer.” She reminds herself of this when she’s dating new guys.
How’s dating after all these years? “Really hard.” She says guys introduce their kids to a woman “as a litmus test” but says women don’t bring a guy around their kids “until we’re 100%.”
She told her boys, “You don’t have to worry about any guy that comes in and out of my life. I will tell you about them when I’m going to marry them. No one is as important as you. No one. You have a dad. He’s awesome. He’s great. When I’m going to marry someone, when I’m in love like I was with your dad, you’ll know.”
The Truth Hurvitz
Jen’s kids don’t read her blog. Her husband may or may not, but he’s supportive. For now, her voice is out there for all the adults going through divorce – or even those still married but having a rough time together. She’s working on a book and other projects with her agent. Stay tuned for big news.
Check out Jen’s blog here: http://thetruthhurvitz.com
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