Leyla Hussein OBE
"in the Somali community, when you get married, you have to be the dutiful wife, you know you, you're there to give children" - Leyla Hussein
Somali activist and psychotherapist chats to Samantha about divorce and marriage in the Somali community and standing out from that. We hear about being a single mum living in a council flat and choosing her child over all else. Leyla professes her love for a divorce party and convinces Sam that she should have one, maybe even one with a slogan cake. The two chat losing friends, the divorce commission scheme and everyone thinking you are going to steal their husband.
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Welcome to the divorce club hosted by me comedian and divorces Samantha Baines. You might be starting a new chapter due to your divorce. Maybe you have a friend who's going through a divorce or yet just plain curious. I recently got divorced age 32. And it was a bit of a whirlwind doing it so young. Yes, I still believe I'm young. Don't ruin it for me. I felt confused, free and lonely. So I decided to interview some interesting people about their divorce experiences in the hope that it would help me get out of house mainly, and maybe help you too. Don't worry. I am a comedian so it won't be all doom and gloom. Welcome to the divorce club.
I am joined by Leylia Hussein OBE, a psychotherapist and activist. Hello, welcome to the divorce club.
Oh my God, I've been so excited about this conversation. So I'm glad to be here.
Welcome. What made you so excited about it? People don’t normally say that.
Well, it's interesting. As soon as you asked me to do it, I quickly said I wanted to do it because it's like, there's like a shame connected to divorce, which it shouldn't be. I mean, the way I got divorced a long, long time ago. I separated 18 years ago and then the divorce didn't happen until two years later, but it was… I will always say I'm happily divorced and people will be shocked by it.
Because people say happily married right? Yeah. Why can I be happy? Because I'm happier. After I was actually we were nicer people.
So I don't there's always a stigma and I organised a divorce party for our friend. Because you know, we always have wedding parties, but no one celebrates the fact that you left a very shitty relationship. Which that should be the case, in my opinion. So that's I'm really excited about we're having this conversation, but there's no space. Let people think you're crazy when you say I'm happily divorced.
Yeah, that's I mean, that's what this is all about is kind of changing the conversation around divorce and kind of delving into that taboo subject. And so did you say you got divorced 18 years ago?
so I separated from my ex husband when my daughter was three months. That was 2000. God I have blocked us out.
My divorce papers didn't come through to 2006. So I'm officially divorced for 14 years. I was separated for a couple of years.
So you separated 17 years ago, and then it took you three years to get the divorce papers through. And why was that? Was that just kind of the admin of it all or?