A Bystander of Divorce

Maybe it isn’t a genius move to bring up this topic, but every time I take a few moments on social media, I find another untold story.

My heart breaks as the silence unfolds into a shattered narrative. I wonder what happened, not for the gossip, but because I don’t understand why this is the norm.

How does the affair start, or the slow fade, the lack of patience for one another, the silent addictions, the forbidden secrets, the codependency, the silent treatment or the enabling. Why?!

Being in my mid 40’s makes a 25 year span easy to see. And what I see doesn’t make sense. I remember the other couples who were around when we started as newlyweds.

Do the lack (or plenty) of vacations, pursuit of big dreams, social gatherings with no depth, overspending, workaholic tendencies, the fights over nothing, the exhaustion of raising kids, the hours at extracurricular events or the weeks no one sits together at a dining room table co-mingle into unexpected detriment and chaos.

Maybe people look at Jason and I and think, oh you wouldn’t understand, your life is all good, your kids are perfect, you have everything, when we’ve fought like hell to stay together, in the middle of grueling, challenging, and out-of-control circumstances.

Marriage is hard.

Hundreds of you have tried everything to stay together, to forgive, to go to counseling, but why are *we* still standing when so many of my friend’s marriages are gone.

I’m a bystander of your divorce.

I don’t even know what happened to you, but I have survivors guilt because if we all really put our stuff on the table, I think your hard and my hard would measure up.

Sure, the hard would look different, feel different and result in different, but we all wake up and fight for what we want or we give up. And if the other person won’t fight, where does that leave us?? We have the same choice every day and for some stupid reason selfishness, the lure of temptations, a pile of irritants, our wants, our lack, exhaustion, pain and our inability to communicate erodes us.

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