Who’s Divorce Is It Anyway?

I found this article on Web MD today, about how someone’s divorce can affect their friends’ marriages. I have to say, I’ve only read the first few pages, but so far this article is spot on. Michael and I have been through this more than a couple of times, where a couple we know and hang out with suddenly end up divorced. In fact, it’s happened to us so often that I am no longer allowed to look through our wedding album, because I sit there and pick out all the people we know in the photos who are no longer together. These days, I can also pick out the people in our wedding album who are now dead, which is another reason why I’m not allowed to look through our wedding album anymore; Michael says it’s just too ghoulish.

And he’s right, it is ghoulish to sit there and look at the pictures and talk about what went wrong, like I’m performing some sort of verbal autopsy on a long-dead relationship, but that’s how I handle these things. I look at what the people around me did wrong and I want to discuss it, to learn from it, to make sure I don’t end up repeating their mistakes. As badly as I felt for my neighbor down the street who’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack, I couldn’t help but want to analyze about the aftermath she went through. She couldn’t get into her late husband’s computer to pay the bills; she wasn’t sure how to handle the insurance claim; she didn’t know how to deal with certain financial aspects of her home business because her husband had always handled it. I have to discuss these things with Michael to make sure I won’t end up in the same bad situation.

I’ve done the same thing with divorces, picking apart what might have gone wrong and then comparing my findings to what’s happening in my own marriage. It’s armchair quarterbacking for sure, but when someone you know has been married for 10 years and you just went camping with them the weekend before and now suddenly the wife is moving out and they’re getting a divorce, it does make you stop in your tracks and go, “WTF?! How’d that happen? Didn’t we just go camping with them last week? Uh, honey? We’re not headed for divorce, are we?”

To reassure all my friends, I do not study your lives under a microscope. Half the time, when you make a mistake, I have no idea; I’m too busy fighting off my own alligators to notice yours. And the closer I am to someone, the more likely I am not to need to analyze what’s gone on in their lives. Those folks tell me everything anyway.

But some days I’ve got to be the ghoul. Some days I have to sit and try to learn from other’s mistakes. It ain’t pretty, but at least you know that because I’m a stay-at-home mom, I can’t hang around the water cooler at work and gossip about it.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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