“Probably to a fault in my own personal relationships I’ve struggled with this overpowering compassion. Just last night I was talking with a friend about an ex-partner who I was with for five years, and then when we broke up I spent two years trying to make it work as a friendship. People told me to let it go, that it was too painful, it wasn’t normal—but to me it felt so profoundly sad that I would completely detach from this person who I had this intense, wonderful relationship with, who knew me so well and who I shared such compassion with even if there were things about our relationship that became wrong or difficult. I witnessed that with my parents’ friendship: when they broke up they had to overcome terrible things between them, but they put those things aside to raise us—at least, they put those things aside in a way that made those things not our responsibility. I grew up with that forgiving compassion around me, and for me, that’s the real struggle, however passionate or hurt we feel. There’s this panic to make it okay, to make the person happy, to be forgiven.”— Sara Quin
There are a couple of photos I see floating around tumblr every once in awhile and they have the same theme. There’s a photo of an old couple that says something like “in our generation, we worked through our problems,” and then there’s the one that says in cutesy handwriting over some flowers “my first marriage is going to be my only marriage,” and a bunch of ones that say things like “divorce is NOT an option.”
I hate them.
I know that a lot of people seem to think that my generation just goes into marriage thinking, “well, this might be a bad idea, but I can always get a divorce.” And you know what? I know some people do think that way. I actually know a few myself. But for every one person that thinks that way, I can show you at least ten that don’t.
Do you think that people really go into marriage expecting it to fail and expecting that to be okay? Brush it off your shoulders, find someone new? Again, maybe some people do. But for most people, divorce is extremely devastating and it’s a last resort after everything else has failed. Divorce doesn’t mean you didn’t try. Divorce means that it didn’t work, no matter how hard you did try.
I hate when people say divorce isn’t an option. I don’t want to ever get a divorce. However, if my husband had an affair, killed my dog, kidnapped someone, hit me, squandered all of our money away gambling, got addicted to crack cocaine, became possessive, raped me, etc - you get the point, divorce would be an option. Is divorce an option when we’re just fighting and he’s pissing me off and I wish we lived in separate houses so he would go away? No. But is divorce NEVER AN OPTION? No. Of course it’s an option. Not one I plan to utilize, but yeah it’s there. You may think you know the person that you married but some people end up being very, very, wrong about that. I don’t think it’s right to shame them.
That’s what those photos do. They shame people whose relationships didn’t work out by telling them that they didn’t try hard enough, that they should’ve put up with some shit - that you have no fucking idea about - and that they maybe probably should not have, that they should’ve spent another five years in marriage counseling. The same women that you say “WHY DIDN’T YOU LEAVE!?” when he hit her to - those are the women who get shamed by people asking - “HOW DARE YOU ALLOW YOUR MARRIAGE TO FAIL?!”
Just a thought - let’s stop shaming people. All people.