I felt so bad yesterday after posting my last post about my cousin who is currently separated from his wife. He writes a blog and so does she (I’ve read her blog fairly frequently over the years) and I reread his posts last night. The posts broke my heart. And the thing is, even if there was something honest or useful about what I wrote I feel bad because, truthfully, I have no idea what they need to hear right now, if they even read this blog.
It just affected me deeply when I heard the news. First because I genuinely care about these people as cherished members of my family (even if we barely talk) and secondly I really did see their breakup coming. And the latter is actually rather upsetting to me.
So often I sense things about people or places and I just dismiss it because it seems at least slightly preposterous. But then I, more often than not, find out I was right despite logically convincing appearances otherwise. But I still have a hard time taking my intuitions seriously, for some reason.
Now, mind you, some people claim to get senses about things and don’t, but I really am being sincere. And it’s very disconcerting actually. Or, at least, it’s disconcerting for me.
It makes me wonder if I should have “said something” in situations like the one with my cousin. But the thing is, what exactly was I supposed to say? “Oh, your marriage is slowly becoming trash, isn’t it? And one or both of you are going to totally lose patience with it all and get fed up and leave. Right?” No. You can’t say things like that to people in your family who you barely see… It’s a lot easier to say that to friends or people you don’t know, if you say it at all (for me, anyway).
But…I feel so terrible for them all.
Honestly, at risk of sounding too personal or rude I will say this though: For some people, taking on lots of responsibilities fairly young can be helpful. They need that. But for others it might be best to ease into it a bit more.
But oops… There I go again. Oh well.
…It’s just that they bought three houses (and sold two) in seven years and neither of them are even 30 years old yet. That’s a lot of stress. Truly. My marriage has had some horribly difficult moments and I cannot imagine having the weight and trouble of a house to tend to and be responsible for on top of that in our worst moments. It might not seem like a big deal, but everything counts and sometimes one thing can push you just over the edge enough.
No, we’ve avoided buying a house in the past for lots of reasons but, again, one reason was that we didn’t want to worry about that stress given the issues we were having in our relationship. Of course we also weren’t sure where in the world (literally) we were going to live. We thought we might be in Dublin or London for longer than six months, which would of course make buying a home in the US foolish (in our opinion). We also lived in Saint Paul, then Seattle, moved back and then wondered if we would move to Boston. And we weren’t sure which sort of house to buy and we needed to figure out which school our son was going to attend. There have always been non-financial reasons that prevented us.
And, actually, even if you have the money to buy a nice house it’s still a financial strain. Houses are great, but they’re not necessarily an investment so much as just a place to live that you own. That’s how Mark and I look at it anyway.
If it’s an old house you have repairs or remodeling. And new houses are nice but they’re often so far away from the best non public schools (at least where we live), so then unless you want your child to attend a public school there’s lots of driving in traffic, etc. Some people like public schools a lot though…
Oh dear. I’m probably just talking to myself at this point, aren’t I? Haha. Sure.
It’s just that when you see something very precious and valuable dying it’s instinctual to try to figure out what’s causing the death in order to put in perspective and possibly save it. Or that’s my initial response, even as just an observing first cousin. And I know it’s slightly absurd to think something I write in this, in the grand scheme of things, silly blog is going to be at all truly helpful, but I just feel so disturbed by it all. They say that when you marry someone you marry their family too, and I think this is me grieving the possible loss of this beautiful young couple. This beautiful young family.
Frankly, I might as well put it out there: I think they should stay apart for a while but not with the intent to either divorce or not divorce so much as with the intent to figure things out. I’ve been through that actually. Mark and I have been separated twice. And it can be very good if you try to keep an open mind and not treat it as something it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Sometimes you just need to take a breath and get a better idea of what’s truly going on.
I went back the first time because I missed my husband. I went back the second time because I decided my son needed an intact family, that my responsibility was to give that to him with his own father unless his father was truly harmful in some way (he’s a brilliant father) and also because I realized how ridiculous it was to think I could easily find more happiness outside of my marriage. Some people do find their true love and a stable, loving, healthier relationship after they leave their spouse. It happens. But you can’t count on it working out that way. And it’s dangerous to risk something stable and established for just a vague possibility.
But that’s my brutally honest opinion and of course it’s more popular nowadays to think that you should, “follow your heart” and leave with the small chance of a twin flame or soulmate looming as some sort of golden sun on the horizon, indefinitely. But…in reality…every marriage is difficult. In reality it’s rarer than rare to find your genuine twin flame or soulmate or whatever you want to call them, at just the right time. In fact, you might never find them in this life. You might have to wait until heaven. Or maybe you will, but you can’t assume you will… And really, it’s better to disturb your child’s youth for almost no reason just to meet a soulmate decades later when you’re sixty-five?? Or never, until you die? Again, this is just my opinion. It’s a personal choice and you have to go with what you feel God is showing you, and for me it felt (in my spirit) very foolish when I stopped to examine it more thoroughly.
And ironically, after I went back the second time and found Mark to be both loving and open to hearing my heart I realized he was worth giving another chance at forever. I realized that the kind of unconditional, determined and (again) stable love he offered was rare and extremely valuable. And moment by moment I started (and still am) falling in love with him either all over again or that original love has been rekindled (probably both) and all the gestures he makes and has made to find a way to show me that he truly does love me mean more. I have started to truly believe that despite his lack of a romantic nature, his sometimes dogged, cold and cutting personality (he’s laid back though too and his bluntness, not to be confused with cruelty, can catch you off guard sometimes), he really does care. My husband is a bussinessman. He’s a “math person.” He’s shrewd. And he can be wise but almost ruthless at times when he genuinely needs to be. Now, he has a heart too, and can be unbelievably gentle but he’s not someone who will write love poems with ease or intuitively know what to do in certain occasions. I never even got a true marriage proposal from him. He couldn’t calculate the right way to do it, so it never happened. But he’s lovable just the way he is. He’s unfathomably valuable just the way he is. He’s a rare one. And I’d like to hope we can stay together for life.
Now, it could be that that undercurrent of real, equal, mutual love is missing in my cousin’s marriage, to be so blunt. Maybe they didn’t know each other well enough when they got married. Maybe they didn’t know themselves well enough. And it’s possible they needed more time before they took their vows. It’s possible it’s just not going to work long-term for them, plain and simple. I would feel very saddened for all of them, but life is life. It’s messy, painful and incredibly ugly at times.
But…I just hope they don’t make another permanent decision before really taking time to sort it all out. I hope they take time to look into their hearts and figure out who they love and what they love and what love even means to them. It might take a while. Or it might not. But either way, I hope they’re careful with themselves and with each other.
…Sorry to everyone reading this who finds it boring due to lack of obvious olfactory relevance. But there’s always been a reason I never made this blog terribly “professional.” (I wanted the freedom to write about whatever I wanted)