Swiss Cheese


As I've blogged before in a previous post, some very close family friends have decided to call it quits as in get a divorce. To bring you up to speed, despite many talks with the husband, over the years, about marriage, kids, etc., he's had it and has left his wife.

We had lunch, and he told me some stories about his wife. Stories that someone would find disturbing, about her relationship with her kids, about how she treats people, but each one of them I found believable because I know this girl. She's volatile, difficult and often, unpredictable. It doesn't change the fact that she's still a very close family friend.

Anyway, it was finally her turn I guess. We went over there one night when we were invited for dinner. She's "totally thankful" that he finally left, he "did her a favor" by finally leaving and "the kids are better" without him around her to cause the stress.  She then broke into tears, telling me how for the past 4 years she was searching for the man she once loved. He changed, he was different, and she had no idea why.

Where was the guy she could laugh with? Where was the man she loved to talk to? Why wasn't he enjoying being with her anymore? I hugged her, and felt her pain.  I told her, maybe, with him out of the house, maybe they can develop another, different relationship.  One where he can be welcomed to the house if she needed assistance, a night out, a weekend away.  Maybe if the snow needs to be shoveled, or a dripping sink fixed, or a father's advice when a child needs it, he can be relied upon.

"I don't need him. I have my family and friends to lean on. I don't need him anymore." she says.

"Well, don't you think at some point, it would be important for the kids? To know that their parents can get along, consult each other on parental issues even though they couldn't live together anymore? Shouldn't that be the way a divorce works?  You guys were married for all that time, at some point, you must have had something in common, there must have been some love there. You brought two great kids into this world together. For their sake..." I tried to explain to her.

She then started her mud-slinging. About how he didn't have money, how he didn't pay the bills on time. How they were seconds away from foreclosure. How vacations turned ugly, how he ridiculed her in front of the kids, and friends - she says all this with language that wasn't flattering, and downright dirty - all within earshot of her children. Then she started telling us about her suspected adulterating ways, how she thinks, at some point, he went for an AIDS test because of his extra-marital affairs. How she knew this I have no idea..she just "knew" because she was with this guy for so long. I thought her stories were contrived, exaggerated and frankly, made-up.

It's then I stood up, held my hand up.

"That's enough" I said sternly, yet calmly.  "You're my friend. I love your family."
I continued: "This breakup isn't just hard for you" as tears began to well-up in my eyes." "It's hard for all of us. But, while I'll be here for you should you need me, I'm also his friend, also love him and I'm there for him too. I don't want to hear stories about personal marital issues, things that are private, things that have no use to me or anyone. They are things that happened in the past and now you have to look to the future and have  some kind of relationship with him, for your kids."

This man, I know is a good man. The stories she tells me I find unbelievable. He's a concerned, involved father. He works hard, makes plenty of money. I think her stories are her desperate way of trying to draw lines for her friends....make us take sides.

I'm Switzerland...I'm not taking sides in this war.


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