I don't know if it's because Owen has been really whiny this week because he has this terrible cough or what, but I'm tired of hearing this, "Despite the fact that our marriage is dissolving, we're going to remain the best of friends. We are totally committed to making our friendship last." Or "I will always love so & so with all my heart, but our schedules have prevented us from making this marriage work."
I realize the various reasons why people end marriages is a private affair and it is none of my business, but what I don't want them to do is tell me that they are ending one of the most important bonds between people because of a scheduling conflict. You cancel playdates and nights out because of scheduling conflicts--you don't end marriages.
I also don't want them to tell me that they are going to still be best friends. Really? I married my husband because he was my best friend. I wanted to be around him all the time; I didn't think I could find anyone else better suited to my personal needs and desires. Have you ever read Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott? The ending to that books drives me bonkers because Jo, who has always been best friends with her next door neighbor, who is a male, does not marry him. In the end, they determine that the marriage would've never worked because they were the best of friends. What?!?!? Then you find out that the author never married and you think, "Yeah, now I know why this ending is ridiculous!"
Not that I want each spouse to come out swinging and throwing mud at each other. I just really don't want my kids to grow up hearing that people who were best friends just couldn't make it work. If they fall for this message, what will prevent them from thinking their own marriage is a failure when it isn't all fun and games. There is a lot of simple day-to-day monotony in every marriage. Not that I'm advocating staying in an abusive marriage or one that is unrepairable.
When I worked as a legal secretary/paralegal, we had a couple come into the office once who wanted a divorce. They were completely amicable with each other. They had already decided how everything was going to be divided and all they needed was an attorney to write up the legal papers. In my little experience with divorces, that one was the most difficult for me to understand. I just kept thinking, "Would a counselor be able to save this?" I wanted to see some passion, some anger, some...emotion!
So, next time one of these couples ends a less than perfect union, here's what I'd like to hear:
"We couldn't make this marriage work. I want a career more than I want a spouse." Or, "We got married in the heat of passion and have regretted not having any common goals to work toward." That's not good news, but it is the truth.