Divorce is not an option.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not the terrible writer that this post depicts.  WordPress would not separate my paragraphs for reasons known only to them.  Nothing I did to fix it stuck, so I apologize for any difficulty you have in reading this.

Let me lead by saying that I understand the need for divorce.  There are countless relationships the world over that need to be legally ended for more reasons than I can count.  Divorce is a necessary evil in many instances, one my own parents needed long before they actually got one.
That being said, I don’t understand divorce.
I am married to a man who works an unbelievable amount of hours on the 12-hour night shift at a local steel mill.  Jim misses more events than he attends.  He isn’t present for many of the little things.  The majority of my time is spent alone with our two sons.  I am the person responsible for maintaining their karate schedule, their wrestling schedule, and their drama schedule.  I make and keep their doctor appointments.  I take care of the house.  It’s my job.  I’m the stay-at-home-mom.
I get overwhelmed.  A lot.  We have good kids, but they are still kids.  They still argue that one has had five minutes longer to play video games, that the other has used up more than his fair share of hot water or that the allotted television time is unfair.  I tease my husband that we are raising good, union workers because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked one of them why something wasn’t done and heard the response “That’s not my job.”
It gets to be too much on some days, and those days are usually when my husband is working and there is no one else to lean on.  I white knuckle whatever I’m going through until the next morning when Jim arrives from work, bone weary, and I grab on to him, breathe him in and have a good cry.  He’s become accustomed to this reaction.  While he doesn’t relish the non-stop chatter that comes from my mouth on those mornings, he sees the need I have to go through the ritual of decompression.
It’s an odd system we’ve worked out, but it works for us.
Recently, a co-worker of his said he was contemplating divorce.
“Why?” I asked Jim.  I’m always saddened by the end of a marriage.
“She can’t handle how much he works,” Jim said, head turned down.
I was silent for a while.  I get how hard it is to be alone as much as spouses of Charter Steel workers are.  I’m not taking that away from anyone.  It’s a tough, tough gig and you have to be pretty secure in the team you’ve built to make it through.
It doesn’t seem fair, though.
I’m not touting that I have the perfect marriage, because I don’t.  I don’t know why what we have works.  It just does.  Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
What gets me is that life can be so much harder.  I’ve been on the “so much harder” side of things.  There are situations I’ve endured in my life that would have literally killed other people.  I know just how strong I have to be when forced.  The human spirit is unbelievably resilient and can endure so much more than our little minds think it can.  So when I see that down turned head it makes me think that Jim can see the reasoning behind giving up because of the job.
For me, that’s not an option.
I think there’s more worth fighting for in a relationship than just time.  Would I like to see my husband more?  Would I like him to have more time with the kids?  Would I like to have him there at night to snuggle up to?  Yes, yes, and yes.  But I don’t live in a perfect world and neither does anyone else I know.  We have to make the best of what we have.
That means that the time we do spend together has to especially rock.  It has to be the best of the best, because that’s all we have time for.  The kids get special alone time with dad when he gets home on the weekends from work, usually in the form of a breakfast out with dad and one kid on alternating mornings.  They make guy dates and do guy stuff, like going out for “gut bombs,” horribly greasy cheeseburgers and fries.  When the boys go off to school in the morning, I lay down next to my sleeping husband and snuggle up to him.  He doesn’t know I’m there, but I do.  That’s what matters to me.  We make it happen and we adjust.
It’s hard for me to think that divorce would be easier than just bucking up and dealing with the situation, finding a way to make it work.  What we have is worth fighting for.
What’s all this divorce talk got to do with weight loss?
Think about it.
We have to be married to our weight loss goals.  There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be times that make you want to rip out your hair, scream, cry and give up.
But, when it’s all said and done, isn’t it still worth fighting for?
Sure, giving up SOUNDS easier.  But is it, really?
Stay married to your goal.  You’ll be so much happier.

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About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. She is currently working on a book about the realities of weight loss entitled Plus Size Mama, due out in 2016..
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4 Responses to Divorce is not an option.

  1. Laura W. says:

    Much needed words of wisdom. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Amen, amen, Sista! I am with you! I don’t get it either. Like you, I’m not saying my marriage is perfect, but I can’t imagine living any other way. I sure could have given up when Sara was working such ungodly hours in Haiti. It wasn’t easy. But so worth it. So glad you remain married to your goals, Miranda. Great analogy!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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