In the last month and a half, 4 of my friends have gotten--or entered into actions that will eventually result in--a divorce. I won't be naming names, because this is not a gossip column and I don't have permission from any of my friends to spread the news, but I feel compelled to write my feelings on the subject. I tend to empathize with my close friends, and if I don't respond in some way to how I feel, coming to terms with the situation and finding a resolution will be delayed or debased.
I was raised in a family and a church that looks highly on marriage. Marriage, I was taught, is one of the highest forms of happiness one can achieve. Imagine, finding that one person who makes you want to be the best you, understands and loves you enough to hold your hand when you're down, enjoys with you life's victories when they come, and even tolerates your morning breath. Of course, that's not all marriage is--I'm not naive enough to think marriage is like a country love song--and I will admit I don't know the extent of the commitment that is made when two people enter into "holy matrimony," but I have been taught that it is good and I am now old enough to know believe myself that it is good, and I see it as a sacred union that I hope to be a part of some day.
Now that you have a small precursor to how I feel about marriage, you can understand the agglomeration of feelings I experience when I hear that one of my friends is getting divorced. Multiply that by four. I consider myself a fairly decent friend, and I empathize with my pals when they are going through hard times. I don't know what my roll is in this situation, and each one is different. I don't know how to be the best friend I can in each situation, and don't know if there even is any specific thing I am supposed to do or if I should just be around. Or maybe I'm not supposed to be around.
On top of that, knowing that my friends, who share some of my ideas and beliefs about marriage, are ending theirs makes me a little cynical about such unions. Heck, I even put quotation marks around "holy matrimony" above. I know a divorce doesn't make it less holy, but I can't help but think on how frequent divorce is today, and it scares me a little. It makes me wonder if anyone is immune. The answer is a resounding, "NO," because you can't say it will never happen to you, and there is no failsafe against it. Never go to bed angry. Sometimes you need to sleep on it. A family to prays together stays together. Communication is the key. Have dinner at the kitchen table. All of these are excellent words to live by, but none by itself (or even together?) will be insurance against divorce. But I still believe that marriage is something sacred and good, and that it can still be one of the highest forms of happiness. I think cynicism is a disease (not to be confused with sarcasm... which I still have internal debates about), and optimism is really a much better way to live anyway. People do stay together and things can work out in the end.
So tell me what you think? When things like this happen that directly or indirectly affect my belief system, I have to work them out, talk them out, and bounce my thoughts off people. It helps me make sense of the situation and add the scenario to what I believe and how I will act and react in like situations. It also helps to see what other people believe and how they have dealt with the same situations. So feel free to pontificate with me. It helps, I promise.
books read in 2015
1 year ago