Let’s take a hypothetical situation. Let’s say your wife leaves you and the only thing she doesn’t take with her is her wedding dress.
What do you do? Almost certainly “beer” and “crying” will be two parts of your answer but it takes someone special like Kevin Cotter to make the third part, “write a brilliant blog and best-selling book about ways you use her wedding dress to achieve catharsis”. We caught up with Kevin and asked him some questions…
The blog has been around for a while but the book is new so you must be used to selling the pitch by now – what is your blog/book all about?
My ex-wife moved out in 2009 and refused to take her wedding dress. In 2010, I began www.myexwifesweddingdress.com and started sharing my story and the pictures of the offbeat things I was doing with my ex’s dress. The book pulls everything together – my favorite 101 applications for the dress and the story of my recovery.
So tell us about the book – this must be the most profitable piece of catharsis ever, right?
I’m not sure how other people deal with divorce, but hanging out with my brother (he took the pictures) and setting up all the wedding dress applications was the best therapy ever. Laughter goes a long way when dealing with a difficult situation. I started my blog hoping that my pictures might provide some comic relief for others in my shoes and then ended up with a book deal. When my ex-wife moved out I insisted she take her dress – I’m no longer disappointed that she left it behind.
Does your wife know about the book? Was she pissed off?
My wife hates my blog and my book. She finds no humor in it. But the reality is that she wasn’t my motivation for doing it. I have always thought that expensive wedding dresses are foolish and couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a scarecrow out of hers.
What are you favourite three uses you’ve come up with?
I have a hard time choosing my favorite applications because there are so many that I like. My number one favorite has to be the Darth Vader scarecrow. The day my brother and I set up the scarecrow we had no idea what we would use for its head. I was looking all over my house when I found the Darth Vader mask. I knew it was perfect when I saw it.
One of the last applications we set up, because of the lack of snow in my part of the world, was snow camouflage. That one is definitely one of my favorites.
Fishing net is great too. My buddy Ellis standing in the river holding the dress while I guided a fish into the net was a riot. I have to believe that the fish we caught was the first ever to be netted with a wedding dress.
Obviously, we’re a blog that’s all about men about to go into a wedding – what relationship advice you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Marriage takes a lot of work. In some ways being married is like having kids – you never know what you are getting yourself into you are past the point of no return. Don’t get me wrong – I love children and believe in marriage, but neither come with instruction manuals. Both require loads of effort and some sacrifices, but are well worth it.
I suppose if I were to offer advice to a guy considering marriage I would suggest looking far down the road. Make sure that you and your partner have common long term goals and dreams. I think it is possible to be happy in a relationship in the moment and to assume everything is right, only to discover later on that there were compatibility issues all along.
My final advice would be for guys who think their marriage is headed towards divorce. Try to hold on to her wedding dress. Wedding dresses can be used for so many things.
Are you more cynical about relationships now? Surely your story shows that good things can come out of the worst moments?
Even though I basically was walked out on after 12 years of marriage I never doubted that marriage works or that I would marry again. I do believe that marriage isn’t for everybody – but I’m not one of those people. I met my perfect match, Ashley, and we got married in June of last year. We are busy with our blended family – my 12 and 10 year olds and her 4 year old.
What’s next then? Do you need more personal pain to fuel the next blog and book, or are you hoping for calmer waters?
I really like calm water. I don’t have any plans at the moment of trying to come up with another book. I did enjoy blogging and now that my book is published and my ex-wife’s wedding dress has been retired I’m not sure how to keep that going with new material. I stay busy with my day job and my family so I will be content if my writing adventures end here.
Thanks to Kevin for sharing. Go get his book now, it’s brilliant.
Photo 1: Staggered UK
Photo 2: Film Photo