When I was 6, my parents decided to get a divorce. As one of their children, I saw many things wrong with this. I didn’t understand why Daddy had to move out of our house, or why he was even leaving. I didn’t know there was another woman, nor did I know about the mostly disingenuous relationship my parents had had for most of their marriage. I was 6. Even though children are seeds from which trees of knowledge take root, they are still children. I was still a 6-year-old little girl. There was no way I could understand adult relationships and the baggage that comes with them.
When I was 12, my mother married for the second time to her high school sweetheart, Robbie. Robbie and my mom dated for a long time (I think 5 years), after high school and into college. They broke up shortly before college was over, and my mom met my dad right after she graduated. As a 12-year-old, life was very different from what it had been when I was 6. I was beginning to get angry at my dad for leaving, and in that resentment, I was getting excited for my mom’s second wedding.
A lot of good things were supposed to come out of this wedding. My mom was going to get her second chance at love. And I was going to get a sister. I had never had a sister, and the person who was going to become my sister was not someone I liked very much at the time. But the excitement from the wedding took that feeling of dislike away.
After the wedding, things got weird because I suddenly realized that Robbie was going to take over the Father position that had been open for the last half of my life. I didn’t want that. Over time, I developed a near-hatred for Robbie because, as teenage girl angst will do, I started to hate a lot of things. Everything made me moody and everything sucked. It was just part of my teenage girl life.
As I got older, Robbie wasn’t such a thorn in my side. My mom had been given big shoes by my dad to fill, and Robbie wasn’t filling them. The older I got, the more I realized this. What I more painfully realized was that Robbie wasn’t doing anything to fix it. He kept crummy jobs because they were easier, instead of trying to find better, more lucrative ones. He started to waiver in his efforts to show my mom attention and affection that she craved and deserved. I felt for a long time like my mom was holding Robbie to my dad’s standards, and that wasn’t fair. I was on Robbie’s side for a while because I felt like my mom wasn’t giving him much of a chance. But now I realize that my mom, even though she was holding him to standards set by someone else, was in the right to expect her husband to take care of her. You don’t marry someone and take vows before everyone you know if you don’t think the person you’re seeing through the veil will take care of you in some way.
Now, my second set of parents are getting a divorce. I understand why and I agree with the reasoning. Robbie has had so many chances to just do better. Not even be better necessarily, but do better. And he never took the opportunity. As a woman who is married to someone who takes utmost care of me, I can fully understand how this can be frustrating, to say the least.
What is even more frustrating is how some people in Robbie’s family are starting to react to the news that a divorce is on the horizon.
I came across this Facebook status from one of Robbie’s family members this morning:
I will say that as of right this second, I do not have confirmation that the status is about my mom. But I believe that it is. I have confronted this family member via private message but haven’t heard back. Since seeing it this morning, this status almost makes me laugh.
You see, the family member in question just finished his first year of college. And, in typical college fashion, he has no idea what he’s talking about but really believes he does. This particular person can be found on any given day using Facebook updates to preach to all his Facebook friends regarding love, acceptance of gay marriage, forgiveness, and all sorts of other “Christian” values.
I remember being a college freshmen. Your whole world is rocked. Everything you thought you knew is thrown out the window and new, exciting stuff is presented instead. If you’ve experienced college in any way, I think everyone can agree that the whole Collegiate Knowledge thing starts taking over after your first semester. You know how it goes – you take that first humanitarian class that forces you think in a way that’s different from how you’ve been thinking your entire life, and suddenly you know everything. Everyone else is messed up, but not you. You know the truth. About everything. You get it. I was like that. Back in the days of MySpace, my friends and I took great pleasure in writing blog posts all the time about how people didn’t understand stuff, and how if the government would just listen to our one friend who was a poli-sci major, things would get better.
You grow up and learn that the world isn’t black and white. In fact, the world is just different shades of gray where all the inhabitants are pots calling the kettles black. There is no “right” and “wrong” anymore, because every situation that could warrant a right or wrong outcome is different. You can say, “Abortion is bad.” Well, what about incest? What about rape? Is it “right” in your world to force a woman to carry a child that’s the outcome of either of those situations? You can’t make blanket statements that affect that many people and that many outcomes. It isn’t fair. Oh! What’s that? You say, you would carry the child? How do you know that when you’ve never gone through that experience? You can’t know someone’s journey until you walk in their shoes. Trite as that may be, it’s true. In regards to the status up there, that person has no idea what it takes to make a marriage work. No one does until you have one of your own. And even though I’m not a parent, I’ve heard that people with no children always seem to know what’s “best” for people with children. So, you can look in from the outside and make your own conclusions that are based on hearing one side of the story. That’s your prerogative, but I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that there is another side. I think it’s unfair that Robbie’s family is unwilling to hear the other side of the story.
I fear that I’m starting to ramble, so I will draw this to a close. My point is, two cars can be the same year, make, and model, and one still have tons more mileage than the other. I know that I am young and still have tons to learn, and that the family member in question will continue thinking they are in the right and write me off because I am also young in his eyes and not an “adult” yet. But I’m old enough to know that my mom is free to do what she wants, and in this case, I support her decision. If it hadn’t been for me attending college, I wouldn’t be a liberal person. I would still be absolutely republican, bashing everyone for not believing in what I believe in, because I am “right.” I am SO glad I overcame that mindset. But I had to finish college and become much more educated to form any worthwhile opinions of my own. I am still forming them, but I am no longer merely just a freshman.