I got a jolt to the system this weekend when I found out a friend of mine is separating from her husband. Ordinarily I probably wouldn't talk about such deeply personal things on this blog, but considering she announced it on Facebook (I understand the reasoning for it, but that's still a bit weird) and put it up on her blog, I think the cat's out of the bag.
Besides, they're both handling the split about as well as you can for such a thing. There are no kids involved and they're working very hard to make sure they remain friends at the end of it. Some might roll their eyes, but knowing her (and to a lesser degree her husband) I think its imminently doable.
So why mention it at all? Well, this is the second marriage I've seen break-up this fall. I'm not mentioning much about the other one because I don't know how common knowledge it is. But that's two in a couple of months. So now I'm in slightly freaked-out territory. Because they're my friends and I worry about them and want to make sure their all right, but since I live in Nunavut, that's a little hard. And hey, I'm as superstitious as the next person and these things apparently come in threes. So I've been emailing some friends making sure everything is all right with their marriages.
Plus, these kinds of things always make you think. It's one thing to read the statistics about divorce rates, it's something else when it starts happening to friends. It's not like I haven't gone through divorce before. My parents split when I was 19. I have an aunt and an uncle who each got divorced. And yet, I'm still feeling a touch freaked.
I think there are a couple of factors/theories. First, this is apparently the next life phase in adulthood. The first was watching my circle of friends get married. Most of them now are. Some aren't, like Dups, but he's "special." Take that whatever way you want. Besides, he's back in Sri Lanka visiting family. It's even money whether or not his parents have a wife waiting for him.
So with the majority of them married, a bunch of them have also started having kids. And as most of my friends are now in their 30s, we're starting to get the first few divorces. I hope there won't be any more, but I suspect that's probably wishful thinking. When I start getting into the second marriages, then I'm going to feel old. Well, older.
I think the other shock is that I'm a married man now. When my parents split, I was 19 years old. Their split wasn't a shock to the system. They had been fighting for a few years at that point. Plus they married quite young (mom was 19, dad was 21). So to a certain degree I was almost waiting for it to happen.
But I'm married now. And every time I see these smart people I know and care about, people I consider to be very capable and caring, and their marriage didn't work out, it makes me freak a bit. The thought runs through my mind, "if they couldn't last, well, what about us?"
And before this rumour gets any traction, myself and Cathy are fine. We're happy and still very much in love. We have the odd racket, but hey, welcome to marriage. I have no reason to believe that we won't be toasting champagne at our 50th wedding anniversary. And I don't know the circumstances that lead to my friends' marriages ending. All I can know is that things are fine with us.
Still, it gives me some pause. And is a reminder. Marriages are work. Hopefully you don't have to work too hard and everything runs smoothly and well. I thought I learned that lesson already, but it never hurts to have a reminder.
Anyway, I hope my friends are all right and that everything works out in the end.
1. Bright sunny south - Allison Krauss and Union Station
2. Lawyers, guns and money - Warren Zevon*
3. Dumbo sun - Tracy Bonham
4. Take it back - Barenaked Ladies
5. Invincible - OK Go