Going to clubs together, wine and Netflix nights – ‘It’s girl power for grown-ups’ for these three best mates, who moved in together after divorces and break-ups.
The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that 42% of all marriages in the UK end in divorce. In 2017, more than 200,000 people divorced, with the most common age being between 45 and 49.
For Annie Thompson, 53, Shaz Hemmings, 53, and Susie Wortham, 39, the end of their relationships gave way to something better, something more fun: all three living together, wingwomen for one another.
Annie, a business analyst, had been married to Jeff, 58, for more than 25 years. When the two split up in 2016, she was working part-time and wasn’t able to afford a place of her own, but her best friend of 25 years, Shaz, stepped in and saved the day.
Annie explained to The Sun:
It is really difficult at my age – everyone else is married and has kids and they definitely don’t want to hear about divorce rubbish. It can become a lonely life, so Shaz inviting me in felt perfect. The kids love the fact they now have three ‘mums’ when they visit.
Having someone to borrow clothes from, talk to and watch TV with is wonderful. We also know when to avoid each other when we are in a mood, and we still bicker over dirty dishes – but that’s normal. We are helping each other to battle dating again and we vet each other’s potential boyfriends. Moving in with divorced mates is great. I’ve never looked back.
Shaz, a mum-of-five and PR manager, had split from her husband in 2012 after 23 years of marriage. Using the money from the divorce, she bought her own house in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.
We got talking about our divorce woes and money troubles, and I suggested she move in with me. She jumped at the offer. We both felt that divorce had isolated us. She moved in with me in May 2017 and it was like college days. We did a ‘divorce mates agreement’ – she’d pay me £400 a month rent and we’d split the bills.
We’d go grocery shopping together, clean the house together and enjoy wine and Netflix nights. The best thing was going to a club together and becoming each other’s wingwoman. We had a firm rule – no blokes back to the house unless the relationship was serious.
Then, in April 2019, Susie moved in. After splitting with her long-term partner Tim in 2019 after 15 years together, she was ‘overwhelmed’ when her best friends asked her to move in.
As a beautician you have to be upbeat with clients all day – and it really started to take its toll on me. The prospect of heading home to the small flat I was renting and a ready meal for one was awful, especially at my age… I [have] gone from being lonely and constantly bored to living my best life.
When we have any problems with our exes, we all help and support each other. It did take me a while to learn how to share with two other women… but as a team, we work. We are there for each other. We are forever the three divorced amigos and hopefully this is a permanent thing.
Recently, Annie has been having discussions with Shaz about buying a half share of the house. ‘Moving in with divorced mates is great. I’ve never looked back,’ Annie said.
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