July 29, 2012

Choosing Sides

Recently, an old friend got divorced. I've known him for over a dozen years. We met in high school when we were in Boy Scouts together-yes, I was in Boy Scouts-it was a co-ed division called Venture Crew. We went back-packing, rock-climbing and just had a great time. We didn't care about merit badges or even proper Boy Scout uniforms, we just loved to be outside and be active. My friend was always the big teddy bear of the group. When we graduated, I lost touch with him and most everyone I went to high school with. My early college years were spent searching for who I was and who I wanted to become. Once life started to settle down, I began reconnecting with some of my old high school friends, thanks in part to facebook. I was able to reconnect with my teddy bear friend, meet his wife and introduce them both to my husband. I was heart broken to watch as they went through painful infertility issues but encouraged by the strength of their marriage and over the moon when they got pregnant and the pregnancy was healthy. They had gone through multiple miscarriages and it seemed to bond them together forever but I guess forever didn't last. 

With their miracle baby just a couple years old, they got divorced this spring. Between the Army and the fact that they live several hours from us, we hadn't been able to visit them in over a year and a half. Our friendship had slipped to an online-only type of friendship so when I saw my friend's wife's relationship status change to "divorced," I was in shock. I didn't know what to think. I love my teddy bear friend but I had also grown to love his wife. 

Immediately, I decided I was going to be neutral. I was going to be Switzerland. I loved them both and secretly hoped they would work it out. However, I was also prepared to accept and even befriend new loves for each of them down the road but down the road came much sooner than I expected. What felt like moments after their divorce was finalized, my old friend was engaged to someone else. I know what his first wife believes happened with their marriage but I also know there's two sides to every story and a marriage doesn't fall apart because of just one person's failings. That being said, when I look at facebook photos and see him sitting with his new fiance and her daughter, my heart breaks. I can't help but remember him with his first wife and their baby girl.

I always hated when people would talk about "choosing sides" in a divorce but I guess I kind of get it now. It's not that I want to choose a side. It's that I don't know if I'll ever be able to look at my friend the same way again. The only thing in my life that I can equate it to is being pregnant when a friend is having a miscarriage or visa versa. I want to be happy that my old friend is happy and seems to have found someone he loves but I'm heart broken for his first wife, their daughter and the life that they had together.


Milwife Mama of One said...

I hear ya :(

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a new follower!

I completely understand how you feel. Two of my husband's siblings have divorced this year. His brother divorced and within 6 months has another girl pregnant and is planning a fall wedding (we are military living across country so we don't see them).

It is a roller coaster, because you become emotionally invested in your family/friends and their relationships....plus it is always sad when children are involved.

Thanks for all the Disney info! We went for Christmas this past year, and will probably go back sometime in the future.

Brianna Renee said...

I had a feeling you'd understand Milwife Mama. It's just sad.

Allison-thanks for following! It must make it so much more surreal living away from family and having things change like that. Glad you enjoy the Disney info...we've never done Disney at Christmas...it's such a crazy time of year for us (hubby's bday, Christmas and Hannukah-we do both, and our anniversary all fall within a week and a half normally) but we hope to check it out sometime...maybe without the kids ;)

Brianna Renee said...

Oops...sorry Alison, with one L and not two...