Monday, July 14, 2008

The D word

Breakups totally suck, but divorce?  Holy crap.  I've now spent the better part of two long weekends with my friend, whose marriage of three years is now over.  Its exhausting.  I've never been divorced and although I lived with someone for three years, I always knew that was going to end and was totally relieved when it did (I danced in the living room when I came home from work to my empty house for the first time.  And the second time.  And the third time...).  There was no resentment, no dividing of any major stuff, no dividing of debt or assets, and certainly, no lawyers.  

Divorce is different.  She feels betrayed, bitter, stupid for having believed in him, resentful and hysterically sad, sometimes alternating and sometimes all at the same time.  She's got to start her life totally over at the age of 32, and she already did start over at the age of 29, all for that jackass.  I don't know what to say to her most of the time - should I stay sickeningly Pollyana-esque? "Rah, Rah!  Now you can move to the beach!"  "Rah! Rah! Now you don't have to commute so far!"  "Rah! Rah! You can still find true love!  (Barf)"   Should I be bitter too?  "You should never get married again.  Men suck."  Should I say mean nasty things about him?  "He's a selfish prick who made up for his tiny penis with money and material possessions" (Disclaimer: I have no idea what size penis the jackass has, but I hope its really, really, really small) Should I say nothing at all?  I am the queen of saying the wrong thing, and being "funny" at completely inappropriate times.  I've been walking on eggshells for weeks trying to say the right thing at the right time.  I know that she will be way, way, way better off without him in the long run, but that's hard for her to believe right now and impossible for me to portray it to her in any meaningful way.

But, this blog is about me, not about her, so I'm going to bring it all back to me.  I am so pissed at her husband.  So pissed.  For making her miserable and ruining her life, but also for more selfish reasons.  I spent the last two summers nursing my dad back to health and sacrificing summertime fun and was so, so hoping that this summer was going to be the summer of ME!  Me, me, me, me!!  Now, I'll be nursing her back to happiness and sacrificing some of my unadulterated fun to help her.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't do it any other way and I want to be able to help her through this awful time in her life, but damn!  I wouldn't have to help her through this awful time if her soon to be ex-husband wasn't such a raging selfish jackass and if that whole "for better or worse" thing actually meant anything to him.  

I have a date on Tuesday.  I'm hoping I can shrug off some of my recently renewed disgust with men and relationships to avoid having him jump off the dock at the outdoor bar and swim for it.  But, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to.  


Unknown said...

You thought YOU had nothing to say! I have the gift of gab and I was speechless all weekend. I sympathized, but was told I could not empathize. I tried...

Katy said...

The D word sucks but is wonderful all at the same time. It sucks when you're going through it, even though it might be the best thing in the world for the two of you...but its good when its done and over and you can find yourself again. I think that's the best way to put it...find yourself. And, once you're you again, then never ever let yourself not be not you ever again. And if you find someone who really loves you for you, great. If not, then you're better off anyway.

For now it might seem like there's nothing that you can say. Even though I've been through it, I have a friend who's in the same boat right now, debating back and forth on divorcing his wife, and even I don't know what to say.

The only thing I can ever do is to just tell people to follow their heart and don't forget about their head in the long run. And just be you. And to remind them that they deserve better.... Oh yeah, and lots of wine helps too.

Elena said...

Well, I've never been divorced, but I'm going through it with two of my best friends from high school who got married right out of college. One just finally settled hers after 5 years of litigation (she was married 11 months) and the other is in the initial stages of hers (while trying to keep things "normal" and civil for her two small children).

But anyway, that wasn't the point of my leaving a comment on the "D" word. My advice would be that your friend probably does not want you to say anything. Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back, listen, and make sure their glass of wine is never less than half full :)

P.S. You still haven't put a link to my blog on yours...