Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Always learning the hard way.

This morning my mother called my husband an imbecile, which, first, made me want to laugh (imbecile? really?) and, second, made me want to cry. The conversation went like this.

Her: Are you ever going to tell me what he said?
Me: Didn't you read my blog?
Her: Yes, but what did he say?
Me: He said nothing had changed and he still isn't sure if he wants to be married. I don't want to talk about this.
Her: Okay. (Pause.) He is an imbecile.
Me: Mom! Please!
Her: Sorry! (Pause) But he is.

It didn't occur to me until later that I'm not the only one affected by this divorce. My mom, my siblings... they all had built relationships with my husband. My brother lived with us for nearly two years. My husband, naturally, played a father-figure-ish role in his life. My kid sister spent more time in our apartment than anyone and we have dragged her along on more than one excursion. The two of them have spent hours upon hours laughing, playing video games, going places, doing things, bonding. And now what? We're over so... they're over?

I wish I would have realized it sooner. If I had, I wouldn't have involved my family in our getting-divorced-but-still-married-and-sorta-dating relationshit of the last three months. But I did. Because I thought, I ASSumed, that things would end differently. As in, not at all.

My mom came out and played pool with us one night. (Well, with him.) (Me? Not much of a pool player.) (Not really coordinated at all, as a matter of fact.) Throughout the evening, she kept saying, "You guys can't get divorced! You're too right for each other!" Probably because we were teasing and touching each other and laughing as if we had just fallen in love. I'd have thought the same thing. Oh, wait. I did.

And then, just a week before The Talk, we spent the day with my sister. We went to the fair, barbecued for dinner, jumped in the pool. That, more than anything else, made me feel as if The Husband and I were on the right track. We had both already declared, albeit hesitantly, maybe a little nervously, that we wanted our marriage to last, but now it felt like it was actually going to. We would come out on the other side of this a stronger, more united, couple. (Gag me.)

I know, ultimately, it was my family, my responsibility, and no matter what I thought or assumed or hoped, I shouldn't have involved them again until I was sure. But I wish he hadn't suggested that my mom come out and join us. I really wish he wouldn't have encouraged J to come to the fair. And I wish he'd never bought her that season pass that implied more than that one visit.

Consider this lesson learned. A divorce is so much more than the end to one failed relationship. I didn't expect that. And it's really freaking heartbreaking.


  1. I was on the other side of this, as a family member. My brother divorced his wife after 5 years (they got married when he was 20). We had to figure out how to navigate the emotions we were feeling, and it was hard. In the end, I asked my brother if it was ok if I stayed friends with her under the promise that I would not discuss with her his ongoing life, and he agreed. My father had become a father figure to her, and my mom had really bonded over baking and crafts, so she still visits them from time to time, and we're all FB friends with her. As long as we don't fuel the hard feelings between them, we've found a good balance. I'm sure y'all will too, eventually.

  2. It is heartbreaking. Hopefully, in time, your family will be able to find a balance like Theresa G's has found.

  3. Yeah, a divorce is an earthquake. It rocks your world and shoots cracks into every relationship.

  4. My brother-in-law left my sister in a horrible fireworks show of infidelity and alcohol. He left her alone with two kids under five and proceeded to burn away all of the remnants of who he used to be. I had every reason to hate him totally.But he'd been my brother for 10 years. For 10 years we'd joked and hung out and gone for beers. And now I was just supposed to...hate him? Just like that?It was hard. My loyalty is and will always be with my sister. But no matter how much he screws up, I can't hate him. I care about him the same way I would if one of my real siblings were to hit a bad spot. I want him to do well. I want good things for him.So, I hear you, is what I'm saying. I think. I'm not sure.

  5. amen sistah'..., it affects pretty much everyone in your life in one way or another. I would think in HIS families life as well.. but ya never know.The whole situation just fucking sucks. Rip off the band-aid and go have yourself a good time you young and beautiful girl :))) Treasure your life.. .don't spend another day you're gonna mourn. ENJOY IT NOW!!!!! Even if you have to FORCE yourself to enjoy it for a while and spend time thinkin up HOW to do that (weird, but it's very, very true)... it helps.

  6. I agree with Violet: "Yeah, a divorce is an earthquake. It rocks your world and shoots cracks into every relationship." Very apt way of putting it.

  7. And the reason I said he's an imbecile is because I think he should be fighting to keep you with all his might. You're worth dying for, imo. I personally wouldn't die for you, but he should.

  8. It sucks.It's like a death and it makes everybody readjust.It sucks.But you gotta move on. Pull the trigger and you'll feel waaay better. Honest.