Monday, January 09, 2006


I am an optimist by nature. As a kid I always looked on the bright side. If things were down, I'd figure out how they were going to look up. I was the teammate in sports who always tried to get the team to forget about all the mistakes and get out there and do it better.

I think I've carried some of this optimism into my adult life. I know it has taken some knocks in the past, junior high was pretty tough for me. Moving to a new state and city took some time to get used to. After having each of my kids I faced some demons and difficulties. But for the most part, my glass is half full.

Where is this going? I have two friends who have gotten or are getting a divorce. One is an old college friend whose husband cheated on her while she was pregnant with their child. They went to counseling, but he wasn't really interested in fixing the marriage. The other is an old neighbor with whom I became friends when we were both pregnant with our first kids together. We both became stay at home moms at that time and really forged a strong friendship. She called me today to tell me she is getting a divorce. I kind of saw it coming. She's been calling me for a year and confiding the many problems she and her husband have had. They have two kids. It makes me so sad.

I kind of thought and hoped that none of my friends would have these problems. I know it is very Pollyanna-ish of me to think that way. I know the divorce statistics. There is no way that this life altering event wouldn't have touched my life in some way, but still I harbored the hope that it wouldn't happen, not to my friends, not to people I know. And yet, here it is, right in front of me.

I went to John Carroll University, a Jesuit college, and somehow thought that this insulated me and my friends from the kind of relationships that lead to divorce. I don't think I really believed this completely, but I did know that my friends were good people, people who don't deserve to have that kind of heartache in their life. And even though my husband was touched by his parent's divorce at a young age, I still didn't think it would happen to the people I know. I guess I didn't want it to happen to the people I know, and those are two different things.

I still have hope for enduring relationships. I look at my parents, my husband's grandparents, my good friend Joan and her husband Jim, and see how truly in love they still are after 40, 50, 60 plus years. I look at my other friends and their marriages and hope and pray that they don't meet the pressures and demands that lead to divorce.

I am still a glass is half full kind of girl. I'm just a more realistic one now.

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