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Your Ex's Divorce Spirit Name (What It Is and Why He Needs One)

Much like your ex's inability to apologize, sometimes you just can't make his name come out of your mouth. In times like these, you need a work around--and that's where having a divorce spirit name comes in handy.
09/26/2014 05:22pm ET | Updated November 26, 2014
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Admit it. Your divorce is getting the best of you. At times your feelings toward your ex are so negative you can't even say his name. And I don't mean it's just unpleasant--it's actually impossible. Much like your ex's inability to apologize, sometimes you just can't make his name come out of your mouth. In times like these, you need a work around--and that's where having a divorce spirit name comes in handy.

What's a divorce spirit name? I'm glad you asked. A divorce spirit name is a nickname you give to your ex that takes the things about him that used to annoy you the most and turns them into a joke instead. Now, thanks to his divorce spirit name, you can laugh off Thumb Sucker's tendency to act like a baby rather than the grown man his birth certificate claims he is. And in doing so, you take away the power these annoyances had over you. Having a divorce spirit name for your ex doesn't just help you avoid getting frustrated or bummed out; it can actually turn that frown upside down!

You've seen those formulas on Facebook that help you figure out things like your stripper name. (Take the name of the first pet you had as a child, and then add the name of the street you grew up on. My stripper name, by the way, is Pinky Wilson. What's yours?) And you've heard of people having spirit animals. Drawing inspiration from these gimmicks as well as my own divorce, I've developed a few different formulas for selecting a suitable divorce spirit name for almost any ex husband!

Formula One: The Hybrid Handle. Write down one-word answers to the following questions:

• What's your ex's kryptonite? (This could be anything from his secret fear or an imaginary allergy.)

• Name the kind of car he drives (or a kind of car he used to drive). (This works better if it's a name and not a number.)

• What's something you used to argue about often?

• Why are you getting a divorce?

• What's his most prized possession?

Now, look at all of your answers and find two that you can pair together to make an entertaining divorce spirit name. Remember, the goal is for the name to capture the unique essence of him while also making you laugh.

For example, if your ex drives a truck and is allergic to nuts, his divorce spirit name could be Truck Nuts. In some cases it's not necessary to combine two answers together because one answer says it all. An example of this would be giving the divorce spirit name of Mother Lover to your ex if his extreme attachment to his mom is the cause of your divorce.

Formula Two: The Costner Combo. This formula is inspired by Kevin Costner's finest work, Dances With Wolves. The beauty of this approach lies in its simplicity. It paints a picture in your mind--and that picture is funny. Take your ex's most annoying characteristic and state it like the title to the Oscar-winning movie. Omit the subject completely--after all, we all know who we're talking about here--and go straight to the verb. Use the present tense and build from there--but keep it short. The goal is for the name to have a bit of an indigenous or tribal vibe, just like the movie.

For example, if your ex has nightmares that cause him to scream in his sleep, his divorce spirit name could be Shrieks in Sleep. If he used to talk a big game about running, but was more blow than go and had a distinct gait when he did hit the trail every month or two, his spirit name might be Runs like Toddler.

Formula Three: The Rounder Upper. This approach works for guys who have a supersized self-image. Rather than letting this get on your nerves, take his overinflated ego one step further in the name of humor. Does he own one or two run down rent houses on the sketchy side of town, but go around telling strangers he's a real estate investor? Then his divorce spirit name is The Donald. (Extra points if he also sports a bad comb-over.) Does he drive like a jackass through your neighborhood in that muscle car he's emotionally attached to? Then his divorce spirit name is Ricky Bobby.

By providing comedic relief, a divorce spirit name can make everyday life during your divorce much more bearable for you and your closest friends. (But this is NOT a game you play with your kids. Got it?) Hearing that your BFF ran into Doug at the grocery store could bum both of you out. But hearing that she ran into Truck Nuts at Fiesta is guaranteed to make you laugh. And a text from a friend telling you that Darryl crashed the car would not be the least bit funny. But a text about the fender bender Ricky Bobby had while weaving in and out of traffic on the stretch of road in front of Walmart? In the competition for best day brightener, that text wins the trophy. (And hopefully it's a photo finish.)

So, keep this blogpost handy, and the next time your kids are not around (did you hear me?), round up your friends and start working through the different formulas. By the time the evening's over, you'll have a divorce spirit name for your ex and a week's worth of laughter for you.