Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Grass is Brown on the Other Side

At the risk of offending, I must.

Marriage is not for the fickle. Not for the selfish. Nor for those of the generation taught to put themself first on the list.

Are we all getting a little weary of hearing about the man/woman who woke up one morning, realized he/she "just wasn't happy anymore" and went back out there to "get it right" next time? What about those "led by the Lord" to that ultimate partner- the one the Lord surely meant for them to cleave to the first time around?

How canine of us to run about sniffing for the ultimate consummation.

I speak for a weeping child, too young to know such grief. How does one explain the complexity of a woman's physical ability to bear children, choose a life partner, and then regardless of the repurcussions of her actions, decide that "single" is the way to be. Cast-off family. Does Canadian Diabetes do pick-ups for that? Or are the goods too damaged?

When people return to the search for their lown lost identities, clutching little hands, or not... such death is left in their wake. As I study a sad little face, the unthinkable has crossed my mind. What would be worse? Her physical death? Or death by choice- choosing to close down the "mother" in herself, and resusitating her "young and free"? And what else, who else must we bury here?

Now, I concede that its not wise to generalize. I'm not tempted to make any blanket statements, or throw any condemnation around. There are cases where it would be crazy not to decide on divorce.

I'm just weary of the brokenness.


Roo said...

ahhhh JOYCE. i am freaking out over here on the north side of town.

BANG ON my friend. i agree with you on many levels but also as one speaking from having personnally experienced the brokenness and devestation this decision brings.

mmichele said...

i've looked into the eyes of a little boy who didn't get it, either, and pledged thati would never inflict that on my children.

svea said...

My heart hurts too for those little ones who did not have a choice, yet reap so much pain, because of their parents. May Jesus heal their little hearts and protect them from the tainted world view that can spring from that hurt.

Judy said...

You are SO right.

I'm married to him.

Somethings are never 'gotten over'.

it's a gong show... said...

Absolutely Judy. I too am married to him (not your him but mine). At 40 years old, the wounds of divorce still bleed from time to time. I realize in some cases there is no other thing to do but part ways. But damn it ladies/gentlemen be VERY ready for the consequences that come with it in the eyes of your children. It absolutely kills a part of them. After seeing the pain first hand, I swear to "make it work" come hell or high water!

Love this post Joyce. And the reason why I love it is because it is REALITY!

Anonymous said...

I am a product of it. The pain dulls but never leaves completely. Can't explain it. Just when you think you've healed completely, there it is rearing it's ugly head.
Painful for children at any age, but God will never leave us or forsake us in any situation and that is a comfort and a blessing.

Anonymous said...

I too, am weary of the brokeness.....and extremely tired of "people needing to find themselves", outside of their marriages...exhausting....Lindalew

gloria said...

*sigh* being a child of d-i-v-o-r-c-e, i can speak to the devestation. in my case, the news had to come from my 10 year old sister, i was 4 at the time. my sister heard from my father over the phone, and my natural mother was once again away from the house. this was just the beginning of 7 years of abuse, hunger, manipulation, bullying and taunting from those in school who could not understand the dirty hungry girl who was not taught manners or hygiene because no one was ever home and there was never food on the table.... i pray to God that our society has become more watchful of these situations and more tolerant of its' victims..

it's a gong show... said...

Holy shit Gloria! I knew it was ugly but not that ugly. Clearly I haven't even touched the surface with you and I've known you all my life. All I can say is sorry especially if I was one of those that taunted in school. God have mercy!

lettuce said...

oh joyce. yes.

keeps me sticking at it.

Melissa said...

There is so much I could say about this. My parents have a beautiful marriage but I know about this from several different avenues.

One thing I know for certain - after pondering my options is that I am likely to make the same mistakes again - people nearly always do. So I stay - the only way to avoid those mistakes is to repair the ones I've made - only then will I learn from them.

It is hard but as you said marriage is not for the fickle - or for the chicken-livered.

Perhaps there instead of the blood test they used to do before people marriage they should do a liver analysis.

Daphne Enns said...

I feel like there needs to be something said about the fact that sometimes people simply aren't grown up enough to get married in the first place and yet they do for whatever reason. Pregnancy, loneliness, escape from parents, etc.

And then they grow up to find that marriage wasn't what they thought it would be- supportive, respectful, team work, etc..or worse, abusive.

So, my thought is that sometimes it is better for children to see one or the other parent leave and show their children that all of the bad things that they've known as "normal" is not in fact tolerable or acceptable.

We took in a mother and her two children last year when she suddenly left her husband. It wasn't easy for us. We didn't expect it to be so stressful in our house. The children lost their routines, the mother had no money and no job. The children were incredibly confused and insecure and the older one was incredibly angry.

But my point is that these little girls were exposed to an excellent example of how not to treat someone they love. The older girl had been incredibly angry since she was a toddler. She treats her mother horribly. Presumably she has learned that from her dad.

Her dad has been unwilling to seek help for her emotional problems since her mother first suggested it when she was a preschooler. He's concerned about dressing her in expensive clothing and giving her a good education but in the end I have never seen a child with such rage.

Maybe the fact that her mother left her husband is the first example of exhibiting necessary but difficult and lasting decision making as well as self control by not going back even if in some ways it might be easier for her in the short term.

I'm not trying to lecture. Sorry if it seems that way. My parents are divorced by the way.

Anonymous said...

I have felt used up and thrown out. It's been tough (what an understatement), but God has seen my tears, given beauty for ashes, walked through the "valley of death" with me,given me joy that oozes out, the promise of a kind of life that I used to think might never be mine, etc........ It's when I think of my kids that I feel rage. What has this done, and what will this do them? I try to put myself in their shoes and it's impossibe. I know wounds heal, but some scars never go away. And now I'm crying. Laura

Daphne Enns said...

