The impermanence of it all.

Last night, at my monthly business networking cocktaily thing, I learned from a good friend that, after 15 years, he and his wife were divorcing. I’m still reeling from the shock, and am surprised at the magnitude of sadness weighing me down today.

I consider this couple good friends. Their daughter Gigi is MP’s BFF. (Remember THIS?!?) A few months ago, they had their third child. This was one of the few families that gave me HOPE. But things aren’t always as they seem, and now selfishly, I mourn the death of their marriage.

Certainly, I don’t have the most conventional views about marriage. I’ve been called a coward. I’ve been called refreshingly independent. Strong. Damaged. And even an inspiration. I think maybe I’m a combination of a lot of things.

Whatever I may be, at my core, I’m still someone who wants to believe in the fairy tale. I’m sad for my friends. I’m sad for their family. And I’m sad to see yet another passing of a relationship.

*heavy sigh*

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “The impermanence of it all.

  1. Well if it makes you feel any better, I will be married 23 years in Feb.

    #1

  2. andij1967

    I feel this way about CELEBRITY couples that go tits-up. So yeah, I feel your pain. It’s hard to see a couple that you admire turn out to be human like the rest of us.

  3. I read about this great thing in the Grrls Genius Guide to Sex (with other people). Once all is said and done, throw a divorce shower so that they can get all the stuff they need in their new life.

  4. It’s everywhere and makes me so sad. I’m working on year twenty here, and I’m feeling very lucky.

  5. My first time reading your wedding post and I admire you so much. I hope that if I ever do find myself single (now married 26 years to a great guy), I can be as happy and fulfilled as you are.

    It does sort of blindside you when close friends or family decide to split. I remember complimenting parents of my son’s friend, “You two are like the all American couple” (or something equally stupid) and she responds, “things aren’t always as they seem”. Weeks later they were split; apparently he was stepping out. So you’re right, we never really know what’s going on with other people; best to appreciate what we have.

  6. This reminds me to never take a moment of my marriage for granted – even when he leaves the seat up!

  7. Nappy

    My years don’t make me smart, I’m just as dumb as the next guy. If I didn’t know better, I’d also think that getting a divorce would solve all the problems.

    But, since I’ve been widowed for as long as I was married, I’d be content to settle with an unhappy marriage if it’s to someone I’ve shared 20 years and raising children with.

    Just as classmates at the 25th highschool reunion weren’t near the jerks they were in school. Memories have that ability to smooth out alot of rough edges.

    Pie, I’m sorry for your loss.

  8. I hear you.

    My BFF and Benjamin’s BFF’s mother, just told me her man is leaving.

    I never, ever imagined she would be joining my club. I hate it… but in her case, I know she will be happier on the other side.

    I feel oddly depressed about it too… single motherhood can be fantastic but damn – it is not easy. I just don’t want her to see what I had to go through…

  9. About 2 months after I married my husband, one of his ushers and a childhood friend for over 20 years said he was getting a divorce. He had only gotten married 9 month before us, and my husband was in the wedding of course. And it was POSH affair in Hawaii….I remember being STUNNED when I heard the news. Not because they were such a great match…but because it NEVER OCURRED to me people just get divorced. Yes, I am an idiot. But I had never experienced before with people I KNEW. Since then we have watched 10-20 marriages we knew fall apart. We are still married. But I now realize the fragility of these unions. Easy come. Easy go.

    I think your reverence for the state of marriage is charming. You should be sad for them. And for the poor kids. How will you stay friends with BOTH? or will you choose? Now comes the messy part. Oh you think it won’t be like “that”. Yes. IT WILL

  10. This has to be hard…especially this time of year. I sometimes think it’s harder on friends than close family because whilst it’s unspoken sometimes, a often enough the friends of the couple are asked to take sides. I’ve seen it in my own divorce and that of close friends of ours. It really sucks.

    Take heart…for some of us it just takes a little longer to realize we’ve been kissing toads the entire time, whilst The One was standing there, waiting. Or not. Not everyone has a “The One”…sometimes they are happy enough with themselves that even if The One never comes along, they still have a great life, and are fulfilled enough in who they are – regardless of partner or not.

  11. Over the last three years, we have known more friends that got divorced then married. All of them stunned us. It’s amazing what people “show” as opposed to what is really “there”. We ahve been married 7 years and honestly hearing about divorce scares the crap out of me. We have a really good marriage, luckily, but after seeing my parents divorce after nearly 30 years you just never know.

  12. Philly – Awesome. I LOVE hearing that.

    andij1967 – I’m with you on that — when a celeb couple breaks up, it IS some weird bummage.

