I still find it somewhat frightening the way that the biggest turning points in your life are always the ones you never see coming.
I also find it more then a little disconcerting when both myself and one of my best friends find ourselves coming up on those turning points around the same time. My turning point came in May, when my divorce was finalized and everything was finished.
You see, one of my best friends and the only friend from my military days that I keep regular contact with, is quickly running up on the next big defining moment for his life. I'm not entirely sure if he even realizes it yet, but I guess he will after he reads this.
His marriage has been trying to die for years now. So far, he and his wife have managed hold on and keep it going... Until now. Judging by discussions that I've had with him, I get the feeling she's decided to throw in the towel. She hasn't asked for a divorce, or even brought up the D word yet, but she announced to him that she feels like they can't fix what is broken in their relationship and that she is done.
Now every other time that I've talked to T. about his marriage, I've been a supportive, helpful best friend. I listen, I offer advice and support, I try to help him the best I can. Up until now, that help has always revolved around trying to help him save his marriage, but now, I'm not so sure I can do that.
For one thing, my marriage failed, and it failed through as much fault on my part as on my ex's. Equal blame for both parties there. In fact, my ex and I didn't even make as good an effort to save our marriage as T. already has made in keeping his marriage together to this point. Add to that the fact that T.'s wife is adamant that T. alone is at fault for their situation. She'll accept none of the blame for what's wrong. Now, maybe I'm an optimist here but frankly no man is an island, and no man is a marriage either. Two people said I do, two people bear some responsibility for how things go and two people bear responsibility when things don't work.
Now, if T. had been cheating on her or something, I could certainly see blaming him. But, he hasn't (and he would have told me if did), which is fairly remarkable in its own right after everything that's happened so far (no offense meant if you're reading this T., which I'm sure you will at some point).
One thing I can say with absolute certainty, is that one person cannot save a marriage. I know, I tried. I tried damned hard: accepting blame, subjugating my own desires, making sacrifices, and trying my damnedest to make my ex-wife happy. It wasn't enough and frankly, looking back, I'm glad that it wasn't enough. I don't think I could ever have been happy again after some of the things that happened.
So, despite my personal concerns and worrys that I shouldn't be meddling in this, I'm going to offer the single, most heartfelt piece of advice I can muster. T., cut your loses and get out now, while you still can. If S. really believes that it can't be fixed, then the only thing that you are going to accomplish by trying is prolonging your misery. Get a lawyer if you have to, but do what it takes and get it over with. Life is far too short to be miserable.
I can only hope that he listens to me.