Themanic levels of activity seem to have subsided for my friend, for the time being. She wants to slow things down and take time out -- time to reflect, time to understand, time to breathe. She doesn't want to meet new people or even people who she's known for years but hasn't been in regular touch with - basically anyone who she has to explain her supposedly unique "between two worlds situation" to. Suddenly there is a consistent low and I see her becoming very clingy (for lack of a better word) to some friendships. As one of those friends, I can sense her gnawing fear that everyone who says anything about her situation is taking a side and it's usually not hers. She only wants to hear voices of agreement and positive reinforcement that "it was entirely his fault". She feels everyone is talking about her and judging her - causing more emotional damage. She's hyperventilating about the reputational risk of the whole situation.
Things that are the most irksome and troubling during the process of separation and divorce are often based around what other people are speculating or saying about you. To counter that feeling of being spoken about or being judged, we often put ourselves through more than we should -- more emotional drama, more victimisation, more martyrdom, more conflict, more pain, more pressure and sometimes even more violence.
Over time, I've realised three universal truths about marriage:
No marriage is all good or all bad. Between two people there are always elements that you adore and others that you abhor. If the former outweighs the latter, you have much to celebrate.
Like all else, marriages, also have phases. Sometimes there are bad phases and you know you can ride them out. Try with all your might to make something work, if you know and believe that it will pass.
No one walks out of a marriage on a whim.And that always holds true for both partners.
The best kind of knowledge is being aware when you are being rational or alternately unrealistic about your expectations from the relationship and marriage. We are, of course, all entitled to our own sets of what-ifs, experiments, hits and trials and others such.
"For most of us, the idea is not to break a marriage but simply to get out of a state of lovelessness or hopelessness."
Sometimes your instinct will tell you that what you've been through isn't enough and in the most drastic situations, you will neither know the reasons behind your own hope, nor will you understand the extent to which it will take you. You don't want to be the bad guy. No one does. Neither do you want to be the person that gets left behind.
There are very few people who are empowered enough, by family and societal sanction, to assess for themselves whether the love they get equals the love they give. And at the end of the day, all of us like equanimity and equality in relationships, especially marriage. For most of us, the idea is not to break a marriage but simply to get out of a state of lovelessness or hopelessness.
Many argue with the "trying till you succeed" logic and very often, when it is a marriage, you want to stick it out because there are ups and downs and you keep telling yourself that it is just that. Understand what your body, mind and heart cannot take beyond a point. Know what is right by your own sense of judgment and morality and let no one define that for you.
"Understand what your body, mind and heart cannot take beyond a point. Know what is right by your own sense of judgment and morality and let no one define that for you."
It will, of course, hurt initially, as do the endings of all relationships, but if this is what you think gives you a greater sense of peace, make that decision and find the strength within yourself to see it through. Go all-out with whatever you've got to go on -- just remember not to give up on yourself because something you were invested in didn't work.
Whatever the situation, whoever made the decision, however good or bad it may be, whatever the timing, you will be able to cope with it. Because the human being has, beyond all else, an immense ability to cope.
While going through my own divorce I read this brilliant line somewhere, "If you know in your heart that it's over, don't selfishly prolong the end with false hope. There are few pains more excruciating than feeling a broken heart bleed out, slowly."