Monday, 7 May 2012

A Friend In Need

Had such a strange week really. I've been surprised at my strength, resolve and determination this last few days. I haven't felt this strong in such a long time. I guess I've come a long way since I began my journey, though I recognise I have a long way yet to go. I'm not entirely sure whether that's because I'm medicating or whether it's because I'm healing. Perhaps it's a little of both.

So what's changed? A friend called me the other day. I had noticed I'd missed her call so I called her back. She really didn't sound herself. When I asked if everything was ok, she hesitated, before breaking the news to me. She and her husband have decided to divorce. I was the second person she told. I was so shocked. Never have I known such a lovely couple. I have never witnessed them arguing, and they seemed like such a perfect match. They are both dear friends of ours and I was so sad to hear of their decision.

The reality is, there doesn't seem to be a specific issue that has caused this. When we talked about it, there were some small matters, but I guess ultimately the reason was related to children. My friend and her husband both wanted children, yet haven't any. I delicately asked about the situation and my friend explained that she loves her husband, he is very intelligent and she is so very close to him, she says her husband is kind (I agree) and that they are (and intend to remain) the best of friends. They have no financial worries. My friend confirmed that they both wanted children however she had told her husband she didn't want one. Why? Simply, she knows that she would be almost solely responsible for bringing up any child. That, despite being kind, he is simply oblivious to the day to day running of their affairs. She amplified her point of view by saying that he doesn't know how to work the washing machine, or even which drawer to place the detergent in. Nor does he even know how they pay for their bills. They come from their joint account however he had no idea they were paid by direct debit. He also wouldn't know when their dog was due to have its vaccinations. These were just a few of the examples she provided. Now my friend is not afraid of hard work. She works full time, and has a good social life too. She knows if she had a baby, she would be unable to 'rely' on her husband to help her and she just doesn't want to go it alone. Yes, she admits she could ask him and he would do it, however she doesn't want to be in the situation of having to ask her husband to do such things.

It's really such a tragedy. I totally understand what she is saying. When I finally asked her did she just not want children, or was it that she just didn't want them with her husband; she confirmed it was the latter.

So they have agreed (after discussing this over the course of their 14 years of marriage) that they will divorce. Despite my friend saying this is the right decision, she is desperately sad. Combined with worrying that she may end up a lonely old spinster, she has never lived alone. She lived with her parents until she met and married her husband. She is such a strong capable woman and I know she will cope, yet I could see her sadness and watched her cry. I spent all of Sunday with her. We talked. We cuddled. We cried together. We reminisced together. We laughed together. THIS is what friendship is about. My friend needed me, and despite our own troubles, we were there for each other. I guess it was this that has given me strength this week. I may be finding things tough at the moment, but then so are others. I am so very fortunate that I have a good friend in her. She is here for me. I know she feels the same way about me being there for her. No matter how tough things are, I am lucky to have her around and others like her.

There is nothing like trying to help a friend to make you forget your own troubles for a while. It is such a wonderfully cathartic experience.