Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Can That End?

A friend of mine is getting divorced, my best friend. I was his best man. I stood beside him, vouched for him, and, by extension, pledged my support to their family. And I'm glad I did, don't get me wrong; he's a good man.

He wants it to work, but his wife became fed up with being married and wants to strike out on her own, having never been single. While, in this case, my loyalties and sympathies are with my buddy, I consider her a friend too, and so this is a bit of an awkward situation for a couple reasons, though certainly not strange enough to the general public.

As I've written before, I have been a divorce bigot; I've lightened up. Just the word, though, is still sounded in my mind with an uncomfortable hiss. I really still don't know how best to address the topic, but I do understand that there are situations where it really is the best option, best of all the tough options for those involved.

This family, though, they've a boy a couple years younger than ours and it's difficult to think of the time with your child being divvied up. It's one of those those things I'm sure you can live through and manage, I hope to never know how.

And that's just it. I don't get it the whole of it. I don't think I'll come to know. I literally can't imagine it.

No one will (should?) believe this and when I've stated it in mixed crowds I've been met with a good deal of skepticism, but Rob and I simply don't fight, ever ; never have. Neither of us has even once raised our voices to the other. Sure, we have a notable disagreement about something, probably once a year, but the last time it went past a couple hours or either of us went to bed upset was in our pre-San Diego days, about 9 years ago.

I'm not sure why we don't, but know most people think we're exaggerating when the topic comes up. To be clear, I certainly don't credit it to being "true to my orientation" or anything; plenty of gay couples fight. We're just both very easygoing people. Also, if their's one bit of advice I'd give a young couple it's be to be constantly at the ready to surrender. If there's one person in this world you can't lose to, it's your spouse. A disagreement should be like a deliberation between two interests of a single mind.

Furthermore, I have literally never thought about leaving him other than the thought it takes to write such a sentence as this. In fact it sounds absolutely absurd, like leaving a limb behind. We've grown so much together and are so much in the other's head that there's practically, by any definition of a mind, no me without him. Without him, I imagine my self to be some sort of stranger, one I don't much care to know, and one I'd gladly want punished if I were the guy to split us up (a reasons I want divorce law applicable to us, to hurt that possible jerk :-)).

Yet I did everything wrong, according to the notion that's causing this particular divorce. I coupled up in my teens; I married at 21. I never played the field, or "got it out of my system." I've not so much as meant to kiss another man. I've never been alone, and have always been accountable to someone (and now 3 of them! though 2 mainly care that I play with them and tuck them in at night). I can barely remember back to 17 to remember what being single is like. But it's not recalled fondly. What would someone want with that? Am I really missing that something this idea of being on your own provides?

I really think most all humans naturally need to pair up; I think that is our best, most happy and productive form. But is it just a broad and wrong generalization that the cog is the goal ;-)? And what happens to change people's minds on this? It scares me to death, that the person you love and vow to be at their side as long as you exist just ups and leaves. It's like the scene in every zombie movie, the one that creeps me out the most, where the loved-one is suddenly turned into a mindless killing machine against their girlfriend, father, or what have you (though, maybe, a bit less dramatic). The familiar and loved turned into a source of torment...

Scary stuff.


Peter said...

What? You and your husband don't raise your voices and yell each others heads off?

Well that just proves it. Your relationship is not the same as a marriage. If your relationship was as valid as a real marriage, you would yell at each other.

Java said...

From the way you describe it, (and I know you've left out lots of detail, and probably don't know it all anyway) the impending divorce is not right. Just because she wants to see what it's like alone? Either she's a fool, or there's a lot more to the story. IMHO.

I completely understand what you mean as you describe your relationship with Rob. Superman and I don't fight either. I was 21 when we married and have never been alone on my own. We have grown together over the years, similar in many ways to what you describe. We don't always agree on everything, but we discuss things without fighting. We get irked at each other occasionally, but usually over little stuff. We don't make a big deal of it. And it works really well.

I hope your buddy gets through this alright. And you, too.

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

It is scary, and sad. The part about your friend, not you and Rob. That's just awesome.

Oh, did you hear, Gay marriage is legal in California now!

I believe that you don't fight. I'm not one to raise my voice either, and if I'm discussing something with someone I like, respect, or love, I'm generally very willing to compromise, or simply give in.

It's when I'm arguing with someone I don't respect that it gets heated.

Scot said...

Oh Peter, may we never be then valid. I'd take peace at home over fair taxation any day.

Java: "and I know you've left out lots of detail"

I kind of wonder if I don't have all the detail. The idea of needing to have a time in your life to be alone, "me time," and play the field makes little sense to me, yet I've noticed it in pop-culture too.

And I'm glad we're not such freaks :-). You know, I wonder if it has a lot to do with parents. Neither of our parents fought much at all; I can only remember hearing my parents argue once.

Craig "I believe that you don't fight."

Well, that's because you've seen us not fight in person :-).