I have two friends having marital trouble right now. Okay, the trouble is really over. One is signing divorce papers in a couple weeks, and the other……well, the paperwork may not be started, but I think it’s a formality. I feel bad for them. Really bad.
My first friend is hurting pretty bad. She tried to work it out, but just couldn’t. The details don’t matter — and if they matter to you, that’s just tough because it’s HER story to tell, not mine. I hurt for her. She lost several friends over this. She’s trying to take care of herself, her kids, her new place, and. . . . .well, her new lifestyle. It all changed. It seemed like it changed in a blink. I’m sure it felt like forever to her, but to those of us that didn’t know what was going on inside her marriage (and we never really know what anyone’s marriage is really like, do we?) it seemed to happen in just a couple of day. There was a castle. Then there was a vacant hill. Boom! Gone.
My other friend is NOT hurting. That’s what worries me. She’s past all of that. When the pain stops, that’s when you really know it’s over. I know from experience. When that final straw breaks and your first reaction is to smile, it’s over. It doesn’t matter what you do from there on out, it’s done. Finished. IF they work it out (and I doubt that’s going to happen) it will never be the same. I don’t think it will even be a marriage. When the other person in the marriage loses all power to hurt you, they lose their standing. A marriage takes two people to succeed. When one holds all the power and the other holds none, it just won’t work.
Trust is gone in both cases. Pain or not, there are wounds — some are just further along in the healing process. Scabs and scars. That is all that is left of two once good marriages. Now four adults and three kids all have different lives. They are different people than they were just six months ago.
And I can’t do anything for them. I’m used to trying to help my friends. That’s what friends do. We help. But I can’t. I can’t fix this. I can’t lessen the hurt. I can’t fast forward time until everyone feels better. Scabs and scars, and me with no band-aids.
I feel bad for all of them. I wish I could just DO something. But I can’t. All I have to offer is a shoulder, an ear, and hugs. I can be supportive, and listen. Those things seem like nothing when you’re watching marriages break apart like the ground in an earthquake. I just hope those scabs and scars cover wounds that are minimal.