About six months ago my ex-husband and his wife got divorced. The news of their divorce was particularly unsettling, because of how personal it was to me.
As fucked up as its sounds, the three of us were very close. We were like family and just as divorce is disruptive to a family unit, this divorce broke up our family.
During a divorce, friends choose sides. They pass judgment on who is to blame and side with the person least to blame. I tried not to do this and I tried not to choose sides. But what I didn’t realize is that the self-correcting nature of the universe, can also make the choice for us. In this case, my ex-husband and I had way too much history for there to be any other choice, than the one that was made. And as sad as I am, I am no longer friends with his ex-wife.
Because this divorce was so close to home, it brought back vivid memories of my own divorce. And watching the two of them strive for normalcy, as their marriage drew nearer to its eminent end was like watching a train wreck. It became entirely too awful, so I stop spending time with them altogether.
News of their divorce came as a surprise to me and it reminded me of how shocked our friends and family were when we announced our divorce. Our relationship had always seemed so perfect. Couples who spent time with us during our happier days, even aspired to have a marriage like ours. The closeness that we shared was palpable and was visible through a constant display of intimacy – watching television while pretzelled-up on the sofa, a preference to always sleep in the same bed, no matter how small the bed was and of course the daily ritual that we became know for, showering together – even the dog would get excited.
Needless to say, news of our divorce shocked our world. It even prompted the divorce of another couple with whom we were friends. I remember speaking to the husband and he said that after if our marriage couldn’t make it then they didn’t stand a chance, so they called it quits.
So,if our marriage was so great, then why did we get divorced? Well, the headline was infidelity. But the real reasons were much more complicated than that. Those reasons were too amorphous for people to comprehend and I grew frustrated trying to explain them. So, I simply went with the headline, which also gave people what they ultimately wanted, someone to blame.
But there was no one to blame, because marriage is a partnership with the action of one causing a reaction by the other. And although on your wedding day, you might be on the same page, it is uncertain how you will change, throughout the course of life. Hopefully you will grow together, in the same direction and at the same pace, but that doesn’t always happen. And then you are left to determine whether your marriage can sustain those differences.
In our case, we seemed to grow together, but at some point I realized that I had to give up myself in the process, in order to maintain that alignment. Subsequently, I began to wilt in the marriage. So in my mind there truly wasn’t anyone to blame and therefore there was no one to forgive. Which is why we were able to stay friends – best friends.