Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another woman's sorrow...

Right now my friend K is going through a divorce. We all saw it coming, even before she got married, except her. She's not prepared for this, while her husband is well stocked with expensive lawyers and a list of complaints and accusations, all of them based on an exaggeration of reality, while she aimed from the beginning towards a "friendly" divorce... Is there such a thing?

The kid's at risk of ending up with a chauvinistic father who will teach him to hate all women, especially his own mother, and treat them all as dogs. With the added irony of my friend paying for child support.

I know my friend needs me, but I am spent. No matter what I say, I don't understand. I'm not a mother. I did not end up with a lunatic incapable of any empathy, and I don't  have to send money back home to my parents or to a sick sibling,  I don't have to pay for daycare and a separate rent after moving out from an abusive household, and on top of that find a way to pay for expensive lawyers. I've no idea what she needs from me at this point, except listening and saying how sorry I am.

And deep inside me, a perverse voice tells me to cheer up because at least I was spared all those horrors.

I feel terrible.


  1. Pearl, I understand. Don't feel terrible. There are times when we can truly count our blessings, even the ones we wouldn't normally celebrate. We shouldn't feel guilty for that.

    I'm not sure there's anything you can say other than listening, saying how sorry you are, and perhaps delivering some home-cooked meals. A friend of mine split with her husband a couple of years ago. He's being a total "B" and so they still haven't sorted a settlement. I've listened and listened and listened some more (and I'm not even her first line of support). The other thing I've done occasionally was offer a rational voice. She spent 20 years (short a couple of months) being manipulated by him and believing him, and getting out of that habit is very difficult for her. Pointing out that he's not going to change, and that now she knows him for what he is, without criticising her, is I think one of the kindest things we can do (at times).

    What I really wanted to say though was that the thing I've found is that she has gone through many of the same questions and griefs that we go through during infertility. Perhaps it's the commonality of grief, or perhaps it is that both marriage/relationships and fertility go to the heart of our perception of ourselves as women. And they also both find us looking at a future that wasn't the one we expect. And we understand that.

  2. Mali is right....the best thing you can do is to just listen and give support. We all could't resolves problems of other people, not that we want to- but we just can't. What most the time is needed is a listening ear, warm arms to hold,and a tissue box to offer, and often that's more than sufficient.

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend. Whether it is an end to a marriage or the end to achieving motherhood, they are one in the same in terms of grieving for what could or should have been. All you can do is listen and give comfort and be a shoulder for her to lean on. It can be exhausting at times, so step back when you need to, but let her know you still care. Yes, even though we tend to think our life isn't all that great, sometimes in certain cases like this one, we have been spared and it is ok for us to feel blessed.

  4. good for you for being honest with how you feel :) soooo many women wouldn't be able to admit that they would feel the same way.