Who is Five Husbands?


The Husband Chair, marker 2006

Why the Chair?

Yes, there really is a husband chair. My first husband was a Viet Nam vet attending college on the GI bill when we met. He lived in a ramshackle house near the local university with a cast of characters straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel, including “Hono,” a guitar playing, unwashed hippie who lived in the closet, subsisted on a mixture of tang and corn meal and who thought he was Jesus. In the living room of the house was a chair which had belonged to Husband No.1’s parents. That chair stayed with me after our divorce and the 30 or so moves that brought me to today. Every husband sat in the chair. I gave it away when I married No. 5. I think it is time to get it back.

I make mistakes so you don’t have to.

The Five Husbands Experience (TM) spans 36 years and includes in no particular order:

one Catholic wedding, two Jewish Weddings, one Sufi wedding and one Pagan wedding;

three spring weddings, one summer wedding (and golf outing) and one outdoor evening wedding in the snow (10 ° F);

one white wedding gown, one off white wedding dress, one pink wedding gown, one black silk trouser tunic outfit and one winter coat with mittens;

two disapproving mothers-in law; two disapproving fathers-in-law, two backstabbing abusive sisters-in-law, and a collection of various dysfunctional in-law relationships;

one Atwood Lodge honeymoon, one Pocono honeymoon, one Canadian honeymoon and two lets just go home no honeymoons;

one twin, two geniuses, two abusers, one nice but fatally flawed human being, one alcoholic and one recovering heroin addict;

three engagement rings, five wedding bands and one embarrassingly awful after the fact diamond;

two lawyers, one teacher, one machinist, one plant manager and one Viet Nam Vet;

one BA, one MA and one JD – all mine;

two children – one who hasn’t seen his father for over 20 years and another who sees his dad all the time (it makes a difference);

three dissolutions and two contested divorces;

fourteen different homes;

brown hair, blond hair, brown hair, blond hair and gray hair;

buckets of tears, two terrible heartbreaks, boatloads of laughter and unfathomable joy;

all things measured equally – priceless.

Why an advice column?

I was doing a cover letter the other day when it occurred to me- I have incredible life experience, as well as a boatload of education. In accumulating all this education, marriage and child rearing experience I probably made every mistake in the book. When it comes to relationships, money, career and family there aren’t many challenges I haven’t faced. I may not have done the right thing or the best thing at the time, but I survived to tell the tales.

In the interest of public service I have decided to debut “ASK FIVE HUSBANDS” (TM) a totally unique advice column. Let’s face it Abby and Ann are a little behind the times – Ask Five Husbands (TM) is Web 2.0 savvy, available 24/7 and here to help.

Are you facing some major life issues? Need advice because your mother in law is driving you crazy and your kids have you pulling your hair out? I am only a click away.

Email your questions to: fivehusbands @ gmail.com or post your question in a comment. Questions submitted, and answers, will be posted on Ask Five Husbands.

Disclaimer: This advice column is not a substitute for real advice from a doctor, lawyer, pastor, rabbi or your mother. All information contained herein is for entertainment purposes and general information only.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pamajama
    Dec 29, 2007 @ 22:41:48

    Neal is a smart guy!

    Whenever I hear of someone divorced multiple times it makes me think that they are more honest & hopeful than those of us who have just slept with a multitude of men but want to keep it a secret . . . not to mention, you must be something special to have so many men wanting to marry you:)

    It’s so much better to end it than stay with someone you’re not happy with.

    Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. Did I mention in there somewhere about the time I was married for 3 weeks and had it annulled? LOL

    Your writing is so palpable, it’s like being there.


  2. fivehusbands
    Dec 29, 2007 @ 23:54:20

    Thank you for your compliment – and yes Neal is a smart guy!


  3. Trula
    May 10, 2008 @ 09:56:55

    Your story is fascinating! and you write it in such a compelling way.


  4. fiftydaystofifty
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 22:49:32

    this is freakin’ brilliant. bless you. and i will follow, i love this blog.

    Fifty – thank you – happy to welcome you as a reader.


  5. Randy
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 09:44:10

    Your son, who would be offended by your putting an Obama sign in your front lawn, hasn’t lived long enough to deserve any say over the subject. Furthermore, he isn’t even old enough to vote as I believe you said you were going to sell things in order to afford to purchase a gift for his 18th birthday.

    Good luck to you! I’ve been looking for a real job since June 2007. I’ve had a few stints, here and there, that didn’t work out because the employers lied about the resources that were supposed to be available to me when I took the jobs. Furthermore, I am often considered overqualified. Otherwise, I’m lacking the exact skills for which they’re looking, even though I know I could do the job.

    Randy – thank you for stopping by and commenting – my son who objects to the Obama sign is my oldest son who has moved in with the agreement that he and his wife will take over the utilities. My youngest son cast his first vote ever in the primaries for Obama.

    I hear you on the job search and job resource issues – it is a challenge. I wish us both luck.


  6. mommy.mit
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 22:10:47

    Now that is a story.

    Yep – it is. Love your blog – thought of one more thing for you to try if we get more sub zero days – throw hot water up in the air and it freezes on the way down. Or so they say, I was too cold to try it on Friday.


  7. Angie Walker
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 10:28:25

    Kudos to your strength and courage for this blog. I’m a fellow 5-timer with a refusal to give up on the “fairy tale” I’ve defended my stance more than once with “I refuse to be unhappy in a marriage” or “I know the end to my fairy tale is out there and I pledge to continue my search”
    I’ve often thought that I also might be an expert (either that or just extremely ignorant and bull headed) But I would never have the courage to publicly announce it and put it out there for all of us to attack. Your writing is right on the mark, I’m so glad to have found your blog and I’m sure will be your biggest fan!

    Angie – thank you so much for commenting. Number 5 was pretty awful and I find myself wondering if there is someone out there. I know people are shocked when they hear, but plenty of people have numerous long term relationships and no one says anything. Good luck in your search!


  8. Laurie Geer
    May 13, 2009 @ 14:31:51

    I was delighted to stumble upon your blog. I love the way you don’t apologize for the winding path your life has taken. I just married for the fourth time last summer. To make matters even more interesting, my husband is 17 years younger than me. Though many people have been taken aback by our relationship, we are so happy together. I love my William like a fat kid loves cake! I wake up humble and grateful every morning at how wonderful my life is. It’s more than I ever could have expected or dreamed of. The only cloud is that sometimes I feel self-conscious when I’m around people whose lives have run along a more conventional course–women can be so catty and mean sometimes. Reading your blog has made me smile. I’ve made a resolution as of this morning to stand tall at all times and to never again allow anyone make me feel like some kind of lesser person for being a serial monogamist.


    • Scott Freer
      May 04, 2010 @ 22:38:38

      I’m just curious if this is the same Laurie Geer originally from Bellevue Washington? If it is I would welcome the opportunity to chat with you.



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