Sunday, July 1, 2018

The "easy road"

I usually sit and ponder an introduction while I'm composing my posts, but this one, well I just wanted to dive in. If you're on facebook then I know at some point in your scrolling you have seen this post (or a version): 

"For couples so eager to call it quits and throw in the towel on your relationships because everything isn’t “perfect”... here is some food for thought. Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It's not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It's not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep, peacefully, at night. It's not a clean home filled with laughter and lovemaking, everyday. It's someone who steals all the covers (and snores!) . It's slammed doors and a few harsh words, at times. It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal...and, then...FORGIVENESS! It’s coming home to the same person, everyday, that you know LOVES and CARES about you in spite of (and because of) who you are. It's laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It's about dirty laundry and unmade beds WITHOUT finger pointing. It's about helping each other with the hard work of life! It's about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud. It's about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour to eat because you both had a crazy day. It's when you have an emotional breakdown and your Love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay...and you BELIEVE them. It's about still loving someone even though, sometimes, they make you absolutely insane. Loving someone is not easy....sometimes it's extremely hard; but it's amazing and comforting and one of the BEST things you'll ever experience!"

Yeah, can we chat about this? Because unless you've been through the gut wrenching process of divorce, it's not about "calling it quits" and it's not because everything isn't "perfect". And really- we're probably the people that could tell you the best about how difficult it can be to love someone. What you're doing in perpetuating this post, rather than celebrating your beautiful relationship, is SHAMING those of us who are divorced. I'm sick of the shame, and I'm tired of you thinking that those of us who are divorced took the "easy road." I carry enough shame and guilt on my own- I don't need any extra from you, thank you very much.

Let me ask you a few questions: Do you think it was "easy" to decide to leave a marriage after almost 14 years? Do you think it was "easy" to tell my 4 kids that their Mom and Dad would no longer be living together? Do you think it's "easy" to figure out when you have your kids and when your ex does? I guess it must be "easy" then to spend holidays alone. Do you think that most people who are divorced didn't fight for their marriage? That they didn't do everything and more only to have it not work. This shameful post is right up there with telling us to read a book, go to marriage counseling, take a retreat, or just spend more time together, because clearly if we had just tried one of those things it would have magically fixed our marriages. Most of us that are divorced did all those things and more, but here we are, STILL divorced. So please, take a step back and remember that most of us who are divorced had what you describe above and then something changed. And sometimes, crazy enough, people get divorced that still love each other. Sometimes you just can't be the people you were meant to be in a marriage, 

It's not that I don't want you to celebrate your healthy, amazing relationship. In fact, I do want you to share it with the world. It's a reminder to me (bittersweet at times) that things can (and do) work. So please, share how wonderful and supportive your partner is; celebrate the big and little stuff. But let's cut the shame and guilt. Let's have you share how long you've been together and how that person completes your world and makes you a better person. That's the post I want to read; those are the pictures that I want to see and celebrate. Because like some other divorcees I know, we have HOPE that maybe one day we can experience that amazing phenomenon again.