This one’s been pretty popular over the past few months in the Pinterest world. Every time I see it I feel like I got punched in the stomach a little bit. In theory it’s great; just fix your shit married people! Fix it, don’t throw it away. How fucking fantastic would that be? So fantastic!
What’s it like though, to be in a marriage where only one of you is in love? Or when you think things are turning around only to find out that he’s having another affair? When you’ve been called a slut and been accused of having countless affairs when in reality you’re uncomfortable even making eye contact with a member of the opposite sex because you think so little of yourself? When she refuses to go to counseling because she knows she’ll get blamed for all of the problems? Or when he’d rather spend the night with a bottle of booze than you? Do you know what that’s like? Have you been there? Have you completely lost the understanding of who you are because you’ve spent so much time trying to make yourself right for someone else? You’ve laid in bed with your baby sleeping next to you, thinking about how the marriage that you’re in isn’t what you want for her, but realizing that you’re modeling that relationship to her, right? I’m sure you have been through all of that, and you fixed it all so now things are perfect and that’s why you are the expert on marriage.
I’ve never met a divorced person who attributed their divorce to “not feeling like it anymore” or “not wanting to try.” I’m sure those people are out there, but for the most part divorces are incredibly difficult emotionally, financially and mentally. You come out on the other end feeling defeated, lonely, hurt, basically like a big fucking mess. But there’s this hope that eventually you’ll feel like a whole person. At some point maybe you’ll meet another whole person and you’ll get a chance to have what you wanted out of the first one, or maybe that’s not what you want, either way you get to decide. You get to focus the fixing on you and not on someone or something else that is beyond repair.
In an ideal world no one would have to fix it. You’d pick your person and be happy forever, but that’s not how it works. Some of the marriages aren’t fixable – and they weren’t fixable 65 years ago either. They were broken. Those lonely, broken, defeated, hurt people stayed in their lonely, broken, defeated, hurt marriages. They didn’t come out on the other end because divorce was an abomination. I didn’t want to be a lonely, broken, defeated, hurt person anymore and I didn’t want my child to be that either. I didn’t throw anything away. I fixed myself.