Monday, March 2, 2015

Splitsville

David Hockney, Lightning from the Weather Series, 1973
David Hockney, Lightning (from the Weather Series), 1973


So many couples around me have been splitting up lately, and/or thinking of splitting up. It sucks.

I never want to go through a divorce, so I figure I can bypass the problem by never getting married.  

My brother and his wife have been married for about 15 years.  They have three kids together (and he has another adult daughter from a previous marriage).  Until recently, nobody really knew that there were any serious problems in their marriage, other than him being a total jerk, and his wife being perpetually inquisitive and upbeat. 

Bro and his wife sat my parents down a couple of weeks ago and told them that their marriage had been on the rocks for quite a while, and that they had been "putting on a show" for everyone for years.  Ugh.  My parents were stunned and so unhappy to hear this news.  My parents pretty much told bro and SNL that they HAD to do whatever it took to make things work -- that there was too much at stake to split up.  Note: my parents are super duper religious, and they don't really "believe" in divorce.  But they don't really get to be the deciders of the situation. 

Since hearing the splitsville news, I am pretty sure my parents have been having nightmares of my brother and/or his kids moving in with them and making their golden years hell on earth. 

I didn't really know what to do or say upon receiving the news.  My little sister -- wiser and more socially savvy -- sent a sweet email to both my bro and my SNL letting them know she had heard the news, and telling them both that she would support them in every way, no matter what.  I sent shorter, less eloquent emails to each, letting them know I was hoping for the best and to please let me know if there was anything I could do to help.  My SNL was grateful and sent a lengthy reply.  My brother?  His reply was: "Thanks!"  ?! 

It turns out my brother is the one that wants the divorce.  My SNL doesn't.  Brother is DONE.  Meanwhile, SNL is on Facebook proclaiming how much she loves her husband, how he is her soulmate, how difficult marriage is but how important it is to weather the storms, etc.  She is also running around telling all family members that she wants to make things work.  It feels like she is gathering allies and trying to bully my brother into staying with her.  Methinks this campaign will backfire and make my brother even more determined to dump her.  Ugh.  

I was watching a Louis CK episode a couple of years back, and he was going through a divorce.  He mentioned something about how difficult divorce was and how he had no idea how hard he would have to work to maintain their relationship after the divorce.  So true, chimed the person that has never been married OR divorced, at least when kids are involved. 

My boyfriend and his ex-wife have three kids together.  They are in constant contact, making logistical arrangements for the kids and their activities, figuring out who pays for what, etc.  They see each other often.  It works, but sometimes it gets testy.  I recently rather unhelpfully pointed out that they only have to maintain this type of arrangement for another eight years or so until the youngest turns 18. Then again there is college to think about.  Oh, and grandkids someday too. So pretty much figure you'll be intertwined forever.  Joy. 

I don't know what will happen with my brother and his wife.  Maybe they can fix things.  Maybe.  In the meantime they have told their 12 year old son that they plan to split up, and I imagine that he is exploding on the inside.  How does one cope with that news?  What does he do????  I don't know.  I have never been in that position, having only had one set of parents that are still married after fifty long, long, L-O-N-G years of marriage -- but I know this poor kid is in a world of pain.  It sucks.

If you are in a relationship, do you ever feel like it might just fall apart? I guess one just rolls the dice, does their best, and waits to see what will happen.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, seventh grade I think, my parents sat me (the oldest) down and told me they were splitting up. I was devastated, and I remember sitting with my mom on my bed sobbing and calling my two best friends. They ended up not breaking up.

Flash forward a few years later, I think I was 16 now, and they went splitsville in the worst damn way. My dad was a real asshat about the whole thing (aka drawing out the divorce for 3 years, wouldn't visit, the works). In retrospect, I wish they had just divorced when they first said they were getting divorced.

/endrant, haha

little luxury list said...

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it involves kids. I hope that they end up doing whats best for them then! You and your sister rock and I'm sure support will be needed all around!

Lorena said...

Divorce affects everyone around the family, of course in different ways.
My parents divorced, it sucked, he was an ass and she did not think things through - which made things worst. However as kids, there was nothing we could do.
Now what I do think sucks is him moving back with your parents… its unfair.

E said...

It's scary when people break up, especially when you don't see it coming and especially when it involves kids. I have a few close family members and friends who co-parent with their exes and some are able to make it work, while for others it's a constant battle. It certainly scares me when I think about having kids, but, as they say, worrying won't change anything. I guess you just have to hope your relationship is strong enough and hope for the best.

Stoic Tia said...

Blah. I feel so bad for kids in those situations. My mom was married and divorced twice...the first time I was too young to care, the second time I just didn't. Did they get married really quick? It seems like with all the people around me that get divorced, they barely knew each other when they choose to get married. There are girls I grew up with that have been married multiple times already, with kids by different guys. (at 31 years old!!) And they are always in such a rush to move on to the next one. Poor kids just get taken along on the crazy train!
Super sad, but I think it's better to split than to be unhappy. probably worse for the kids to see their parents miserable everyday for the long term than to deal with the pain and get used to a new normal.
Anyways, I have missed your blog lady! Hope you're doing well!!