Tearing Asunder

anywhere i go you go, my dear
and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling

from: I Carry Your Heart With Me
- E.E. Cummings -

It has been said that 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. I have never been married, and I come from parents whose marriage ended when my mother died in my father's arms, a victim of a sudden, but thankfully, relatively painless heart attack. But I can see how people who once felt they had an infinite amount of love to offer each-other can grow apart.

Some are able to make the transition gracefully, and move on without carrying the  bitterness that can weigh down one's whole being. Some are not so graceful, and leave one or both participants with deeper scars than the events leading to the divorce. I have managed to avoid being caught up in the tide of angst of the latter type... until now... and only by virtue of having rented a room to one of the participants.

Walking into the café where I've bought my coffee beans for over 20 years this afternoon, I was told by the soon-to-be-ex wife of my renter that she "ain't sellin' [me] sh*t". I could understand the hostility if I'd been the lover of her soon-to-be-ex husband, and of course I would not have had the gall to walk into her domain if I were, but somehow, I thought the landlord would be safe from the ire!

Luckily, I can buy coffee elsewhere, but their family and friends are not so lucky. As I contemplate the stanza above from E.E. Cummings, I realize that the greater amount of equity people share, the more connected their lives remain even after warm feelings pass away. Two people who cared for each-other enough to marry and raise two children together are unable to keep a personal dispute between the two of them. Everyone close to them will be forced to take sides if this attitude prevails, and the whole family, not just the marriage, will be broken. It saddens me that partners who worked together for so long cannot find it within themselves to make one last push to work together to smooth the end of one era and move on to happier futures.