Hubby and I have been married a long time. It goes without saying that we share a lot of history. Some of that history involves relatives, in-laws, and friends who have also been married a long time. You take for granted that these people are part of your family and always will be.
You share history with them.
You attend their marriages, the births of their children, the celebrations, the holidays, the ups and downs, the good and bad. You share heart-ache and deaths, disappointments and hardships. You celebrate accomplishments, promotions, happy anniversaries, graduations. You witness their lives. They grow older with you. Their children grow up with yours. You laugh together. You cry together.
And then you hear they are getting a divorce.
That person in your life for too many years to count, is no longer. Poof! It's over. Now they are left in the shadowland of memory. Lines are drawn. Loyalties delineated. All that was, is no more.
The windows and doors of the life you shared with them are boarded up. You cannot enter. There are big No Trespassing signs.
In some ways it is worse than a death. With death, you can say goodbye. You can honor that person. You can pay your respects.
But with divorce, they are simply gone from your life with no parting words.
This leaves you with sudden loose ends, unravelled beyond repair.
And like a death, you feel the grief.
Because Hubby and I have been married a long time, we have experienced this many times. We have said our own private goodbyes to so many people. This is something else we share. Witness to the death of love.
For the people involved, it is sad and difficult. And for the rest of us, we feel the loss. We put away the pictures. We will never share our lives with them as a couple, as a family, again. They have moved on.
It makes us grateful that we have each other.
Marriage is hard. It's not for the faint of heart. It requires all the best that you can give, the best that you can take from it. It sometimes requires rose colored glasses. But the most important things it requires is respect, forgiveness, humor, understanding, friendship, and loyalty.
Add love and stir.
I only wish I could sprinkle every marriage with this potion.