Monday, January 28, 2013

For those who are wondering...

I’m staring at some papers that begin with “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,” and I’m feeling a bit sick to my stomach. How did I (I’m teaching myself to say “I” again, and not “we”) get here? Of all the things I imagined happening in the course of my life, a divorce was the least conceivable. In fact, it’s still an idea that makes me think I’m in the middle of a nightmare.

I know some of you will think it’s rather crass of me to write about something so private in a public forum, but people will talk whether I write this or not, and I’d rather have a statement out there. In addition, my good friends know I’m an open book; it’s just the way I am. While I don’t enjoy talking about it, writing about it somehow makes me feel better. So if you’re going to judge me for writing this, you can stop reading it right now and go about your day. If you continue reading and continue judging me, I've got news for you: you’re just as indelicate as I.

So what happened? A lot of things. Perhaps we weren't right to begin with. Maybe two people who were crazy about each other rushed into something that should have been examined more closely and more at length. We certainly lost sight of some important things along the way. Maybe it was the journey that killed us, or rather, the fact that we considered ourselves at our “destination” once we said our “I do’s.”

Who stopped working at things first? I don’t know…it was probably me for a while, there. But once I realized it, I wanted to fix it. I tried. I was trying until the day he said he was giving up, and I still tried after that, though in a more desperate sort of way.

We both hurt each other a great deal over the last two years. “You’re not enough” rang out on both sides in different ways. I’m confrontational, I can be a bully, and I can say some mean things. His faults are his own, and I won’t tout them all to you here. But they hurt a great deal and I never felt that he wished them back.

Our wrongs to each other weren't the kind of things that make you stop in your tracks and gossip with your friends. There were no physical affairs or abuse. They were the kinds of wrongs that sneak up quietly, that come out of your mouth and through your actions in such a way that you didn't plan or give much of a second thought. An “I’m sorry” or “I didn't mean it that way” follow, but the hurt feelings are never actually forgotten. They were the kinds of wrongs bred from unfair expectations…expectations about marriage, the future, and needs that need fulfilling. I've learned a lot about expectations…mostly that no one should have them.

We both failed. If I could fix it, I would, but one person cannot fix a marriage by themselves. I can’t fully express the intensity of my longing for him to say, “I take it back, come home.” Though, even that is waning now. I’m beginning to see a life for myself without him. Some good things have happened in the last month, though just the day-to-day sort of things.

I’m feeling better… I've had a couple of bad days, though for the most part I've been armed with this great optimism. I have no idea where it came from…perhaps it’s what’s left of the prior feelings of unmet expectations. There’s a whole world for me out there, and who knows what’s in it. Maybe I can travel some now. I've already met some new people and spent time with some old friends I’d been neglecting. Logically, I know I’ll be okay, or thrive, even. But these papers make me incredibly nervous.


(I really hate that I have to add this here, but I just received a rather hurtful message.) If you are going to send me a message or leave a comment full of Bible verses referring to God's views on divorce (and/or remarriage after divorce), please spare me. I've read them all and agonized over them. If I could prevent this from happening, I would. Ultimately, God's grace is big enough to cover me and this situation, and he gives it freely. I'm at his mercy, and he is a merciful and loving God. I don't know what my future holds, whether it be the reparation of my marriage, a life of being single, or remarrying another in the future...all I know is that I am loved by God, and am covered by his grace and forgiveness.

And a note for those of you who like to quote Bible verses to make other's feel guilty and/or "prevent them from sinning": you look mean-spirited (whether you are or aren't) and you are the reason so many people stray away from Christianity. You are no less a sinner than a divorced person, and while you may have good intentions, you are causing more hurt than anything else. I'm sorry if that comes across as harsh, but I've known a lot of people who cite that sort of behavior as the reason for leaving or never entering the church.