When two people get married, their worlds collide. Family and friends from either side get thrown together, creating a larger, more extended family. As a self-confessed normal, not overtly suspicious, paranoid person, it was natural for me to like some of his family and friends very much. Some of them, instantly bonded with me and I knew that I had found a friend for life. Well, let’s make that five years.
A divorce forces people to take sides, I don’t know why but that’s what happens. His friends go back to being his friends and my friends firmly stick around me. One of my friends, who was quite close to him, even blocked him on Facebook. I did call her and say that there was no need to do so, but the damage had been done. He knew where her loyalties were.
The surprising thing is that I know some of my friends did like the Ex more than me, but as I knew them longer, there seemed an unwritten rule, that they should be on ‘my side’. Not a single one of them, kept in touch with both of us.
Sometimes, I think that these bonds get broken because people don’t know how to deal with this new situation. Imagine introducing someone as, “She’s my brother’s ex-wife”. It does sound strange and definitely eyebrow raising material. Or the seemingly innocuous question of how did you meet will have to be answered with a ‘Through her ex-husband”. Words like ‘ex-husband, my first wife, my second marriage’ aren’t part of our lexicon. Yet.
The other person I really miss is a 93 year-old man who used to stay opposite the first house the Ex and I stayed together. A lovely, articulate person who used to say, “Please forgive me, if my English isn’t accurate”. He had stolen both our hearts with his fearless will to live. We used to visit him quite often, even though we had moved out of that locality. It’s been two years since I’ve seen him and I don’t have the courage to go to his place. My morbid self even wonders, whether he is still alive.
It’s not that he’ll be so shocked that he will have a seizure when he hears this ‘tragic news’. When you’re 93, nothing is tragic and life is a gift enough. It’s just that I don’t want any negativity to visit this grand old man, who still takes a bus to go listen to another man, older than him sing.
There are many such people who are collateral damage. People who I am genuinely fond of, whom I can no longer meet or call. It just seems simpler to do that. Though, the strange thing is that I haven’t fought with these people, I haven’t divorced them and yet they have dropped out of my life. In an ideal world, perhaps we could all have been friends continuing the connection we started with so much happiness, but in an ideal world divorces don’t happen, do they?