When I read a blog post or an article that I don’t agree with, or leaves me fuming, I click away. I close the page, walk away and think nothing more of it. I don’t believe in trolling someone’s comments, or hate bashing them on social media. I seethe silently, and move on to better things.
But I read something recently that not only made me fume, I could not get it out of my mind. I ranted to a a few bloggy friends. I turned the article over in my mind. I tried to give the writer the benefit of the doubt.
I came away with this conclusion: he should not have written about a topic for which he knows nothing about, hasn’t personally experienced, and have only sort of talked about it with someone who was mistakenly flippant about it (according to the writer).
I am talking about an article Matt Walsh wrote about divorce. Now, I would normally give you a link so you can go ahead and read it, make up your own mind, agree or disagree with me (or him). But I don’t want to give him any traffic (in other words, Google it).
Caveat: I am not bashing Mr Walsh because of blogger envy. I do not begrudge him his pageviews, his comments or his social media following. He’s worked for it (even if I don’t agree with his opinions or methods), so I have no jealousy towards his following.
I genuinely hated that article, and his condescending tone. I really want to shake him and ask him, truly, THIS is what you think about marriage and divorce? Is it as simple as accepting your spouse, for whom you declared eternal love for, as whoever they are, whoever they then become, till death do you part? Do you, Matt, at the age of 27 and married barely THREE years, and having gone through the usual things married couples go through (worrying about money, taking kids to the ER, experiencing a flooded house, taken a road trip with little kids who won’t stop crying) really qualify you to tell people that divorce is not “just a thing that happens”?
Because it is. Sometimes, couples divorce even without the kind of deal-breaking circumstances we are familiar with.
Before I go on, another caveat: I do not want to be what I say people shouldn’t be – write about something they don’t know. I have never been divorced, my parents are not divorced, and my siblings are still married. But I have friends who have been through it, I have friends whose parents have split up, and I have friends who are in the process of going through it. I speak from a place of support, love and understanding that these friends did not come to a place of divorce easily. It’s always, always complicated.
People change, yes, Mr Walsh, they do, and no, they do not stop changing. By concluding that people divorce because one or both have changed, is simplifying a very complex emotional situation. You may get on your high horse and say that you are prepared for your wife to change, and instead of going down the path of ‘apart’, you will grasp her hand and ‘transcend’ the circumstances. And you seem very confident that she will do the same.
In an ideal world, yes. We should do our best to accept our spouses as they are, even as they change over the years. Even as we change. We try to ride out the storms, and fly on the happy times. We make love, and make children. We bring those children up. We set them free. We find each other again in old age, doing what we put off doing because of the kids and money and worries and diseases.
In an ideal world, children don’t die, husbands and wives don’t cheat, couples don’t beat each other up or call each other names, we don’t fall out of love, we don’t lose jobs and houses, our parents live until they’re 120.
In an ideal world, people don’t quietly fall out of love for the smallest things, or drift apart slowly, without even realizing it.
In an ideal world, people always marry the ‘right’ one straight off the bat. In an ideal world, it doesn’t take some of us two or three tries to get it right. In an ideal world, no one gets divorced.
You, Mr Walsh, must live in an ideal world if you think that saying, “We are partners,” or saying, “We choose to love,”, saves marriages. Sometimes, nothing can save what has been dying inside for a long time. Nothing can save what wasn’t quite right in the first place. Nothing can save what’s irretrievably broken.
Sometimes, going separate ways, giving each other the space to go where they’re supposed to, is the greatest love of all.
Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.