Sunday, March 2, 2008

Surrounded by a Sea of Change

About two weeks ago I got word one of my best and oldest friends is divorcing her husband of 18 years. I can’t begin to tell you the wave of emotions I experienced as I attempted to process this news. First, I’m saddened at the demise of her marriage, but I’m also incredibly proud of her as she rights her own emotional and spiritual ship.

It seems since I learned of her decision, I’ve heard from no less than half a dozen other friends and associates that they too, have decided to leave their husbands and file for divorce. Mixed with all this sad marriage news, I’m also supporting other friends as they confront and deal with life altering decisions. Decisions which range from acknowledging that after a few years of trying to get pregnant naturally and unsuccessfully navigating the in vitro route, your body is simply not working with you, but this will in no way stem your desire to have children and be a mother and so, now you will traverse the adoption option; to I’m not really sure I ever want children, but I’ve just been told that my uterus is angry and the decision whether to have children is now out of my hands because it needs to be removed.

I understand we all experience these life changing issues as we become older, but it often leaves me feeling drained and sad, because as much as I want to be helpful and offer comforting and insightful support, most of this is unfamiliar territory for me and too often I forge forward offering heartfelt platitudes, which even to my own ears sound hallow and inadequate.

I’m learning to not absorb what they’ve identified as what’s lacking in their own marriage in assessing my own. No, I by no means have a perfect marriage or a perfect husband. Hell, I’m not a perfect wife, but I am happy and I love, respect and think the world of Loverman. I am the product of a difficult marriage and in choosing a mate, I reflected on examples set by my parents and made very different choices. Choices, which for the most part, have worked out quite well for Loverman, me and our children.

I realize that my quick wit and slight of tongue are not necessarily assets when my friends are in need of simply a sympathetic ear or shoulder to lean on and most importantly, I’m beginning to understand the real meaning behind the power of active listening and 2 Corinthians 5:7 which reads, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”


Melissa said...

I, too, am the product of several divorces between my parents and the angst that those failed marriages brought on for me as a kid really shaped the way that I went about finding my own husband.

I completely understand what you mean about active listening, I have a hard time with that, you know, the whole "mouth" thing tends to get in the way. The quote from Corinthians is beautiful, thanks for the reminder...

Nerd Girl said...

Wow. How timely this is. I was just reminding myself that I need to work on my mouth when it comes to being a sympathetic/comforting wife, mother and friend. I too, have a tendency to be quick witted and honestly, sharp tongued, when what is really needed is comfort. It is a constant battle for me. While I relish the person that I am, I've got to be more cognizant of other people's feelings.

I'm glad that the marriages of my friends and associates seem to be pretty strong and everyone is staying put. I dread the day that I start getting those calls, and pray I never have to make any.

Los Angelista said...

I've had about five friends divorce and it's really hard. One of my friends is on her third marriage and she's only 33. For some reason it seems like the breakups come in waves. Like one gets the courage to leave and then that inspires someone else to take a hard look at what's what.

I never want to say it won't be me because who knows what the future will bring, but I can only say that I pray and try as hard as I can to keep things together. It is a process of walking by faith because I lack the sight to see what the future may bring.