This weekend I had a moment at our school event.
A divorced dad walked by with a divorced mom (not his former wife)-
My friend and I exchanged glances, and at his enquiring look I said to her fiancé,
“we are just gossiping in our heads.” The truth is, if you work at a school for awhile,
you know families. You might know them through some hard changes. You might
have to deal with how those changes affect their children in your care. And divorce
is hard on everyone.
So it got me thinking about divorce, and – before that- how you figure out who is
your “one.” (If this is what you are looking for; not everyone is.) I also care about
this because I am the mother of three adult children, one of whom has married a
wonderful guy, and the others I hope they find all happiness in a partner if they
choose to be partnered. Which I suspect they would like to be.
A friend told me her criteria for judging if someone is in a good relationship. Her
family used this when the sisters brought home boyfriends. They asked themselves,
is my sister acting like herself? Or is she changing herself in his presence? I have
seen family and friends do both, and I think you will agree it is painful to see
someone you love change to please or keep another.
I would add another criteria. Thinking back to how young love feels, and all those
strong pulls (they’re so gorgeous, they treat me so well, I
thrill to their touch…) I would ask- can you also say, “I see them in
different situations and I see they are a really fine, decent person” ? (I remember
watching my (now) husband patiently advising elderly neighbors about their legal
options during a condominium conversion. It’s one reason I married him.)
I read once in an advice column that even in a good marriage, there are periods
where only good manners get you through. I laughed, but as a long-married woman,
I have to agree. And if you have mutual respect for each other, and you are with a
fine and decent person, you can get through the stagnant times. It doesn’t sound so
inspiring to those young people in love or looking for love, I know. But a good
person will be a good person through all the phases of life. Don’t forget to look for