These last 15 months I have tried to be transparent with my story to you all, it has not been my intention to expose anyone. This is my story, you will have your own. In the last five years I have been in the proximity of and witness to something like 7 divorces. I have things I want to say about this. If you are one of those people, I am not trying to out you, or express disappointment in you, or tell anyone that you are a failure. (or any other crappy kind of thing) If you are reading this I love you. I love the cuss out of you. (yep, you)
I want to solve it. I want to solve them all. Is that just human? I want to learn and be vigilant and fireproof. Sometimes it seems to be a communication problem: one hurts the other-the other doesn’t say anything-the first keeps on as per status quo-the other holds it against them for years and eventually gives up. Sometimes this is followed by another person entering the picture promising to fulfill those needs, they don’t. Everyone is flawed and eventually hurts you. Sometimes there’s addiction. That is hard. Sometimes they just don’t want to do the work, they’re just tired and want to give up. Sometimes it makes no sense at all, we just can’t put our finger on it.
All of the times its painful. For the couple, for the kids, for everyone who invested in their marriage. Its even painful for everyone who only kind of knew them. It’s also very ‘expensive, I’m talking a lot of dollars. I have a friend who says “pay now, or pay later” when it comes to the expense of counseling. I’m the child of a divorced family so I could write and write about what it feels like to have split up parents, and I can tell you about lots of counseling. We learn and grow from these painful experiences, they don’t have to own us or define us. There is no escaping the shaping that divorce will do to a person.
I’m mad about divorce. Furious. It’s not like people walk down the aisle to say “love you till it’s too hard” we all promise ” I’ll love you no matter what”. I cry when I learn that someone who’s marriage I’m part of is divorcing. Yeah I said that I was part of their marriage. You know why? That is the point of community. We are vulnerable and invest in one another and share the burden of our needs. Divorce is breaking community, and it feels a little like finding out someone you love has died.
I guess what I’m trying to say, dear reader, is that you are invited to be part of my marriage. I revoke my “right” to privacy. I think privacy is one of the things destroying our culture. Maybe if we could be vulnerable with each other we would be able to heal our hurts, and expose our shame for what it is: a feeling that paralyzes us from changing. BUT shame cannot survive empathy. Let’s be compassionate, because we all fall short of the perfect marriage, the perfect kid, the perfect job, the perfect life.
I have just over 1000 days of marriage under my belt. I can not profess to know anything really. I don’t know why my friends marriages failed. I pick them apart in my spare time, and I can’t come up with the answers. I try to learn from others mistakes but it’s not always clear what the lesson is. If you have a lesson for me TEACH ME. I want to learn, and I want my marriage to survive. Am I on to something? I never know.
I started this post with a disclaimer about not wanting to expose anyone.So Here, I’ll expose myself just in case you are feeling raw and alone. We are still not pregnant (I know you wanted to ask but didn’t want to be nosy). When I hear of yet another person in my community conceiving a baby I go straight to self-pity, and I cry. Its awful, I ask myself “Who even are you? Be happy for them”. I don’t like going to baby showers, and I’m all ugly about cute maternity clothes, and I have darkness in my heart about my dreams taking their sweet time.
There. I’m broken and flawed and I’m working on it. See, we’re all in this together. I can’t do it without you. Lets get our hands dirty and try to sort through some things, life and marriage and family are grubby hands work.
These thoughts don’t seem as conclusive as I thought they were when I sat down to write. The point of writing is not always to solve, for me its to process. Here I am in process, it’s not tidy folks. You know what? I’m not going to apologize. We are all in process, we are all trying to figure it out. Join me will you, in lament of broken marriages everywhere, and in research of how to make love last through *literally* the best and worst of times. (If you didn’t listen to that poem at the beginning when I asked you to, just do it now)