Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I always say, “If I like you great. If I respect you – even better.”

Divorce is a process.

At first, it appears to present overwhelming losses, yet in many ways, it is emotionally clear cutting your life. Of course, through the tears and the tissues, this can be tremendously difficult to see. 

Divorce is also humbling.

Because suddenly, you need people and unfortunately, you are left to witness who shows up.

It’s not always the ones you believe would in this messy uncoupling.

pexels-photo-110440

In fact, it’s one of the topics my marriage counselor urges me to write about. This indicates the deeply universal emotion which accompanies this painful and normal loss. You are after all separating two individuals leading to a natural attrition.

But back to the needy part of divorce…

If someone is asking for help it’s because they need it. And if that person is a strong person it should worry you. They must really need the help. They are humbling themselves for a purpose.

I remember speaking on the phone recently to an extremely loving and caring person in my husband’s life. Sure, I rationally understand attrition; however, I am a mother fiercely attempting to protect my children.

So I let my ‘needy’ out. 

After all, my friends and family have exhausted themselves. They have done all they can do. My husband doesn’t care about my world. He’s completely fine with attrition. It would take a person in his world to truly help me.

As we chatted, this woman apologized and said, “She just could not get involved.”

I found the words tumbling out of my mouth before I could help myself…

“I just do not get that,” I responded. “I come from a family of first responders who risk their lives for people they don’t even know.”

I find it foreign an individual would ask for help and be turned down. My relatives do not fret political correctness, their own selves, or anything else for that matter. Their objective is to do the right thing despite potential harm.

Suffice it to say, a girl who has grown up witnessing a priest, firefighters, and cops get involved in LIFE is baffled by ‘looking the other way.’

A friend reached out to me the other day because she needs my help.

She too is going through an exhaustive and complicated and prolonged divorce.

I understand the humility it takes to be vulnerable.

To lean on those who keep answering the call while having to beg others who could actually really rescue you. I also understand the powerlessness which accompanies the urgency to be rescued.

Believe it or not, showing up for my friend right now is not as easy a decision as it might seem. I am fighting my own battle with divorce and my very own marital bully. My plate is full. To be present for another person fighting the exact same battle at the exact same time can be complicated.

I will; however, absolutely be showing up for my friend.

On the simplest level for no other reason but because she needs me.

On a more complicated level…

Because I do hail from the aforementioned overly empathetic leaders who answer the call.

Because I understand the troubling mix of strength and desperation which compels an otherwise capable person to ask for help in this ugly divorce process.

And because this strange, suburban marital ecosystem confounds me.

It consists of both the people who lean in to answer the call and those who walk away while saying…

“I don’t want to get involved.”

“This is normal in divorce.”

“This is what men do they hide money and lower income and quit jobs.”

“I don’t want to take sides.”

“I have my own problems.”

Here’s the differentiating factor. In a mature divorce process, a person won’t necessarily need to beg for help. Thankfully, two adults are self-accountable and put their children first and the divorce will be completed in a timely manner.

But as we know it takes two to have a successful marriage and it also takes two to have a successful divorce. Likewise, an abusive marriage can lead to an abusive divorce.

And therefore, we need to listen when a strong woman asks for help.

A few days ago, I ran into another friend at the coffee shop. I thanked her for helping our mutual friend who is divorcing.

She did not respond by saying she hesitated to get involved. She did not reply this type of emotional and financial abuse is normal. Instead, she told me how proud she was our friend was brave enough to get herself out of a bad situation and how strong she was.

Exactly!

Like I always say, “If I like you great. If I respect you even better.”

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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