Yes, it's true about the scars. But in the end parents deserve to live their lives to the best of their ability too. No one should miss out on living life with joy and passion.

Linda said...

I have seen a few families survive divorce. Seems to me that there is not much that can inflict deeper pain and suffering.

Anonymous said...

Oh God heart bleeds for you....soooo not fair....I reread my comment and I thought maybe I sounded kinda "unfair"??? I have many divorced friends...some did the absolute correct thing by leaving and some I believe, could have worked it again, there really are no easy answers to this one...either one brings pain to kids....Lindalew

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm....for reasons that are very selfish indeed...I was about to get a divorce about three years ago...thankfully I had married a man that was able to see the big picture beyond my narrowed down version and I (for this was truly all about me) went through a year and a half of intensive therapy. Looking back, it was incredibly selfish on my part to think that our daughter would be fine...for, as your comments can attest to, she would not have been...the long lasting effects would have been as devasting as my parent's abuse. I have heard many people talk about the 'resilency of children'...I believe this is an urban myth...I am very Freudian in my developmental philosophies...the experiences of early childhood (in combination with our biological pre-dispositions) sets us on the path toward our destiny...whether we like it or not...and believe me...I don't much care for it..but am thankful that I was able to stop my past from dictating my child's future...a future that was mapping itself out to be a 'child of divorce'. Thanks Joyce, as always, for such thought provoking posts...I myself have been very self-centered as of late and I appreciate your pointing out that our children are always caught in the ripple effect somehow.

joyce said...

Dear God Almighty, (and I say that sincerely) This post really hit a nerve. There is nothing I can say. I won't try to sum it up, I'm only grateful as ever for everyone's willingness to take down their veils and allow us all to see one another in all our power and frailty.

For those of you touched so very personally and deeply by the pain of this loss, I'm so sorry. I hope that whenever I see beautiful people like Gloria out in the community, God forgive me for assuming that because she is beautiful and vivacious, she is beyond the scars and mars of living. Lord, forgive us for our self-centred blindness.

Ruth, your story is precious to my heart. You are such a strong, beautiful, REAL woman, Jesus just pouring out of your wounds. (my favourite idea, thanks to blogger Judy)

All of these perspectives are so valid, so loaded. I'm just so grateful. Daphne, i like the perspectives you brought in. And certainly, the woman you referred to did the courageous thing. (So did you, having them share your home!) I want to say something about everyone's words, but then again, it would make another entire post or two!
So, when I look into this little boy's eyes, the pain I see is not of my imagination. Its too sad. I pray for his strength in believing truth for his life.

Danielle, thank you for that. All of it. And for your choice to wade through some painful sessions in order to exhaust all avenues.

Well, now I've started and I feel sort of lame mentioning some names when I want to go on about all.... Is this my cyber-insecurity raising its ugly head again?! Be gone. BE GONE, I SAY!!

Romeo Morningwood said...

I completely identify with your despair regarding the heartbreaking anguish and stigma of a family meltdown. When I was a school kid there was only a handful of kids from 'broken homes' but now almost one half of the kids that my children went to school with were in the same boat.

Attitudes have changed out of necessity and my kids had two phone numbers listed for their friends. They adapted and learned from it and that is why the average young women is now 27 years old before she gets married.

Unfortunately Life isn't always so cut and dried and our obsession with guarding children from the real world (Adults aren't perfect and the Myth that they know what the hell they are doing is now Dead and Buried) is a relatively new phenomenon. Throughout our History and up until the turn of the last Century children were exposed to everything from public executions to the nocturnal antics of their parents because they lived in close quarters.

Our new parenting schematic of PC psychological protectionism (Everybody is a Victim Of Something)has now extended Adolescence well into the late 20s.

and We Humans are not naturally Monogamous. Females physically disguise their fertility because it allows them to capitalize on opportunities to attain 'better' DNA and men produce enough 'Fertilizer', well into their 60s, to create their own country.

The idea of Marriage is a relatively modern invention and the notion that you can only have one partner is even newer..and in fact still ignored in many parts of the world.

That being said a monogamous model is the most desirable and rewarding relationship and I wouldn't want it any other way.

My divorce was the most painful experience of my entire life. The only consolation was the fact that we made our kids feel loved, NOT RESPONSIBLE in any way, shape or form for the event, and have managed to maintain a non-toxic cordial finger pointing, mudslinging or condescention allowed by either of us.

Now I realise that we live in a completely artificial environment and we can make of it whatever we want to but a cold, hard, look in the mirror reveals that despite our best efforts, sometimes you know what happens.

The idea of enduring a loveless or abusive marriage for 35 years just for the sake of their children or maintaining a favorable public image is now unthinkable to modern young women and I call that progress.

Sorry for being so tedious but you did strike a nerve. I completely sympathise with your empathetic concern for young developing souls and nobody should ever be cavalier or hasty when considering divorce...but there are a lot of variables at work and we are very complex beings.

Please don't be mad at me but I did have 4 cups of coffee this morning.

joyce said...

HO- yes and amen. "staying together for the kids" can be extremely toxic. And not recommended. I think that a lot of the opinionated-ness of this post is for my sis who worked hard at her marriage for twenty-eight years. That's when her husband found HIS soulmate, told my sister to lose weight, go for therapy, and to basically f** off.

Don't be mad at me, but I'm on my fifth cup of coffee....

Romeo Morningwood said...