"If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time."
- Edith Wharton

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Wave

I'm a little sad today. Yesterday, after a lovely weekend with P (I'm a bit thrilled and a lot scared that I am starting to glimpse a future with him), I came to work, looking forward to my regular coffee run with R, who confided that he and his wife spent their weekend talking about divorce. I was shocked. Things had been rocky over the past few years, but I thought they were doing better lately. Or maybe he just stopped telling me about the bad parts. Even though I am much happier without exH, I wouldn't wish this on anyone, especially R, who's about the most devoted father I've ever seen. It's not clear what's going to happen with him yet, but I hope they can get through this.

Last night, it occurred to me that if this had happened a year or so ago, my sadness for R and his family would have been mixed with a drop of hope that maybe he and I could be together. Horrible, I know, but I've often wondered if it could work. I don't think about that anymore -- I'm pretty sure we're better off as friends. Plus there's P, who is in many ways the exact opposite of R, and I want to see where that goes.

When exH and I split last February, I knew only one person who was divorced, a colleague I'm not particularly close to who's maybe 10 years older. At 34, I was definitely on the leading edge of the divorce wave. More than a year later, R is struggling with it and so is another coworker. I expect the next year will only bring more news of marriages ending. In many cases, it's the right decision, but that doesn't make it less sad.

I wonder if I will ever be able to take that leap again. Despite knowing several happy couples who have survived failed marriages and found love again, right now it's hard to imagine that I will ever overcome my fundamental doubts about love, and I never again want to go through the "this-is-mine-that-is-yours" bickering that even the most amicable divorces entail. Even in my most fantastical imaginings about P, I don't see us married (good thing since he's said he never wants to get married!). What do other divorced/separated parents think about getting married again?


  1. Can I tell you something my dad said? And I hope you take this as the joke he meant. My dad has lived with the same (wonderful) woman for close to 6 years now. She is gentle and kind and loves caring for him, and I am thrilled that they are together. But they are not married, and they never will get married. I asked my dad why that is and he said, "It only takes getting kicked in the teeth once to learn to not stand near the back of a horse, Tif." He said it with such a playful look on his face that I laughed for a good long time.

    What I learned from my dad is that you can love again even if you don't get married.