I met my friend C for coffee this morning. She has just returned from her honeymoon - a second marriage for both her and her husband. We were talking about how our first marriages fell apart.
Our experiences are identical only in one way - we were deeply miserable every day and saw no light at the end of the tunnel. There was nothing "materially" wrong. Nothing that we could pin point as the reason this was not working out. Yet we felt deeply compelled to leave - a decision hard to explain to family and friends. Our decision isolated us even from those who cared for us - loving is often not the same as accepting.
My friend M's marriage ended after her husband overdosed himself on prescription drugs and had to be hospitalized for the second time - he had been battling his addiction for a while. This the kind of thing that people find easier to rally around - it is just cause and lacks ambiguity.
Talking with C reminded me of this Alice Munro quote that is very close to my heart
“There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up
with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can
stand around a house. You can't know the limit beforehand, but you will
know when you've reached it. I believe this.”
Not only do I believe this, I know this to be true. I had reached that limit once and my soul begged for deliverance. It is a feeling like no other.