Out in the Open

Lisa Bryn Rundle never dreamed of a wedding, but after her partner left, she yearned for a fairy-tale divorce

Never married, never divorced, OITO producer Lisa Bryn Rundle dreams of a fairy-tale divorce
Out In The Open producer Lisa Bryn Rundle and her former partner

Lisa Bryn Rundle didn't want the marriage, but after her partner left, Lisa did want the divorce. After building a life with someone for five-years, she wanted all of the benefits that come with a divorce, including the empathy and public recognition of what she was going through.

Here's an excerpt from her audio essay:

"I was in a bad bad place. And it was then that I began yearning for divorce, like really truly yearning. Divorce just has a public standing that a regular old breakup doesn't. I wanted public recognition of the seismic shift I was undergoing. In my divorce fantasies at least, divorce doesn't get brushed aside. You aren't expected to just get over it. You are forever marked by it. You become something new. Now you are divorced. And I was forever marked by the end of that relationship, I just didn't get the divorce.

So from where I stand I see real benefits to divorce that aren't often talked about. It's proof that your relationship existed. It's on paper somewhere. It's in the public record. The past at least can't be erased. There's a process of some kind. You talk about where the new puppy would live and who would get the cat you're allergic to.

And people and institutions and stress surveys and support groups they'd all have to acknowledge that you were going through something big."