Sometimes I am amazed at how people end their relationships. The vitriol and acrimony is so damaging and in most cases so unnecessary. I have some friends whose short marriage is on the rocks. And while I won't allow them to say anything about the other to me, I hear from mutual friends that there the usual "he said" "she said" shit and they are both so angry when just a few short months ago they were pledging their love to each other. It's all so sad and unnecessary. What an incredible amount of energy it takes to stay angry and be unreasonable and to create the pain and agony that goes along with typical relationship endings.
It seems very illogical to expect modern relationships to be "until death do we part". When that concept became part of our marriage ceremony life expectancy was no where as long as it is now. Things happen, people change. People get married or move in together for all kinds of reasons. Not always just because they are "in love". Sometimes they even get married when they know they shouldn't be getting married, but the invites are already mailed or it would be just too embarrassing to call it off. Whatever. Relationships don't always last. Well, let me rephrase that. Many relationships that are happy, healthy and ethical (notice I didn't say monogamous), don't last, for a variety of reasons, the least is not loving each other. However, many bad relationships where people stay out of pride, because of the children, because "God" said so or just because they are to lazy, mean or ignorant to leave, last for years and sometimes for the lifetime of the participants. How sad is that?
I firmly believe that in this day and age that expecting to stay together forever, without changing the relationship in some major way is naïve and very difficult. I have been married four times (I like weddings and I like being the center of attention. . .so I keep saying yes). I can truthfully say that I ended all of the relationships on pretty good terms. And while I don't know where my first and third husbands are any more (it's been many years), nor do I see my second one often, all my interactions after we split up were more than civil. And that is because I am determined to not waste my time and energy on anger, hate and bitterness. I have better things to do with my time. Just because I can't live with someone for some reason (even a nasty reason like infidelity) doesn't mean that I quit loving someone or that I can't leave the relationship with class and style.
What about my fourth husband?
It didn't happen by accident. We actually planned it this way. Neither of us quit loving each other, we just didn't want to live together anymore. After 11 years of marriage our lives took different paths. It was that simple. (Well a tiny bit more complicated than that, but that's another post).
One of the things we did when we separated was to create a separation document that not only dealt with the objective issues that faced us (housing, money, etc) but with the more subjective issues that we were encountering. The following paragraph was written by my ex and was part of the separation agreement that we both signed and had notarized. Later when we divorced, we had the full agreement put into our divorce papers. We have a commitment to each other that didn't end when the marriage ended.
Reading it today still brings tears to my eyes.
My plan now is to write a book, called Happy Endings. It won't be just about me and
To that end, I ask you, my readers (if anyone's out there) to send me your stories. Have you a Happy Ending to share?