Death or Divorce

I met an acquaintance the other day.  I was  out shopping and met up with a woman I hadn’t seen in about two years.  The last time I had seen her she was going through a very public divorce. Married about 25 years, her husband had strayed and the rift was irreparable.  She was shell-shocked when it happened and closeted herself away.  I remember the whole ugly beginning well.  Then I descended into my own world of hurt and pain where there was no room to think about other people’s problems.

I saw her at the store I was in and stopped her to say hi.  I don’t think she wanted to, something I could sympathise with, but I stopped her anyway.  She had no idea that my husband had died; I had no idea that she was still in her own personal hell.  When we started to talk it was crazy, the words wouldn’t come out fast enough.  She was sorry, I was sorry, we were both sad.

I think though that I may have been in a better place than her.  The man I loved had died, an awful tragic thing, but he died surrounded by love and still giving love.  For her, she loved a man who had rejected her, who had pushed her away and out of his life, and her hurt went so deep.  She’d sustained emotional damage and it had undermined her sense of self-worth and self-value.  She is still at a very low point, feeling inadequate – about what, she has no clue.  She’s been replaced in his life, completely, and the hurt from the realization that all their time together ended up meaning nothing to him has left her devastated.

In my own twisted mind this supports the notion that for my future it’s better to be alone.  The sorrow and grief I felt after Kevin’s death is indescribable.  I have no desire to ever go through it again.  I mentioned this to my friend and she immediately responded to the contrary.  “More than anything,” she said, “more than anything I want to find someone to love me, really care about me, and share my life.”  I must have looked astonished, after all her divorce had been epic, because she carried on, stating that, really, all she wanted to do was just get it right.

Maybe, in my case, I got it right the first time and that’s the difference.  Maybe I will feel differently as time goes on.  Or maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’m crazy or maybe she is.  Who knows?  You make the decisions that are right for you.  At the end of the day, you just have to do what’s right for you.





6 comments on “Death or Divorce

  1. This one really hits close to home, often I have looked at these situations of intense loss and compared them. I have friends that were totally side swiped from their husbands, yet were able to start a new life with other people. For me I spent 15 good years oft my life without anyone, and I have wondered was this a terrible mistake on my part. Looking back I say no it wasn’t I could never have been the daughter, mother , sister, grandmother , aunt, and friend, if I had chosen to makei another male friend my focus. I also didn’t have to share my family with any other extended family.Every relationship is a very important part of your life, it is up to you to decide which relationships you would like to focus on you really can’t do them all.


  2. I have had both. In the same relationship. I loved deeply, and was deeply loved in return. We were connected and so in love. But he hit a terrible spot in his life after 21 years together. I didn’t know. He hid it well. And he had an affair. For over a year. With a friend of mine (well… I thought she was.) I wish he’d died. We have been together 28 years now and I have never got over his betrayal, despite his horror, deep remorse, and damn hard work to try to be a better person and understand and love me more than ever. If he’d died, I would mourn an amazing love story. Now I just ache. All the time. The grief is almost unbearable. And I never want another relationship either. I’m so sorry Kevin died.


      • Thank you. I did not mean to hijack your grief. To compare grief is a slippery slope and losing an utterly adored partner like your Kevin must be unbearable. Thank you for sharing your story. Your pain reflects a wonderfully fulfilling marriage. So glad you had that, but so sorry that the price you are paying for that is this ripping grief.


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