My husband and I have some very dear friends. It is a couple that we met a long time ago when we were working at a camp. We have been friends for at least 10 years. Maybe you have friends like these. They are the friends that have a child about the same age as our daughter. They have a similar career path as we do. We have rented summer condo’s together, gone to Disneyland, had endless sleepovers for the kids. We have so much in common. They have been a staple in our lives. We adore them and have considered them our best friends for years.
Two weeks ago, I found out they were separating. I had known that they were having a rough time, for a long time. I guess in the back of my mind I knew that they might not make it, but when the words were said out loud, I was in shock. Devastated actually.
How could this be? I was crushed for them and for their little girl. I know this decision did not come lightly and that they had done everything that they felt possible, to try to improve the marriage.
Here I was, staring at my dear friend, trying to pick my jaw up off of the floor and swallow back tears that were fighting to surface.
Then inevitably, I started to think about me. I know, it is selfish, but I couldn’t help it. How was this going to effect our friendship? It was going to change the entire dynamic of it. We were couple friends, if that makes sense. We always did things together as families. Is this going to reduce our friendship to only seeing one of them at a time for events that only involve the children? Birthdays and pool parties? I don’t know. We haven’t talked about it.
Actually, my girlfriend hasn’t talked to me about it at all yet. It is too fresh and too painful. I can understand that. I will be here when she is ready.
The day I found out about their separation I looked at my husband from a different perspective. After the news I looked and him and was overwhelmed with emotion. I couln’t imagine my life without him. I suddenly had this renewed commitment to put my marriage first.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that my friends didn’t do that. I do not know the inner workings of their marriage and their situation is certainly not for me to judge. Marriage is hard, and sometimes truly unfixable. I get that.
But life is full of lessons. I cannot watch my friends go through the unimaginable without taking away a life lesson for myself.
I have learned a lot about my marriage this past year. The most important thing I have learned is that it requires constant nurturing. The moments that I start to put it in second place are the times that we struggle most.
I like to think that I am on the path to longevity in my marriage and I am reminded to do everything in my power to never reach the place where things are unfixable.
Sending love to my dear friends. May you find the strength you need to get through this very difficult time.
Todays lesson in improving my marriage: Nurture it.