Yeah, so I’m a day late with this post. I feel like the first three weeks of this series went really well, but since then, not so much. Fittingly enough, this week’s fruit is Faithfulness–yet another reason to try to hang on for the next couple of weeks.
I actually wrote this post a while ago, but hadn’t gotten up the nerve to post until a couple weeks ago, at which point I decided I might as well wait until the Faithfulness week, since it was sorta-kinda-vaguely-not-really related.
Yes, I know the pronouns they, their, and them should not be used to refer to singular entities. I’m going to use them anyhow to protect the identities of the innocent.
The first thing I did when I saw my friend was look at their finger. The ring was gone.
I’d had my suspicions over the past few months, but I couldn’t know for sure. There were lots of dots, and lots of potential connections, but I was trying to restrain myself from jumping to conclusions–almost as hard as reining in a horse already jumping over a steeplechase. I dearly hoped I was wrong (how often does that happen?); I hoped I was just being a woman and over-analyzing everything. In the depths of my heart, I knew I wasn’t. I don’t really know how I figured it out, but some combination of strange comments, apparently random changes, and slightly odd behavioral patterns led me to my theories.
I awkwardly spent the whole time we were at the coffee shop glancing at their ring finger. I don’t know if they noticed. In a way, I hope they did. It might be less awkward if we both knew that I knew. On the other hand, I hope they didn’t. It would be incredibly awkward if we both knew that I knew, but didn’t know how I knew.
The oddest thing is that somehow, I think I started to see this coming maybe two years ago. I can’t explain it–it was just an odd premonition of sorts that I brushed aside into the corner of my brain labeled “Absurd Drifting Thoughts,” or something like that. Maybe I’m just crazy.
To be clear, I have no idea what the circumstances of this situation are. All I have are hypotheses. For all I know, the ring could be gone because they were using stucco and got chemical burns on their hands and had to have their ring cut off in the emergency room (That’s a real, albeit remote, possibility–I know a guy to whom that happened.) Still, unlikely. Even more unlikely than the horse-and-steeplechase scenario.
You’d think that after twenty-five-plus years of marriage, things would work themselves out. But time and time again, my assumption is proved wrong. Throughout my life, I’ve gone through periods where I wished I had a dad, but when s*** like this happens, it sort of makes me glad I don’t. Sort of.
Over Thanksgiving break, I visited a Christian studies class at my old school, and the teacher (actually the head of the school) was talking about Mere Christianity, where C.S. Lewis describes evil not as its own entity, but merely a perversion of good. This is how I tend to view divorce/separation. Not as a state in and of itself, but rather as the breaking of the state of marriage. I am very hesitant to label it “sin,” or even a state resulting from sin. Instead, I see it as a state resulting from Fallen-ness. Sure, there are circumstances when divorce can be a sin or be the direct result of a specific sin, but it seems that much more often, it’s the result of our sinful nature. I suppose that’s why it frustrates me so much. We can, to an extent, remedy sins. We can’t remedy the Fall.
In all this, I see so little hope for my future. How the heck do people make marriage work? If marriages fail after multiple decades and children, what’s the point?
[Update: I mentioned this situation as in an offhanded comment to a college minister I know, and he had some good insights. He’s at about the same stage of life as the person this situation concerns, which made his comments all the more interesting. I think what stood out to me the most, what I had never really considered before, was that, “People change, and after you’ve had kids and they’ve grown up and gone to college, all of a sudden you can realize that you don’t even know the person you’re living with anymore because they’re not the same person you married twenty years ago. Think about it–how different are you now than you were five years ago? Because it’s still the same when you’re older.”]
I’m not quite sure what to make of all this, but I thought I’d share anyways.
Right now, I’m madly cramming for a biology exam. Right now, I’m liking my math major a lot more than my biology major. As if I needed any more proof, my brand new TI-89 Titanium just arrived in the mail. Perhaps I should have timed my new toy to arrive after the biology exam.