I’m starting to think ’till death do us part’ really means “I’m staying in it until I can’t take your ish anymore.” Divorce sucks. And I say that as an innocent bystander who once believed the fantasy that any & every relationship can be saved out if you try hard enough. I know now that marriages work only because we (meaning both people) decide not to give up on the marriage and the person they committed their life to. In my immediate family, there have been two divorces (with one remarrying) and countless friends and acquaintances who change their Facebook status daily to let the world know Mr. & Mrs. is no more. I’m not alone in this as everyone knows someone in their circle who parts ways regardless of the how long they knew each other or how happy they looked in pictures.
I really get a queasy feeling when people break up. I have no idea why because it’s not my relationship, right? Maybe I see how badly it affects them and it tears me up that they become like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in the mega divorce movie of them all, “The War of the Roses.” They go from “I will love you always” to “I will take ALL your money and keep you from seeing your child, OKAY???? In the period declaring the “I want the hell out of this relationship” to the last signature on the papers, it turns into whose the best at torturing the other? For some, just saying the words “I can’t take this anymore” lifts 20lbs and they start to feel like they have hope again. But there’s a sick dance I’m sure R. Kelly has a song for when the breaking up process hits. My best example right now is Dwight Howard knowing full well he didn’t want to be with the Orlando Magic, but staying on the team, lying to himself and the public until he found something better. When he finally got out and upgraded to the Lakers, he left a ridiculous mess of Glad bag trash behind with his old coaches getting fired to tearing down the the morale of the team. For thos with kids, I liken his ignoring the kids who chose to attend his yearly kids camp with stopping visits and child support. All because he didn’t know how to be honest and move on. I watch the news and see celebrities like Usher and Tameka attempting to destroy each other’s reputations with allegations and rumors to the point where we KNOW they don’t need to be together anymore. But somehow, they just can’t get it together to move on. I mean, how many lawyers do you need to count that money and create the custody arrangement? Even in my world of friends, it can get trifling and messy. From bad mouthing the spouse in public to showing up on the job loud talking and showing out, it reeks of a bad reality tv. In my head, I hear one spouse saying “I don’t want to work this out, but I want you to suffer until I’m ready to let this crap go.” It’s kind of sick in a way because you now are at the point where you get pleasure out of controlling their day and creating unnecessary pain. I can’t imagine the heartbreak involved but I also know I’d be pissed and ready for my debut on “Snapped” if someone is continuing to make my life worse than it already is.
Then I had another thought. Maybe they’re acting like donkeys because they said they want out, but really aren’t sure and want to hold on to any part of the relationship they can if just for a little bit longer. Your wife never showed up at the job before, but now she’s spitting a list of what’s she’s done for you and how you failed to deliver. Your husband is calling to argue at 10am at work asking when you are going to fill out the divorce paperwork. Like he couldn’t wait until the 5 o clock after you got off work? It’s a special kind of crazy that makes friends pray for the day when it will all be over. And I won’t even go into having to pick which person you can still be friends with. Because they WILL expect you to choose and will talk bad about you for not choosing them.
This is a hard blog topic for me because I’ve been in at least 10 weddings, and at least five relationships are dead and gone. When I hear word the words “we are splitting up.”, I immediately go back to the walk down the aisle and remember how happy they were looking in each other’s eyes. Maybe they carried the fantasy I had to let go of that it would work no matter what. Maybe they didn’t realize it really meant you can’t only think of yourself anymore. I don’t know what it is, and my mom even said “I just don’t know why marriage is different these days.” Is marriage different or did we change it? I honestly can’t call it.
I’m a firm believer that God has to be in the center of any relationship for it to succeed. But, the Christian community has the same 50% divorce rate as the rest of the world. So I watch trying to support but sit helpless on the side just waiting for it to be over. It’s been said when you really love someone, you try your best not to hurt them even when you realize you can’t be together anymore. Maybe that’s what makes me queasy is that based on their actions, it seems like they never loved them at all.