November 12, 2012

Growing Up

Divorce at 1:10

To the surprise of exactly everyone, two of the boyfriend's friends announced they're getting a divorce. And just like that, this stuff is in my generation.

I have certainly not been in the picture long enough to get a good idea of the type of relationship this couple had, but I have been around long enough to be completely shocked. This couple was known among the group of friends for having the most fun wedding- with a nacho bar (oh yeah, stealing that). The boyfriend has a photo of their friends' faces after they realized there was a nacho bar at the wedding. It's amazing.

And just to be a total cliche, they seemed so happy. Granted, when I did see them it was always the two of them together, and they both were upbeat, smiling and generally... happy. I didn't hang out with either of them one on one and obviously I have no idea how their private relationship was.

But all of their friends are just as surprised.

It's a really unsettling prospect. The husband is a little older but still in his thirties and his wife is just a year or two older than me. She just moved to Seattle for a better job, where he was going to follow at the end of the semester, when he dropped the ax. The super unsettling part? Apparently even she was blindsided.

Now, if that's not something to make you question relationships in general I don't know what is. When I was younger I usually assumed my relationship was about to end when couple-friends would break up. When The Ex's best friends broke up I thought for sure we were on the chopping block. As if break ups are contagious. A few months ago the boyfriend's BFF and his girlfriend broke up, and that didn't affect me or my relationship with my boyfriend at all (for one, I don't still worry that my boyfriend's friend's relationships will have much of an impact on ours, and for another the boyfriend has made me feel very secure about our relationship). But a divorce is different. A divorce isn't just a break up.

I was told that once I turned 26 it would be all weddings and babies and grown up stuff. That kind of happened - Facebook has far more weddings and babies than it did even a year ago, and my new friend requests are in long term committed relationships, if not engaged. I'm even going to be in a wedding. It's weird. People have been telling me this part would come but it's still surprising to actually see it. The other day I got my haircut and the woman asked me if I had kids. Because I look old enough.

And now people my age are getting divorced.

People are still making the same mistakes our parents made, still not talking to each other, still letting problems sit until they're ready to explode. Did we learn nothing? Am I that naive to think we actually would?

The good news for me is that I don't let things stew. If I have an issue that bugs me I bring it up -  for better or for worse. I don't like going to bed mad, really don't like waking up mad, and want things to be resolved as quickly as possible. The down side is this tendency has caused a few sleepless nights, and not in the good way.

Louis C.K. once chastised his audience for "awwww"ing when he announced his divorce, saying "no happy marriage has ever ended in divorce." The man has a good point: happy marriages last - unhappy marriages sometimes don't. I guess the only thing you can do is try to make your partner happy and hope for the best.

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