Thursday, April 9, 2009

This morning my soul is weak and hurting. A friend, not a close friend, but a friend, has filed for divorce, and I feel powerless, and I ache for her son, and for her husband, and for her... I have known for over a week now, and it still tears at me every day. How could it get to this point and I didn't have a clue?? It feels like the suicide of a family, and I wonder if I had realized it was coming if there would have been anything I could have done. If there's anything I could do now...
And I realize how weak and vulnerable we all are, and how small choices we make in how to relate to each other and how to see our partner lead us gradually closer together or further and further apart.
I know what it's like to stop feeling like we're on the same team. To stop giving him the benefit of the doubt when he forgets to put his dishes away or leaves something undone for me to do. To mutter bitterly to myself about what I wish was different, how he clearly doesn't love me because if he did he'd pay attention to what was important to me. Always, though, when I confronted him for some way he had offended me, I would be ashamed. The look of surprise and hurt, and then his words, "You have no idea how much I want to make you happy," would turn my self-righteous haughtiness to petty complaining. Yes, there are things he could do better, ways of living that would be nicer for me...and he could certainly say the same things about me. Nothing is easy about making a life together, forming a happy home made up of 2, now 5, imperfect, selfish people.
But I want to say that all the blood and sweat and tears are worth it. The daily dying to self not only brings two humans closer together, but adds strength to God's kingdom here on earth. I want to say that there's no better path out there. No other relationship will be different enough to's ALL hard.
Some people decide life is not worth living, so they end it, take their own lives. Other people reach the end and decide, "You know, if it's so bad than I'm going to just end it, why can't I just make hard, dramatic changes to my life and see if it could get better?" If I had a friend contemplating suicide, that's the path I would urge them to take. What needs to change? Even the most painful, scariest changes can't be too much harder than ending your life, and at least they offer a glimmer of hope, a flicker of daylight far in the distance.
I think of this suicide of a family the same way. There's nothing easy about divorce. It's ugly and messy and sticks around for the rest of your life. If things are bad enough to endure the pain and ugliness of divorce, what about another path, one probably equally or maybe even more difficult, but that offers a glimmer of hope at the end, a redemption of 12 years of memories, a chance of offering renewed stability to the little boy in the picture?
I'm not in the marriage, and I don't know all that's happened to reach this place. I can't say how I'd react if I were in that relationship, because I don't know and haven't been there. I can't say my own marriage struggles in any way compare to those ones. But if I had a friend contemplating suicide, I would offer her these words. And I have a friend heading determinedly down the path of divorce, and I wish, I wish...I could offer her these words in a way that she would hear, and consider.

1 comment:

clautiestan said...

I felt my stomach turn when I read that your friend is getting a divorce. We have some friends that recently went through a divorce as well, and it is so heartbreaking. I kept thinking "this isn't really happening. They're going to work it out." But they didn't. I couldn't help but wonder if there was something I could have done, or could do... I know what you're feeling. It's sobering, too, because it made me realize that there but by the grace of God go I.