Monday, September 28, 2009

Who Gets Custody of the Friends?

Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage? I don't think so. You can't live with someone and not be annoyed, upset, pissed off or just not like each other at one time or another. Sort of like when my mom told me once when I was a kid, "I love you but I don't like you very much right now". Marriages go through growing pains not to mention the stressors put upon it. Whether it be finances, houses, in-laws, kids, poor communication or just plain boredom your marriage can become troubled. I speak first hand about this. Hubs and I have gone through some stress in our marriage and it almost ended it. Without going into the gory details suffice it to say that our communication sucked, mainly his. I can joke about it now but I couldn't then. We worked hard through counseling to save it and are one of the lucky successful cases. Today we are stronger than we ever were but it took hard work, tears and more hard work. We did it because we still loved each other but just didn't know how to repair it ourselves. To quote Barry Manilow, "I've been up, down, trying to get the feelin' again".
Moving on now, Hubby and I are part of a three couple group of friends, M & L and K & B and the two of us. Hubby and I first met our friends K & B when our oldest boys were in kindergarten together. That was 18 years ago. We both have younger sons the same age as well. These are couples we have celebrated many events with; birthdays, graduations, New Years Eves, Superbowls, pool parties, cookouts, breakfasts as well as spending many a night hanging at each other's homes. We've vacationed together on Cape Cod and our children don't remember a time when we didn't know each other. It was always a good time and laughter was abundant. Often times we had tears running down our faces from laughing so hard.
This went along splendidly until about 5 years ago. I started to notice that K would verbally jab at B when we were together. At first I thought he was kidding but the more he did it the more it seemed like he was being mean. After a while I mentioned my thoughts to hubby and he told me that during a one on one moment while in the car going for pizza K said that "as soon as the kids are out of the house I'm out of there". At first I was shocked but then really listened to K and realized that he was going to break B's heart.
When we were going through our rough patch Hubs confided in K who in turn decided to live vicariously through him, encouraging him to do what he himself wanted to do in his own marriage. I called him on it and he apologized but I have never forgiven him for that.
But back to K & B. Over the last year or so they've put on a brave front but you could see there was no closeness left between them and the barbs just got worse. When K was alone with Hubby he would refer to B as the bitch, sometimes the fat bitch, which she is not. He knew damn well not to call her that in front of me. I would have been on him in a second. He now knew that I knew the real K.
The time had come, both boys are grown up and K told B that he's moving out. She was shocked and thought he'd be back after he got his head together. She realized that he was acting different the last year but chalked it up to the thought of the boys growing up and moving out. Which he was but not the way she thought. He preceded to move out while she was at work. While he did agree to go the counseling route, he dragged his feet. Eventually he tried but always had excuses. I felt bad for B because I knew he wasn't going back to her since he had this planned for years but should I tell her? I didn't do it and for months she held out hope for a reconciliation. Recently he took her out for lunch and dropped the bomb that he wants a divorce and he wants it now. He's had 5 years to get used to the idea and complains that she's dragging her feet.
Now the ladies go out separately from the guys. Our friends M & L are trying to stay friends with both of them but I just can't. I have nothing to say to K.
I realize it takes two to make or break a marriage, I accept some of the responsibility for the strife that was in my own. There are two sides to every story and I know I don't know all the details on either of their parts. I just know that he led her on for years and so casually left when the time was right. I don't want custody of his friendship.