Sunday, April 23, 2006
Dwelling on Death and Divorce
Why does it seem, all of a sudden, that people I know are getting divorced?

First, my parents. Yes, after 39 years of marriage, they're now in the process of getting a divorce. I shouldn't be surprised, they've been unhappy together for as long as I can remember and they've refused to seek marriage counseling to try to work through their myriad of issues. I'm hoping that after they get through the ugliness of dividing assets, they'll be happier apart than they were together. I'm amazed at how painful this divorce process has been for me and my siblings. We're all grown adults, so I mistakenly thought it wouldn't affect us all that much. Wrong!! We're getting caught in the cross fire of their mud slinging and loosing respect for each parent in the process. Not fun.

Next, I learn of a college friend that's getting a divorce from his wife of 10+ years. They have a son that they're in a bitter fight over for custody. My friend thinks he's got a stronger case than his soon-to-be ex-wife. He tells me she's not nearly as "stable" as he is. I guess that's for a judge to decide.

Most recently, I learn of a friend of my brother's who is in the process of divorcing her husband of about 8 years. They have 2 boys and it looks like she's not getting custody of them.

Divorce scares the hell out of me, which is why I waited until I was 34 to marry and dated Oronzo for 5 years before finally tying the knot. I know there are no guarantees in life, but I wanted to take my time and find a man that I was friends with, first and foremost. I wanted a man that I could respect, that respected me, and that had the same value system as I did. I was unwilling to "settle" just to be married. I don't want to end up like my parents, living a miserable life in an unhappy marriage, or like my friends or acquaintances who are in ugly child custody battles. I'm extremely happy being married to Oronzo. He's all the things I was looking for, and then some! I just hope that, years from now, I love him as much as I do today!

If Oronzo and I were ever to get divorced, I know that I'm a survivor and could continue on independently. What I worry about now, is how it would affect Snuggle Bug. Children are the ones that suffer the most in divorce situations.

So, as I'm dwelling on divorce because of the ones I'm hearing about, I tell Oronzo how I'm feeling. I tell him that it would kill me to have to share custody with Snuggle Bug and that if he ever has issues with me or our marriage, he damned well better tell me ahead of time so that we can work on salvaging our relationship before it's too far gone. He agrees and promises to do so. We're having this conversation as we're on a walk, pulling Snuggle Bug behind us in his red wagon.

Now, here comes the death part. As we're talking about how to avoid divorce, we pass a house in our neighborhood and notice that there's a police car in front of the house with it's lights on. There's also an unmarked white van in the driveway. We glance over just in time to see a corpse in a black bag being wheeled out on a stretcher and into the white. The driver that wheeled this person out is carrying a large Zip Lock bag full of orange prescription drug bottles. How freaky is that?!!

Our conversation then turns to death and how we hope to die (i.e. I'd love to die in my sleep at home rather than in a strange place). Nice conversation, eh?

Man, I need to go to bed and start a new day tomorrow. I'm usually not so morose!

Any thoughts you'd like to share on death or divorce? Perhaps those of you that have been married a while care to share your secrets to a successful marriage? I'd love to hear those!
11:46 PM

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Pieces said...

It is scary and sad to see marriages around you fail. I believe that love is a decision not a feeling. The Loved and I have had times when we may not like each other very much but we are committed to our marriage and we do whatever it takes to work things out. Knowing ahead of time that neither of us is going to bail out helps. The other thing that helps is knowing that people always change and so the way we relate to each other has to change too.

I hope that you got a good night's sleep!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Pieces- You understand exactly where I'm coming from! I'm terrified by the marriages around me falling apart. I don't ever want Oronzo and I to suffer such a fate.

I really like your comment that "love is a decision not a feeling." That's beautiful and very true. Thanks for sharing!

By the way, I didn't get to sleep until 2 a.m. thinking about these things. But I slept great last night!

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents also suddenly (no major outward signs of unhappiness) divorced after thirty-some years of marriage. I remember that feeling of shock and loss, all the more surprising because I was in my mid-thirties at the time. I also thought that as a "grown-up" child, I shouldn't be so affected by the dissolution of my parental unit....but boy did it hurt! Guess that child inside never truly expects the core family to change. Guess it also shows how divorce will always impact the children, no matter how old they are...or how unhappy the marriage.

(As a side note, my parents are now good friends, as are at least some of the divorced parents/friends we know, and all the kids are now doing great - little AND big ones;-)

I can also keep myself up for hours thinking about these things - glad you got some sleep;-)!

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

mayasmom- What's ironic about our situation is that I remember, as a child, wishing they'd get a divorce to end their constant fighting. When all of us 5 kids grew up and moved out, we fully expected it to happen then. But it took them another 7 years to finally divorce. I honestly thought their divorce would be a relief, but it's been far more difficult than I expected. I know that's in large part because of the way they're acting towards each other.

I certainly hope my parents will eventually get to a place where they can be friends, like your parents have.

Thanks for sharing!

At 10:22 AM, Blogger cmhl said...

I don't have any tips for success (ha!!) but I have plenty of experience with the "for better or for worse" part.. I think the biggest thing is the commitment--- how much you are willing to work at it..

At 6:30 PM, Blogger kpjara said...

I met my husband when I was 31 and he was 24...somehow we just "clicked" and were together for a few years until we wed when I was 34. I am now 42 and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the only thing that keeps our marriage strong is his ability to maintain a God-centered marriage. There isn't a year that goes by that I don't "worry" a bit about divorce, but we talk about this often as well as making time to 'date' each other and maintain the oneness that we sought in marriage. Truly I never thought I would love someone this much.


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It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
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Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
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Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
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Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
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Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
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CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
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The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
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Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
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Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
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Ah, the silence of a sleeping child. I think it's...
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It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 3)
Easter Greetings!
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Look what Snuggle Bug is addicted to...
To squeak or not to squeak, that is the question!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 1)
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