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the weight

the weight

after every other sentence he’d say, “i love her. i just want her to be happy…”

for the most part i just listened, only speaking once to offer a word of hope but apparently what hope he’d had before the call had been exhausted because he’d explained he was sure it was over.

for whatever reason he felt a need to explain the various reasons, likely more for himself than for me. earlier last year she’d gone on a trip with a girlfriend and they’d gone hiking. she’d explained to him how during a hike they’d talked and bonded, and how in all the years of their marriage they’d never had an experience like that. he explained that she was right, that his idea of a hike involved carrying an additional hundred pounds on his back and focusing on speed up and down to maximize the benefits of the exercise. then he cried. i didn’t say anything in that space – just kept it open for him to express what he needed to express.

but it stayed with me; her longing, his guilt and how it must have been long compromised in the silence all of us sometimes mistake as states of tranquility. see, you don’t just take a trip with a girlfriend and come to realize your spouse doesn’t talk to you. likewise, you don’t just exercise with your spouse one day and come to realize it’s an opportunity to strengthen not just your bodies but your relationship. not at all.

it begins subtly. she hikes ahead or behind; he exercises on different days or times, and next thing you know, you’ve stopped nurturing one another, being raw and real with your needs and wants; not just with your spouse, but with yourself.

don’t let divorce define you as offender or victim. the first casualty in the separation of all humans is compassion. once that dies, all manner of ill will and disregard reigns; so if you can, find the strength to resurrect and carry what has died; compassion.

that is what holds the key to life, not just in relationship to others, but to self.

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