Sunday, April 22, 2012

Til Death Do Us Part. Uhh... can you define death for me please?

When I see these couples who have been married for 25 years or more, I see the contempt in their conversation (or lack there-of), the numb tone in their voice when they are forced to speak to each other, the sadness in their eyes and the death that seems to have taken over their life. I see these couples everywhere; at church, family gatherings, weddings.. and I give a stupid look to the nobody I'm talking to and ask why do young people still think it's going to be different for them?

"Oh we will never lose sight of our love for each other." BULL.
"Well we're going about marriage in a very practical way, it's not 100% based on love so when the love is struggling, we'll be able to pull through." BULL.

I don't buy it for a second. I don't buy in to this whole idea that 2 people can live happily side by side for the rest of their life. I'm not sure I've ever seen it done.

I always thought there was a chance that this marriage thing could work with sensible people. When things start getting tough you put your partner first and work hard and everything will be fine. But now I'm realizing there are some things you just can't see coming. Some things you just can't fix. Even fixable things just become so tangled, you can't figure out how to fix it. And it's been so long that you've forgotten what it's like to be fixed, so you're not even sure it's worth the work anymore.

How do you survive that? It wears you down. It confuses you so you can no longer think straight. It keeps you up at night so you can no longer focus on anything. It makes you cry until you can no longer feel anything. Until you're numb. Until you're dead inside.

At which point, does this constitute the death we said in our vows? "Til death, do us part."
"Well honey, I'm officially dead inside. Grounds for divorce."

But I just don't understand where love goes. I honestly have a headache because I can't figure it out. How can you be so in love with somebody, and just completely stop one day? I mean you HAVE to be dead inside for that to happen. You have to literally feel nothing anymore in order to no longer love someone you once loved. I don't believe love just disappears.

So if the love has gone away, and it hasn't disappeared, then that means somebody did something with it. What'd they do, push it away? After 30 years? You just push all that love right out the window? I don't see how that's possible either.

And how impossible it is for someone to see how much their partner is struggling, astounds me. It really does. For 20 years she kept her mouth shut because she didn't want to argue, she wanted to stay in love with him. I don't believe that he honestly thought she was fine all those years. He knew, he just didn't care enough to ask. He didn't realize that could lead to the death of her, which is grounds for divorce.

So now that he realizes he could lose her, he talks, every waking hour he tries to talk about their problems. All she can see is her own pain, and she's become so used to saying nothing that she just sits there. She can't see that her silence is killing him.

Is there hope anymore? Do either of them have any hope that their partner will save them? Probably not because they are so busy trying to save themselves.

All this time, all they've done is what they thought was right for the marriage, for their partner, for themselves... and it has failed them. 30 years of love, of struggle, and of life together just doesn't even matter. They can barely remember it.

Now it's time to do what's right for the kids. So they stay together, in silence, and kill each other some more. Because they didn't say, "Until emotionally dead inside, do us part."


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mama said...

there are many many examples of people who have made it to the end happily. There are times in their marriages when they went through rocky rough patches that were not happy but they came out on the other side happy. That is the way God works he can bring healing and reconciliation.

And then there are many many of us we just don't make it. For whatever reasons we don't get that healing or don't get it in our time.

but what I love about this post is that you have given visibility to the invisible. To the one who hasn't been seen or heard, you have said "I see you."

The ones in long marriages who, in the rough patches, turn their eyes from God are typically the ones who don't pull through.