Friday, April 01, 2005

Relationships and Divorce - WHY?

My emotions this morning are mildly confused. On one hand I am understanding, confident, and hopeful. On the other, I am depressed for me and I feel rather selfish about it.

A good friend of mine told me a couple days ago that she and her husband were divorcing. To say that I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I don't know if anyone has those married friends you just expect to be together forever? I do and they were one of those couples. In fact, I often admired them for their commitment and dedication to one another and used them as a guage in my relationships. It also didn't help that I love both of them. No one is at fault, so to speak, they just 'grew apart'. But they want to remain friends and still be in each others lives.

Perhaps it is this last comment that throws me off. It is so mature. All of my relationships end and that's it. Sure you tell people that you want to remain friends, but that never happens and you don't really care after awhile.

Perhaps it is the dashed hope that makes me feel selfish. If they were my relationship litmus test, what hope do I have? I am in an amazing and wonderfully nurturing relationship right now and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. But now I have doubts? I have doubts that if they can't make it work, what makes me think I can because I am not nearly as mature and stable as they clearly are.

My girlfriend and I went to dinner last night because I hadn't seen her in some time and now I needed the backstory. I needed some reassurance that she was doing the right thing (as if I might recognize the right thing if it spanked me in the ass) and that I would also be okay. Again, I have to say that my selfish thoughts made me feel a bit horrible because this was, after all, about her. Not me. But I couldn't help my emotions.

I met her at her house. Her husband (for the moment) was on the front porch. I wanted to just give him a hug and cry. But he was handling it so well I didn't even know what to do or say. I was shocked but relieved. He mentioned that he wasn't losing anything - he was gaining a lifetime friend. Someone who loved him. Later, she shared the same sentiment. In fact, the night before they toasted the wonderful relationship they had with champagne and moved on. It was as simple as that.

I had fun on our night out. We laughed and shared as we always did. I am not sure why I expected that to change. We went for a drink at a local bar and met a man old enough to be our grandfather who proceeded to flirt shamelessly with us which made him old enough to be our grandfather in Deliverance. He shared a game with us that wasn't supposed to leave the bar, but I find it appropriate. It has three simple rules:
1. Silence or the truth, but no bullshit.
2. Never put yourself down.
3. What is said here, stays here (keep some things private and sacred).

Words of wisdom from the drunk dude at the bar. But isn't that where wisdom comes from half the time? Hell, when I'm drunk, I'm Einstein (and Cindy Crawford - but that really plays to rule number 2).

I left feeling a bit better. The long drive home from the city to my rural abode afforded me time to think about that evening and my interactions. Things happen for a reason - I am a firm believer in that. I also now look at their relationship as just a different evolution of it. Why do I have to think of things having a beginning and an abrupt end? Sometimes things just flow and just are. They are both happy. Evolution happens and changes happen. They embrace them without animosity and have just found a way to still have a life together. So it isn't the same - is it ever the same? And does it really matter?

And I felt happy for them and for me. I wish them both well.

If ever they feel the need to relax, I have the perfect Body Polish for them. Wild Mountain Organics has 5 different scents to suit your mood - Citrus, Lavender/Mint, Rose, Peppermint, and Yogi Blend. All are made with sea salt, epsom salt, olive oil, and essential oils. Put a teaspoon or two in your bath or use it as a body scrub. Instant satisfaction.

1 comment:

EMCSquared said...

P - I love your blog! Deep and thought provoking one minute, shamelessly promotional another, and laugh out loud the next! They don't come much better than that.

So I thought I would reply to this post. Funny thing last night, D and I went on date night for the first time in about 5 months. Hard to do date night with a bambino, so we squeeze it in where we can. We headed over to a bar to see a friend whose fiancee just woke up one morning after 5 years together and said he didn't want to get married anymore. Shocker for her, as you can imagine.

So we talked about it at lenght and the more we talked about her and him, we also began talking about the people we know who make it together so long and then well, something fades or dies or whatever. In fact, most of the mutual friends this woman and I have (I really should call them acquaintances...)have all had high school sweetheart romances that - the minute they get married or start to seriously plan for marriage - end up as trainwrecks! I shit you not!

There's the couple who dated for over 10 years from high school, got married, and two years later were divorced. Then there's the couple that never made it to the altar, but once the bambino arrived, he headed for the hills - after 8 years and a mortgage together! Or the other couple that never made it to the altar (aside from her), because the guy thought the gal's bills and bad credit history were a drain on his dreams - not sure why he didn't figure that out BEFORE five years had gone by. Or the couple that uses booze as a lubricator and crutch throughout their ten plus year relationship (they have been married for two years now) and she thinks having a baby is going to improve that... Did I mention she smokes like a chimney too?

All judgements aside, and we've already clarified that that's just not possible, what the F is wrong with these people? I don't know and I hesitate to guess. What I do know is that this marriage and relationship thing takes A LOT of work. Throw in a baby and you've got to want to make it work. I know firsthand - and you've heard me there - it is so easy to walk away without thought of repercussion and think that this is all about me. But it never is.

And like my girlfriend here and our mutual friend getting a divorce, these situations sadly leave so many in their wake.

While Dr. Phil I'm not, I find that unless you're willing to work hard and make sacrifices - without sacrificing self - it won't work. D and I have been through some serious rough times and I know that some of the conversations we are likely to have in the future will test our mettle, too. But as long as he is willing to work, then I am too, and I know we need to always COMMUNICATE honestly and openly (sorry about the sappy - but it's the truth!).

D and I laugh about some of these horrific things we read about on the news (after we recover from the shock of course) and I say to him, Honey, if you ever want to leave me, just tell me. Don't take me out on your boat and dump me overboard. But it really is more serious than that - I don't ever want to wake up knowing that my partner thinks/wants it over and I had no idea it was coming. So talking and more talking, and more giving and less taking goes a long way.

I don't know what the future holds for D and I, but I do know that I look at these friends and acquaintances and I am so grateful for what I do have. No matter how tough and selfish we have been throughout our nearly 8 years together, I consider myself lucky and I know that we are not the same people we were even just a year ago.

So that's my two cents for whatever they are worth!!