Thursday, January 28, 2016

Taking Sides

Yesterday afternoon, out of nowhere, I was overtaken by fury.  Yes, my period is due in a few days but these dark clouds of premenstrual rage always contain at least one raindrop of justified anger.

I’m mad that I’ve lost friends because of my divorce.  I’m mad that I sometimes walk down the streets of my small town and someone I once knew avoids my eyes.  

A large part of these losses, I believe, are on me.  When Ben and I split, I pulled deep into my shell as I worked to rebuild my life.  Friendships needs nurturing and I wasn’t up to the task the way I once was.

But.  And.  I also feel there are many people in our community who joined Team Ben.  Not because Ben asked them to take sides - all the same, sides were taken.  And the real losers when that happens?  Team Kids.  Mae and Lana are fully aware that Ben has maintained friendships that I have lost, that I am, to a degree, a persona non-grata.  They’re filing that away in their young psyches, internalizing, our divorce solidifying as part of what they’ll carry into adulthood.

We all deal with break-ups of friends.  It’s sticky.  But here’s what I’ll say.  You have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s relationship.  The only people that can attest to that are the two people in it - and even then there’s some mystery.  Assume nothing.  Even when affairs come into play - the last stop on the Divorce Express - it’s not your job to decide who’s right and who’s wrong.  We’re human, we’re messy, go easy.

It’s easy to believe that your marriage is solid, that it’ll last forever.  That is completely possible.  Odds are almost in your favor.  But I would argue that our relationships are more delicate than we believe.  A marriage can - easily - come crashing to the ground.  And if that happens to you, god forbid, I will be happy to make you a cup of tea, hold your hand, push the box of Kleenex to your side of the table.  And I’ll do the same with your ex.

Divorce is nobody’s fault - it’s everybody’s fault.  A failed marriage is not an indicator of compromised character - it just is.  Everything dies, some marriages die sooner and more spectacularly than others.  And those people in the midst of that grief?  They could use a friend.


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  2. Thank you for sharing this with. I remember when my parents got divorced. We were from a very religious community. The comments that some people made were outrageous. It really turned me off from religion for quite a while and was very hurtful. I have moved on now and I know that those people are just ignorant and uninformed individuals.

    Alfred @ Divorce Option