Thursday, June 7, 2012

Giving it our all

I find it very hard to do anything halfway.  I'm either in, or I'm out.

This is very true for me in divorce, too.  I fought hard for my marriage.  I told myself repeatedly that we could work through our problems, that I could try a little harder, that my husband was a good man and so surely we could make it work.  We had problems, even serious ones, for a decade before I even used the "d" work, even in my own mind.

Reading things on the internet and in the media, I sometimes wonder if I'm an anomoly.  I know I'm not alone, certainly (thank you, dear readers, for sharing your stories with me), but I read something like this:

...and I am profoundly lost.  I can not relate to the author of this series much at all.

Have you read it?  It's called "Diary of a Separation" and it was a series in The Guardian (UK).  For about a year, a woman chronicled her separation, including telling the children, moving out, adjusting to the new life, dating, and the rest.  I can't read enough about separations and divorces right now - I desperately want to understand, to feel connected - so when I found this series, I read it from top to bottom, beginning to end.

And I don't get it.

The author of the series seems ambivilant.  She seems to want a fantasy life that is interesting and far from mundane, so she leaves her marriage, only to live a life that isn't particularly interesting and has plenty of the mundane (starting with the house she rents, which she describes in such gray, sad language).

The series ends abruptly, and I want to know what happens next.

Did she go back to him?  If she did, would he take her?  (Her life got more cluttered and confusing; she made his seem at first bleaker, but then, possibly, much better than it had been during marriage.)  Did she meet someone new and decide to stop blogging about divorce?  Did she lose interest in the topic?  Did she enter therapy and decide to work it out less publicly?  Speculation won't answer the questions, but I do wonder.

But most of all, I wonder about this: how come she was so uncertain in her posts?  How on earth could anyone go through all of the pain of divorce, the financial hardships, the wear and tear on the children (dear God that is an understatement), if there was no abuse, but also no real, concentrated effort on making it work?  What about therapy?  What about talking to a pastor? What about going to mom and dad or some other older couple and asking about marriage?

Did I miss something here?

I gave it my all, and my all wasn't enough.  I was as "in" to my marriage as I could be, until the writing was on the wall.

Every divorce has its story.  The anonymous poster in The Guardian series has hers, and I have mine.  I found hers interesting, but I just don't get it.  Perhaps I don't get it because it's more Bryan's side of the story than mine....he didn't give it his all, either, and he wouldn't put the work in to try on our marriage.  He showed up to counseling because I dragged him, but that was all.

What is it that makes some give it their all until the bitter end, and others barely participate in their own marriages?  What am I missing here?

If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd love to hear your theories.  And if you don't have answers, read the series that I've linked to, and let me know what you think.  What do you make of it?

Thanks, readers.  Have a great day.  After yesterday's emotional roller coaster, today's post is less personal, because I am still completely, utterly wiped out from from yesterday's heartache.


  1. Question :
    "What is it that makes some give it their all until the bitter end, and others barely participate in their own marriages?" Answer :
    The ones that don't participate JUST DON'T CARE! They aren't totally invested in the relationship to begin with, so the loss will not be devistating.
    (Kinda like the stock market!)

  2. I dont think its that they dont care...i just think that they care less and dont think of the fallout. As women I think thats all we think about. I wish i could re-program my brain to care a little less. Its certainly gotten better but my whole separation/divorce has just consumed me for the better part of 2 years. Its exhausting.

  3. If you figure out how to do that reprogramming (without costly counceling that isn't always effective), you'd be a billionare!
    I too had been consumed with my divorce to the point of exhaustion . Constantly dwelling on damage control in the fallout of someone else's selfish acts of devistation , haunts me still, seven years later. It comes out of nowhere, just hits you square between the eyes when you least expect it : something long ago said or done, in retrospect suddenly makes sense! I don't think the sadness ever leaves you,it just becomes part of who you are.

  4. Mary and Anonymous (please consider using a name, just so I can call you something, even if it's a psuedonym :-) ), thanks for commenting. Mary, sometimes it really does look like apathy, doesn't it? I'm still trying to figure it out, but I suspect it will take years. And Mary & Anonymous, I really do see how it's all consuming. Here I am in the middle of the day, a huge list of things to do, pondering divorce... I don't want to be sad, and I fight it all the time, but maybe if I could accept it...? Wishing both of you, and myself, great healing.