I sat with you at lunch the other day. As we chatted over salads and soups, the issue of divorce came up.
I listened to you and my other colleagues talk about how disruptive divorce is for the children involved, and how big egos are the main culprit for divorce. I heard you joke about how you stay with your spouse because it’s too much trouble to get a divorce and speak disdainfully about “so many people getting divorced these days”. I heard you talk about the little girl on your kids’ sports team who often misses practice because she had to spend the week in another state with her dad.
You were talking about me, and many other mamas like me. You didn’t know that you were sitting beside a divorced single mom. I didn’t speak up, because well…I’m tired…of these conversations and the generalizations. And I just didn’t feel like going there.
I didn’t feel like telling you that you don’t know. You don’t know unless you’ve been there.
I didn’t feel like telling you that a big ego isn’t the cause of every divorce.
I didn’t feel like reminding you that a person can’t force another to stay married and that even if a person could, it may be unwise to do so.
I didn’t feel like telling you that many single moms detest the shuffling of their kids…that it breaks our hearts more than it baffles you. I didn’t feel like telling you that many of us have no choice and that our major mistake was giving our heart, just like you did, but with a very different outcome. I didn’t feel like talking about the guilt that many of us struggle with, how we often blame ourselves for the broken situation our kids are in.
I’m not mad at you…not even mildly upset.
But dear friend of my friend, be careful. Be careful how you judge. Be careful of the assumptions you make.
Be careful because, a few years ago, I was just like you. Until life taught me differently.
So, please be careful. Be careful how you live. Be careful how you love.