The D Word.

16 May 2013

My parents got divorced when I was 5.  It was nuts and I thought {wrongly, duh} that it was my fault because my dad told me to turn the radio up and my mom told me to turn the radio down.  Then they got into a huge screaming argument that had nothing to do with the radio and everything to do with the fact that they shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.  And mostly, the fact that my dad slept with someone else.  My five year old self only saw the radio. 

I say all this because I found out recently that a couple we know are getting divorced and it threw me for a loop.  I was flabbergasted.  They’ve been married for longer than we have. I have no idea why they are splitting, nor is it any of my business, I just know I was surprised.  We have friends who are divorced.  We have friends who never should have gotten married to begin with.  We have friends who I wouldn’t bat an eye if they told me they were splitting.  This isn’t my picture of this couple.

From the outside looking in, it looks like they love each other and not in a way of like, oh I love him soooo much that it makes it impossible for other people to be around us because I am all over him all the time and I love him, I don’t trust him to be away for more than five minutes, but I looooove him, gag me with a spoon overt vommy PDA pretend we’re perfect.  It seemed like they genuinely liked each other.  They had fun together.  They laughed.  They have been through some really tough things.  They’ve been a team and still maintained their own selves in the process.

They felt like us.

They felt like US.

And I know there are no guarantees, I get it.  Things are not always perfect and there are times when you just don’t like each other.  There are times when you don’t want to look at the other person.  There are times when it feels like you don’t know how you’re going to get through another day with this person who is the most annoying person on the planet, oh my God, WHY does he close the blinds the wrong way every. single. day.  There are massive hidden problems maybe behind the eyes of the outside world.  There are things you can’t move past. 

What makes you walk away?  What makes you say that you’re done?  What makes you not try any longer?

Because I don’t want it to happen to us, is what I am {really selfishly} saying here.  I hope and we work to make sure that it doesn’t happen, marriage isn’t magical I know this, that our marriage lasts forever.  But I am sure most people feel that way, so maybe it really is just dumb luck?  Maybe it’s just timing and life experience and chance.

9 comments:

seriouslysassymama.com said...

I think for some people, some couples, they just get tired of trying. It becomes easier to give up instead of fight. They feel like they have been fighting forever and just want a break. It is tough when people break up, especially when they are friends.

Leslee @ This Friendly Life said...

The thing is, you have to commit to weather the storms, whatever they are. You have to decide you really WANT to be married to each other. Even when shit is completely miserable, you have to WANT the other person as a partner on your life journey. My Hubs and I have weathered some tough stuff. We are currently at the best place we've been in a long time. 6 months ago, not so much. It happens. Marriages have ups and downs. I do believe you can fall in and out of love during your marriage. The key is staying committed and never straying outside of your marriage. Even. When. Shit. Sucks. Also, marrying the right person in the first place helps a ton. :)

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

Very well put. Divorce is rough, and sometimes it literally is out of left field. So strange how that happens.

Kelly said...

The D word can suck it. For better or worse and like others have put some cannot weather the storm. It's just like everything in life though, don't take it forgranted because by the time you realize you have and things are messed up it is usually too late. The post was very well written though Michelle. Love you! =0)

Anonymous said...

I quit trying when I realized that I was the only one trying. As long as both of you commit to working through whatever problems arise, I think you'll be ok.

It also helps if you don't marry an alcoholic asshole. Just sayin'.

Christine said...

My situation was very much like your parents, my kids were just a little older, 11 and 12 and it still makes my stomach twist when I think about that summer 12 years later. I remember all of our friends saying exactly what you wrote about here. We presented such a perfect marriage that all of our friends and family were completely shocked. So was I for that matter. The biggest lesson for me was that kids don't recover from divorce easily

Christine said...

My situation was very much like your parents, my kids were just a little older, 11 and 12 and it still makes my stomach twist when I think about that summer 12 years later. I remember all of our friends saying exactly what you wrote about here. We presented such a perfect marriage that all of our friends and family were completely shocked. So was I for that matter. The biggest lesson for me was that kids don't recover from divorce easily

Angela said...

My parents divorce was final on my 8th birthday. They fought constantly and in a weird way it was a blessing but still hurt. I am coming up on twenty years with my hubby in September. I can't believe how fast it has gone. I knew I married the right man for me but I don't think I realized I married my best friend until later. We are not the perfect couple but we both went in agreeing that divorce was never an option for us. I think luck or destiny or fate or whatever you want to call it does factor into it. God seemed to know what I needed before I did.

Stefanie Blakely said...

As you know, I'm in the middle of a divorce-- currently surrounded by boxes and moving into a new home with my two toddler boys in the next 3 weeks.

Our couple friends were stunned when my husband announced our divorce on FB (classy, right?). We each had old friends who we confided in about our relationship and they've known for years that things would probably end up this way... but we never discussed our problems with our couple friends, because people don't know how to handle it. I have to say, legally separating (but still living together) has been unbelievably isolating. Our friends don't want to take sides, so we don't see them now. Ever.

Here's the thing-- someone else's divorce may come out of left field to you, but you would (almost) never be blindsided by that kind of thing in your own relationship. Even though no one knew it, my husband and I have been fighting since before we ever got married-- we've been in and out of marriage counseling 4 times in the 4.5 years we've been married. We've threatened divorce over and over again... and now we're finally doing it. This wasn't something that snuck up on us. It's something we've known for years.

I don't mean any disrespect to Kelly or Angela, but people who decide that divorce is "never an option" must be in healthy relationships-- Sure, their relationships may not be perfect, but they're obviously not abusive, disrespectful, or unhealthy. Most people I know who've divorced fall into one or more of those categories... they're not people who simply gave up because the relationship was challenging. ALL relationships are challenging at times-- even with your perfect match.

For me, it came down to the decision that we bring out the worst in each other...and I don't want my kids to grow up seeing constant fighting, resentment and a complete lack of intimacy as what marriage should be like. We shouldn't have gotten married. And while I'm SO GLAD WE DID, we shouldn't have started a family together... and now, unfortunately, the only way to make things right is to go our separate ways. I HATE this for our kids... but what does Dr. Phil say? "Kids would rather be from a broken home than live in one."

You and Dave will be fine. I see the love you guys have for each other in so many of your posts. Look at that pic of the two of you above! You take vacations alone to reconnect. You are able to laugh at yourselves. You're great parents. And you're kind to each other.

No worries, M. The big D is going to stay far away from your family.

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