Yet more thoughts on love...

We just got news of yet another set of friends ending a 15+ year marriage this week.

Again, it's one thing when someone drops a loser spouse. It is quite another when two incredible people decide to pick up their keys and call it quits.

John and I talked last night and found three recurring themes in all of the scenarios...

The first theme is annulment. The spouse who wants to go uses phrases like... "married too young" "never really was in love" "wanted different things". It is easier to leave if you can somehow void all that has gone before. In fact, then it becomes sort of noble because you are righting the wrong and now finding the right path.

Denial that another person is playing a role in the decision. The weird part is that in most of our friend's cases there hasn't been an official affair, but there has been someone of the opposite sex that highlights all of the things they are unhappy about in their current life and gives them promise of something better that draws them.

Personal growth in one of the spouses that isn't shared by the other. Whether this is a woman who has put her life on hold for the marriage and suddenly wakes up one day and realizes she is a person with goals and dreams who wants to feel beautiful or a husband who is grappling with growing older and not really happy with the man he's been and wishes he were something more, there is a deep personal awakening in one which comes as a complete surprise to the other spouse who is busy living the day-to-day.

So, what is happening?

I have a guess, and I'm forming thoughts as I'm typing--always dangerous--so who even knows if I'll agree with this tomorrow.

What if the "other person" is actually a fated event that serves as a catalyst to highlight needs and dreams you've ignored? The wake up call that gives you a picture of what could be? What if the solution then, isn't to chase after that "other" but to pour energy into the life you have? To allow the other person to simply be a catalyst and not an end result. In contrasting the friends who have gone for the split and the ones who have stayed, the ones who have stayed gearshifted into the more. The ones who split are still trying to heal, because at the 15+ year mark, separating lives is like separating Siamese twins. Painful. Full of loss. And, with an awful lot of collateral damage.

Sam Phillips (also recently divorced I just learned) has a line in a song: "If true love never did exist, how could we know its name?"

In my own life, true love is a whole lot of work and the journey has no clarity whatsoever. The cool thing is, God has this lovely habit of meeting us on whichever path we've chosen and I do trust His desire and ability to lead us to the "something more."


Robin said...

I agree with you on this, Cathy. It's not easy to stay and i'm not advocating staying in an abusive situation but trusting God to reclaim a relationship is a brave thing and something I think is possible. "All things are possible with God!"

Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.

D Herrod said...

Someone once told me that love is also about choice. Sometimes it is choosing to stay and choosing to love rather than following what appears to gratify self.

Is Sam Phillips, Michelle?

Unknown said...


what a remarkable post. I completely agree. Love is hard work. It amazes me how many people think it is just "supposed to happen." I love the thought of "the other person" being introduced as a catalyst to spur you on to seeking the more in a current relationship. Very well posted. Thanks for sharing

Ashley said...

Wow. Really great post. Love it.

D Herrod said...

Found out today that some friends after 15+ years of marriage are headed for divorce. The annulment approach you mentioned seems to be the tactic the partner pursing the divorce is taking. Claiming that he never loved her so therefor is just correcting a mistake. This is a family that has been active in church and are Christians.

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Maira Gall