    April – Wow, I love that idea. I’m guessing you’re supposed to give two SEPARATE showers, and not one with them together? Yeah, that could be … awkward.

    myra – Twenty years. That’s SO awesome.

    LuckyMe – Twenty-six! You guys are boosting my spirits. And thanks for such kind words, LM :).

    Neena – I don’t know … the seat thing IS pretty irritating. Heh heh. ;)

    Nappy – “Memories have that ability to smooth out alot of rough edges.” SO true.

    MSS – Oh, that SUCKS. And I totally know what you mean, because I’ve been thinking about the single parent road each of them has ahead. It ain’t gonna be easy.

    TGLA – Wow – that’s enough to freak a newlywed OUT. And as for trying to stay friends with both — yeah, it’s gonna be weird. New Year’s is actually going to be the first test. Ugh.

    texasholly – Thanks Doog.

    Auds – So true about the One. I think the reason I’m content with my situation is because I DID find my one. He just … died. BUT, how very fortunate that I found him at all.

    kd – You TOTALLY never know. Divorce after 30 years? Stories like that always blow me away. Sorry kd :(

  13. Strangely enough — or maybe it isn’t so strange — I too have a hard time with the concept of divorce. I come from a broken home myself, and while in many ways I recognize that my mother left my father because it was the smartest thing for her to do, in other ways I’m still that 12-year-old who wishes her parents had never split up.

  14. I’ve been divorced over 4 years now and I still get sad. I’ve had many friends tell me that they are sad too as in some ways my ex and I were perfect together and we were. Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good and for my own sanity I had to leave. Reading these comments makes me understand now why so many of our friends just disappeared after we split. It was heartbreaking but I think I now “get it”.

  15. Gigi's Daddy

    If it makes you feel any less alone I too thought we were the miracle couple. I thought there was nothing in the world that could seperate us. But then the world stepped in and, as it frequently does, proved me wrong. Your are a great freind to both of us. That means more that you can possibly imagine. Now its time for me to get a little HOPE from you…

  16. Listen, none of us ever knows what will happen in our lives… your entire life can change on a dime at any given moment. It’s just a harsh reality of life. The best thing any of us can do is accept that crazy fact and learn to appreciate each moment for what it is. And hope for the best.

    I sure hope both of your friends are back on their feet soon and, most especially, able to keep the kid(s) happy, healthy, and feeling loved throughout.

  17. Joan – I feel ya. My parents split when I was about 14 and I went through the same feelings. It affects you no matter what.

    Jessica – I know I have it easy, never having to go through divorce and just skipping straight to single motherhood. I’m sure your friends never stopped loving you. Some people just don’t know how to deal, I guess.

    Gigi’s Daddy – Love you both. Hope, I can definitely do. ;) Hang in there my friend.

    Beej – Isn’t that the truth. Life’s crazy.

  18. waltzinexile

    I’m sorry about your friends and how it’s affecting you (and there’s nothing selfish about it! It’s the only reaction you can have, and it will help you to empathize and be a good friend to all of them, who I’m guessing will need that a lot right now.)

  19. aliasmother

    Over the last two years I watched my sister’s seemingly perfect marriage fall to shreds and my previously beloved brother-in-law do a complete 180 into a cheating, alcoholic, bad father.

    No one can know what goes on inside a marriage. Sometimes even the married people can’t explain what’s going on.

    I’m happy to be married to the AF, but I loved being single, too. I always thought I could be completely and totally happy either way and I still believe that. Oh, man, sometimes I miss being able to make decisions on my own. *insert my own heavy sigh here*

  20. another co-worker

    I to feel badly for Gigi’s family. I do have to say that I think my parent’s divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me, so sometimes it’s not that sad. My mother met and married my stepfather (they’ve now been together for almost 30 years) and he has been one of the strongest positive influences in my life.

    Knowing Gigi’s Daddy personally, I’m sure that it’s not something he entered into lightly. I hope it all end’s in everyone’s best interest.

  21. I think we all want to believe in that fairytale and I don’t believe anyone enters into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. I know I didn’t. So much so that I remarried him again.

    We were separated for 2 years… divorced for 3 and then remarried only to have it end a year later. Fortunate for us and our family we get along MUCH better now that we are no longer husband and wife.

    Divorce doesn’t always have to be ugly and it doesn’t always have to include hate.

    I’m remarried now (no, not to him again… LOL) and really feel I couldn’t be happier. He gets along well with my ex and it really makes it so much easier all around.

    Just be there for your friends.

  22. Pingback: Is this not the BEST engagement photo ever? « Mommy Pie

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