To All My Friends Who Have Told Me They Want A Divorce, I Apologize

 To All My Friends Who Have Told Me They Want A Divorce, I Apologize

To All My Friends Who Have Told Me They Want A Divorce, I Apologize-

When a woman comes to you in tears and tells you she's considering divorcing her husband, it's a turning point in your friendship: a door opens between you, and you're given a chance. You can take a step forward and deepen your friendship, or you can take a step back and let it fade away. In the last decade, I've had several friends make this confession to me.

Often, the confession is made out of exasperation or fear, and it is nothing more than words, but there are two instances in particular that I recall with stinging regret. I made a mistake, and I owe you both a long-overdue apology: I'm truly sorry for how I reacted when you informed me that you wanted a divorce.

You struggled to speak the words, which were little and fractured in your mouth, but my response was far too simple. To be honest, I worried when you told me "Marriage = Good" and "Divorce = Bad." I'd been indoctrinated to believe "Marriage = Good" and "Divorce = Bad." As is so frequently the case, my religious background took control, and judgement masquerading as advice came out of my mouth.

"Oh, no, you can't do that!" I said, launching into a chorus of all the things I believed I was meant to say to save you from yourself: "Oh, no, you can't do that!"

Things changed between us as soon as the words left my lips, but I was unconscious of the harm I had done at the time, so I worried and kept talking. "It can't be that horrible, can it?" says the narrator. Consider all the positive aspects! Consider the children! There are defects in everyone. He is, without a doubt, a good man. You will never be given more than you can manage from God. Marriage is meant to be a difficult undertaking. Don't toss everything away!"

You (both) were crying even more. At this point, I'm quite sure I tried to hug her.

I knew I'd made a mistake in some way. I really didn't know where to start.

Then I gave one of you a condolence card with a picture of broken pottery and an inscription about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of using gold to highlight and beautify brokenness—a metaphor for how I thought your marriage should be healed.

And I had the audacity to do it all without even asking you why. I'm really embarrassed of myself right now. I didn't bother to find out why you came to me in confidence, seeking affection and support.

I was never sure whether your husband was abusing you or your children. I had no idea if there had been an affair, if he had bankrupted you, if he was on drugs, or if he had committed a crime. I never knew if it was something more abstract— irreconcilable differences—or if it was something more real. Abuse of the emotions. Mental illness is a serious condition.

Trauma of some sort. Or it could be something completely else. I'm still unsure. I never bothered to find out because it didn't important to me at the time. I couldn't think of a rationale for divorce that made sense to me.

When you informed me, you were in tears. I didn't realise it at the time, but the enormity of the decision was a weight on your shoulders that I didn't grasp. The thought tortured you to no end. Instead of bringing you comfort, I'd taken to my soapbox to give you a good old-fashioned morality lecture at the exact moment you needed it.

I've replayed your confessions to me over and over in my head, hoping I could go back in time and undo the harm I'd done, seeing myself responding differently, with a closed mouth and open ears—a thousand shame-filled should-haves.

I should have given you more room to speak. It was my responsibility to make myself available to you. Before I opened my mouth to answer, I should have offered my shoulders, some tea, and a box of Kleenex, and allowed you the room to share your story and be heard. At the very least, I should have listened to you. That's how much I owed you. Maybe our friendship would be different now if I had done those things. When I see you, it's less weird.

Maybe we'd be on the same page. One of you ended up divorcing the other (and I never did find out why). The other, on the other hand, did not. However, I now realise that I have irreparably damaged each of our friendships. I never extended the simple courtesy of listening to your side of the storey to any of you. I see now that you didn't confide in me because you wanted my opinion on the morality of your decisions. I know now that you were only attempting to tell someone your tale who you believed you could trust. I took advantage of the confidence you gave me.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies.

Since I messed up with you, I've had two more pals make similar confessions to me, and I've learnt from my mistakes.

We've become closer as a result of merely listening to them talk. It swayed the scales of our friendship in our favour, propelling us ahead, deeper, and stronger.

This is something I should have done with you, my friends. It's one of my biggest regrets. I hope you're reading this right now, and I hope you're aware that the harm I did to our friendship changed me. I've tried to learn from my mistakes and strive to be a better person.

Please accept this apologies as my own Kintsugi masterpiece. Perhaps our friendship might be made even more wonderful by the fact that it has been severed.


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