Comments on The Comments About Divorce

Sometimes I forget that I was ever separated and divorced. In all honestly, sometimes I forget I was ever married before.

This makes sense. It’s the way things should be. I’ve been with Scott for almost six years now; much longer than I was ever with my first husband. Scott and I have a much more together life. It’s merged in the most specific way, one Abigail Grace. But beyond even Abigail, I am invested in my marriage to Scott in a way I never cared to be in my marriage to Erik, in a way I never really could be.

I own these things after-the-fact. The truths about our own foibles are sometimes easier viewed long after the crime scene tape has been cleared away, the wreckage cleaned up, the wounds healed. Assessing the blame, the problems, the damage you’re causing isn’t as realistic a feat as the car is crashing.

Many think that divorce is a long, drawn-out, formulaic experience. However, for some of us it felt like getting jacked by a semi in the middle of an intersection that we totally thought we had the right of way in and were being extra, extra careful as we crossed.

Anyway, I was married once before, and then got divorced. When my relationship with my ex was crumbling, it was clear here at this blog that something was wrong, but I couldn’t bring myself to articulate that. I was ashamed, angry, depressed, hopeful and mourning. Nowhere within those emotions existed the ability or desire to communicate with strangers that something in my life was wrong. Even with strangers who didn’t feel so foreign and strange; I’d been blogging since 1999. Most of the people who read me had followed along in our courtship, engagement and wedding.

I got emails. Oy, so many emails. I left most of them unanswered; I found it gob-smacking that people would ask me what was going on with my marriage. Just like that – “What’s going on with you and Erik? You don’t write about him much lately! Are you guys OK?” On one hand, some people felt invested in our story as I presented it. They were genuinely worried, they were people who had reached out in one or another before. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but think, “What the fuck? Who asks that of a stranger?” Do people really think that bloggers, big and small, really put it all out there?

We don’t. You don’t.

There were the search terms. “Erin + Erik + divorce” Then, the weird discussions happening at forums, dissecting my writing, me, even my choice of wedding dress. I was genuinely amazed that people had an opinion about me – positive, negative, neutral. Even more amazing was that those people felt the need to articulate their opinions publicly online. Even more weird to me was the outrage some folks had that I had not been more forthcoming about my relationship at my blog, that I hadn’t shared those details that led up to the divorce.

This has never been a blog that’s shied away from tough topics, but…

It was sort of awful, watching all of this commentary about my life, commentary informed by only a tiny fraction of knowledge about my marriage, and an even tinier fraction about who I was/am. And I wanted to engage, I did. Once, I wrote about it, but only as an addendum to my original post that announced my divorce. For the same reason I couldn’t adequately articulate what was happening, I also couldn’t articulate the why. “The Why” had almost nothing to do with my marriage, with my then-husband, but everything to do with me. I was desperately trying to figure out why I was so badly broken, and through that process it was clear that everything had to change.

Sometimes I say that the breakup of my marriage was the sad and unfortunate consequence to a long, hard look in the mirror at myself and the choices I made. I don’t bear all of the responsibility for the breakup of my first marriage, but it’s safe to say that I was the one who set us down that road, and then wouldn’t ignore some of the more obvious sign posts.

This is not the way for some people. Some people find their marriages stronger and in tact. That wasn’t the case for us.

It’s hard, sometimes, to watch as the masses huddle and point and scoff and publicly speculate, and then not wonder why it’s important to wonder at all.