We have been inundated with friends and relations going through 'difficulties'. Rarely are the reasons simple, straightforward, etc. In fact, it's probably never simple or straightforward! And it's always sad. And almost always, but not always, bitter, childish and futile. And the other thing almost but not always one of the people involved is around 40!
Lets face it if you've been married/together any length of time you've probably run out of fingers and toes to try to count how often you've wondered what you ever saw in your significant other, partner, husband, wife. But arguably the worst breakup is a marriage breakup with children.
It's hard on the children because, of course they are children, and it's hard on the parents because so often they revert to being children themselves. And that really does piss me off! There is something almost obscene about a 40-year-old, or a nearly 40-year-old or a just past 40-year-old reverting to childhood. Especially when they use grown-up words like appropriate, for example. I've just been told, in no uncertain terms that my behaviour was inappropriate because I had dinner with the enemy. It is obvious that the meaning of the word was not understood and that its use was inappropriate. What I believe was really being said was "Please give me reassurance that you still love me, you do, don't you?" and "You love him more than you love me, don't you?" and most of all "Help me!" All because when you are 40 what the f--k is this all about really hits you hard. And the answer hits you hardest of all: yes, this is it ... this is all there is ...
We become inappropriate and at the same time we become pathetic! We want to prove that we are still young, that we are not over-the-hill that indeed life does begin at 40 ... And so it's time to begin all over, start again -- off with the old, on with the new -- blah, blah, blah.
And so in a mad dash we throw it all away, let the chips fall where they may, the hell with it. Unfortunately most of the time, the other person has a different perspective and doesn't have a clue where you are coming from. And you, the mad cow, are not inclined to explain it or understand it yourself. So it all gets nasty. The vendetta is sprung. I've always admired Yoko Ono greatly for her understanding of what John Lennon was going through when he went off for a year of dallying and to him for knowing enough to go back. And I've also admired Prince Andrew and Sarah for remaining best friends and for putting their girls first.
The past few years I've heard horror stories of betrayal and unhappiness in marriages. I've been amazed at acts of forgiveness and magnanimity as well as endless acts of bitterness and revenge and pettiness. Sometimes I've thought a marriage could be saved, but wasn't and sometimes I've thought it couldn't be, but was. It's all about your character and character is about the past ...
In the past, marriage was a sacrament. Most people have no idea what a sacrament is, means. It means it was and by some still is, deemed holy. And if you don't know what holy means, I suggest that if you were to find out, you might also find out that life as it is at 40, is not "all there is".