As we die both you and I
With my head in my hands I sit and cry
I know what you’re saying
So please stop explaning
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
Don’t speak I know what you’re thinking
I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
It’s all ending
I gotta stop pretending who we are…
You and me
I can see us dying…are we?
~excerpted from Don’t Speak song lyrics by Gwen Stefani
I know many people who are divorced. I myself am divorced. But it is always painful to watch someone you care about go through the horrible, heartrending process of seperating their life from someone whose eyes they once saw all of their dreams in. There are those people who seem to divorce with the ease of taking out the trash. (*cough*Elizabeth Taylor*cough*) But if you’re not used to looking at marriage as a disposable commodity, but rather the joining of your life to someone who you can picture yourself rocking on the porch with, then divorce can be one of the most life altering processes you can undertake (right after becoming a parent, I think).
Divorcing someone changes everything about your life from something as simple to your daily routine to things as complicated as friendships and finances. There is NOTHING easy about divorce. It’s messy, it’s painful, and everyone you know thinks they should get to have an opinion on what is happening. I never believed that I would lose friendships when I divorced my ex but there were people who were so angry- angrier than words can ever describe- when I left him. And some of them were people who had basically nothing invested in our relationship- just casual acquaintances. But divorce causes fear in others- it makes them look at their own lives, marriages, relationships and wonder, just for a moment, “am I next?” In my case, people saw us as the perfect couple (and thus the expression, appearances are deceiving) and believed that I lied about my reasons for leaving (my ex was/is an alcoholic) and some to this day don’t believe me. Others have since realized I may have been kind in my explanations (I was)especially after another friend invited my ex to live with him and witnessed the behaviors that go with alcoholism up close and personal.
But what happens when there is no “blame”? When it simply comes to pass that two people have gone in different directions, taken different paths, and simply don’t belong together anymore? How do you explain to friends and family that the once love of your life is a perfectly nice guy(or gal), just not perfect for you? How do you tell the nosy inquirers that you can’t stand to listen to him hum while he eats or that you can’t stand to listen to her talk about one more pair of shoes that she bought? How do you explain that the love has just…gone? No horrible abuse, no drinking, no drugs…just nothing. And better yet, why should you have to? Isn’t divorce painful enough without having 100’s of your closest friends, relatives, and acquaintances want to know all of the gory details?
Divorce is a death of sorts. With the death of a once cherished relationship comes the death of dreams, hopes, and ideals. The people involved in a divorce have every right to enter into the grieving process and that right should be respected. They don’t necessarily want to hear “it’s for the best”, “you’ll find someone else”, or “it’s time to move on”. What they do want to hear is “I love you no matter what and I’m here if you need me- and even if you don’t, I’m still here.”
So, to my friend, the warrior kitty, whom I think the world of and who it hurts me to know that she’s going through such a painful process: I’m here if you need me. And even if you don’t, I’m still here.