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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

The other morning I was chatting away--about stuff that had happened to me, stuff that I'd heard on NPR, stuff that I was reading in the paper--and noticed my husband, who was on his first cup of coffee and pouring over the sports section, was going "uh huh" in a randomly listless way.

In short: paying no attention.

When I abruptly stopped and said I'd talk to him later, he laughed and pointed out that our circadian rhythms just don't jive. All he wants to do first thing in the morning is read the paper in silence. By the time he's perky I've slowed down and don't want to talk at all.

"We're just not made for each other," he says.

Now he tells me. After 35 years of marriage.

"Maybe we should get a divorce," I say.

He looks up briefly, then back down at the paper. "Okay, but you get it."

We've joked about this before. In patches far rougher than this. But it's always been too much work. Far easier to soldier through and find our way out of the jungle together.

I suppose if one of us was desperate enough we would have broken through what seems like a mountain range of tasks, paperwork and legalities to reach separation on the other side. In fact, I wonder that anyone makes it over those hills.

Given the divorce rate ( and despite what Neil Sedaka says), it would seem as if breaking up is easy to do. But from my perspective, it's not easy enough. It must take courage and cause and an armful of unhappiness to saw through those ties.

We've had our moments. But we've also had enough humor (his) and stubbornness (mine) to eventually see us through them.

Not to mention the fact that we're too lazy, too entrenched, and the alternative is just too damn hard.

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Blogger Phyllis Bourne said...

My dh is the morning person. By the time I'm perky, he's sleepy.

November 7, 2009 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Funny how it's one or the other. Are there couples out there where both parties are either am or pm people? Is it just too boring? Or does it make for stress-free relations?

November 7, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger  said...

I think opposites definitely attract, and I am the morning person while my husband is the night owl. Although that is changing with the new baby. She seems to get more energetic the later it gets. Which means I have to keep up with her late at night.

Anyway, I think the most successful marriages I have seen 30-75 years and still strong, all have at least one thing in common. The women have a strong support network of friends. They don't use their husbands for that bff role and they get that basic need fulfilled outside the marriage, but maybe that is just something I noticed in my family and friends?

Great blog Annie. :)

November 8, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Interesting about girlfriends, Missy. I never had many as a young woman, and those were years my marriage was the rockiest. I now have a wonderful network of friends and my marriage couldn't be stronger. So maybe there is something in that.

And glad you're enjoying my random thoughts!

November 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Back in the day when I was married, my ex was the spring out of bed early person. Not me. It takes me time to wake up and I'd just as soon have peace and quiet until I do. Maybe that's why I'm divorced--okay, one of the reasons.

Of course, my dog Cassie is an early riser, so I have to get up anyway and her sweet face is enough to get me moving, but at least she doesn't TALK to me, so I still have peace and quiet.

Girlfriends are important, too. I've always had a lot, although less lately. I guess that's why I'm looking forward to moving back to KY where I still have a network of friends from the old days when we were young and fearless and oh-so naive.

November 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Well, this girlfriend will miss you, MN!

And interesting to hear about your experience. Clearly, opposites have lasted so that can't be the reason for divorce. In fact I've yet to hear from someone who has the SAME rhythms as their significant other.

November 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

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