I’ve been reminded lately that it’s been weeks since I’ve written anything. I came home from Korea to learn of the impending divorce of a friend of mine – this makes five divorcing friends since the first of the year and, frankly, I’ve felt so saddened and conflicted that I haven’t felt able to write. I think I just need to write about this and get it off the top of my mind so that I can move on and write about other events and ideas that are also rambling around in my brain.
Five couples, five divorces in just seven months – not good news! I’ve realized that I look at a marriage as a combination of the “he”, “she” and “we”. There are two people – the “he” and “she”*, each of whom have their own separate identities and then there’s the couple – the “we”, that is, in many ways, an entity of its own. As I’ve learned about the divorces of the five couples, I’ve found that I grieve the loss of the “we”. Even though I may stay friends with one or both of the individuals, the “we” of the two together is no longer there. Even though this “we” is intangible, it feels like a tangible loss.
When we learn of the death of a person who is our age, it feels kind of creepy – “That could have been me.” Perhaps the news of so many divorces is upsetting in a similar way because I realize that, just as life is fragile – it can be taken away at any time by accident or illness, the “we” in a marriage is also fragile – it, too, can be lost, leaving just the “he” and the “she”*. I exercise, eat well, drive safely and look before I cross the street in order to minimize the chance of accident or illness in my life. Similarly, I think the way to process the news of so many divorces is to do what I can to bolster my own personal “we”, something I think I do well naturally; it’s just that right now I really feel the need to cuddle up, wrap us in a cocoon and do some serious “we” building.
*or the “he” and “he” or the “she” and “she”