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Don’t Call Cass Thorburn A `Bitter Ex-Wife’

How she's changing the dialogue around divorce

When Today host Karl Stefanovic walked out on his wife Cass Thorburn three years ago, it was the start of a very public split that played out in the tabloids. Cass, who was married to Stefanovic for 21 years and mother to their three children, quickly found out there was a difference in how divorced and separated women are treated in public compared to men.

“The term that society seems to use to describe divorced women – and is used often in magazines and newspapers – is`a bitter ex-wife’,” Cass explains in the latest episode of Finding Fearless with marie claire podcast. “I find it really offensive because what is the same term for a divorced man?” 

“There isn’t an equivalent term used in the media to describe a divorced manWhy as a society do we keep having these titles that only describe women who are in situation that’s considered negative? There are these socially accepted terms to call women and when they were used to describe me i thought `Wow – how is this so’?” 

In a far-reaching interview on the Finding Fearless podcast, Cass was reflecting on the joys and pitfalls of being newly divorced – a topic she is rapidly becoming an expert in as host of a new podcast series called Divorce Story, which aims to help women survive and thrive post-separation. 

With 1 in 2 marriages ending in divorce in Australia,  Cass said she realised there was an audience hungry for information and practical advice about how best to navigate the tumultuous divorce journey, and she was happy to oblige. She is hopeful that by shedding a light on these stories and her own experience that divorce will no longer be a taboo topic.

“What became apparent from talking to people on the podcast is that when your marriage ends there is no time limit on how long you grieve it’s death – it’s different for everyone.

“What is surprising is that you do eventually become ambivalent about your ex. With a bit of time, you start living your own life and surprisingly, you honestly don’t think about them anymore.”

Listen in to the interview here (or on your podcast platform of choice) for her first-hand advice on getting over a separation and how she recreated her new life. 

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