Yesterday a good friend of mine told me after 5 years of marriage, his wife was leaving him and divorcing him. Not only was she doing that but she also told him about it in a letter! On top of that, he stopped to buy something after work and she had cancelled their credit cards and bank card. I’m no expert on the subject but that’s pretty cold. I asked him what went wrong in their relationship. Everything seemed fine on the surface. They were both older with previously deceased spouses and she said she just decided she wanted to move closer to her grandchildren so she was leaving him. No conversation. No back and forth. Just thanks for the 5 years. There’s really not a lot you can say as a friend in a situation like that. Sadly, I have seen most of my friends divorce over the years. One friend said at my wedding twenty some years ago that my wife and I would never last. He has been divorced twice. When I first hear that someone is divorced I don’t know what to say. Should I say “I’m sorry”? Maybe they are glad to be out of the marriage. Divorce is not always so bad compared to a volatile marriage. If you are in a toxic relationship, it’s likely that you would be happy to get out. Perhaps the other person is abusing you in some form and they are cruel. A person has limits. Do I say, “Congratulations”? Somehow that doesn’t feel right either. They might have been truly hurt by the disillusion of their marriage. It would be like congratulating someone on making it to the Super Bowl and then losing. More times than not, there seem to be hard feelings left over from a divorce. I don’t think putting a grin on and patting them on the back is the way to go either. As you can see, it is complicated. I had wanted to throw a statistic in for good measure but the good people at Google threw me a curve ball. One article said the statistic about half of all marriages ending in divorce was incorrect. As Vince Lombardi once said, “There are lies, there are damn lies and there are statistics.” The article says the statistic depends on how you measure it. Then it measures it “As it Pertains to Real Life”. After that we have divorce statistics in the Political Arena. Finally it looked at Divorce Rates in Second Marriages”. It all sounded like doubletalk to me. Another article explained that divorce rates went hand in hand with the state of the economy; but not in the way you would think. When the economy was poor, there were fewer divorces because people couldn’t afford to get divorced. They needed one another for financial reasons. When the economy improved the divorce rate went up right along with it. It was time to unload that pesky spouse I guess. Ironically, the birth rate mirrored the divorce rate. I didn’t see that coming either but it makes sense when you think about it. When money is tight, people have fewer babies. When times are good, those little ones start showing up. So what am I actually saying here? Divorce is a messy, expensive and painful ordeal that so many people must endure. I am neither here to condemn or condone their lives just as I would not want someone to judge me. If you are reading this though, and you are going to divorce your significant other, have the good taste not to do it in a letter!
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