What a weird f'ing day this has been. Right from the start, I was all out of sorts when I woke up and heard Diana talking on the phone downstairs, as she was working from home. I got some work done, then I got distracted by the Silverlight 3 launch. Then news of the Billy Mays tribute, which was excellent. And I also talked to a friend on the verge of doing something incredibly stupid.
I spout off all of the time with relationship advice, which, because I was married once before either makes me completely full of shit or fully qualified. Maybe it's a little of both. I have a friend who is going to do something catastrophically stupid in her personal life, and I think she knows it, but no amount of talking her out of it will help. The capacity for making poor decisions is amplified when you're lonely, having a tough time with your professional life, or facing health issues. She's enduring all of that.
It causes me pain to see her go through this, and I know it will end poorly. Yet it's hypocritical of me, because I'm the first in line to say that I wouldn't trade my first marriage, or its failure, for anything. But it's only easy for me to say that because I've lived through it and made a great many positive strides in my life since. If you would've asked me four years ago, I would've said, fuck, why didn't someone tell me about this outcome?
There's nothing I can do to talk her out of her decision, and she'll suffer. I hate that. The only thing I can do is try to be a good friend when it all falls apart. I mean, it's some real Jerry Springer shit. But fear of a world that isn't exactly what you planned is a powerful motivator, even in the face of obvious fuckery.
Why do I care? Well, there aren't that many people I care about in a meaningful way for one thing. But the bigger picture is that I see how much time has passed in my life, occupied by drama. As I learned from my therapist, it doesn't mean that there wasn't a lot of love and caring in those relationships, but in the absence of healthier experience, you feel like those situations are normal. The drama free relationship is something most people don't strive for because they either don't believe it exists, or have too much fear to pursue it.
When Diana got home from tennis tonight, I thanked her for sharing a drama-free life with me. As I've said before, I always thought Gonch was full of shit when he claimed that his marriage has never been "work," as many people say is required in marriage. But he was right. The tricky part is holding out for that low-maintenance situation, even when we're scared and lonely.
I recently got in touch with a friend from high school, who went through a similar series of relationships like me, including divorce. And like me, she appreciates the right scenario. It's a shame that we have to suffer to acquire that knowledge.