I am in a difficult situation. A couple, a married couple I became friends with — my family became friends with — about 5 years ago is giving me something of a hard time. Hard in the sense, they are putting me in a bad situation. I am being put in between them – becoming the go-between.
We, my family (husband & wife with kids) met them (husband & wife and a kid) out of a necessity. They helped us in time of need. They were friends of a very close friend. Anyways, they helped us and we have done everything possible to help them in return. On a foreign land, foreign soil, strangers form stronger bonds than neighbours living in the same community for ages, I guess.
The point is. These two people got divorced a few years ago. By that time, we were back in our homeland hence only heard about it long-distance. I did meet Sara just after the divorce.
She was back in the Maldives for a holiday and I met her on a work related matter and the whole story came out. I felt for her. I mean before that, she was only a family friend for me. She always acted rather aloof and carefree so we never became chums. We just had a mutual amiable relationship. But her sharing something so close to her heart made me think differently. I saw pain, resilience, hurt, and fear. Above all, her story was my story. Earlier I saw her as a very self-defiant, self-sure, confident, and in-charge person. That did not change with her story — how I thought about her changed. My respect for her moved up a few notches and I realized how much hurt, burden, and sorrow we carry within us. ‘Us’ in the sense, people we never imagine are going through hell inside that facade of a think shell. How much agony we go through and yet try to put a brave face about it. So yes. She and I became a bit more closer.
He on the other hand was the easy-going person who was closer to us those year years ago. He had a story to tell, a journey to make, gave us a helping hand, in other words we all liked him better than her. Thought he is the cool guy, she the uptight woman. However, hearing about his extra-marital affairs, his control freak nature, his and her issues I thought “OMG he is just like my husband”. The realization hit me that men are just like that! And in a way I think I withdrew within me a bit more than I usually did.
The other guy
Now, I need to change the course of the story a little bit. Without the mention of this other guy, I might not be able to make sense to you. See I met this other guy a few years ago. By that time I have heard about the story of SHE above, I have had my life experiences of being infatuated with a couple of people, fantasize about a couple of others to just keep myself sane. Sane in the face of a cheating, abusive, ignorant man. And yes, then I met this other guy. We talked, really talked – about everything under the sky and I came to realize men are not necessarily just like that. I realized men can be different, can be sensitive, can care, can talk and converse, and can make sense.
When I talk about today, I am not just referring to today. It’s the present time. I am back here in this far away land and again amongst these people, include the SHE and HE no longer a couple. So, understandably it’s awkward. We used to invite them over for dinner and them inviting us for dinner in our respective homes earlier. Now, either we have to invite them individually or face somewhat awkwardness in getting them in the same room.
Coming to the point where I am being put on a spot. Yes, as it happens both of these people are confiding in me. They call me, meet me, and talk about the other and I am torn between them both. I haven’t been able to tell either of them that “hey, your other half said this and that…”. I see the points HE makes as valid and also the points SHE makes as valid too, of course in their own ways — and mostly both makes different points. So technically they are right in their own way.
The HE is apparently dating a much younger woman – half younger than him! The SHE is also dating, long-distance, a kind of same-aged guy. Their child is in between. I don’t know where the child stands really, but I believe she sides with the mom. What is clear to me is that both doesn’t want, or is unable to, to let go of each other. Both are jealous of the other’s current better half. The child is struggling in this whole drama of these ‘lost’ adults.
I hear the pain in her when she really talks about the issues surrounding this current madness. I hear the defiance and the determination in him to prove how maniac she is. He is in denial. She not much better. She is clinging too.
Both talks to me like I am purely on their individual side. I have had enough of that. Tomorrow I am going to ask them to figure it out among themselves and that I can no longer act as the spy for the other. He asks me to spy on her. She confides in me about this and that about him.
The other thing is, she told me the story about a significant other guy in her life. How this other guy has helped her cope through the last few years. I can relate to and understand what she is saying because I had my own significant other guy and I saw a glimpse of what I could have if only I was ready to take some big risks. Listening to how he has made her think differently, to believe she can go on, helped her get out of bed and face the world after the loneliness that set-in leading from break up of a 17-year-old life partnership, brought back bittersweet memories (not that those memories are much far from my heart & mind to begin with). From the start I have felt that she is very strong to have gone through with it – taking that step to put her happiness and sanity first. But ever since coming here, I have felt thankful that I have not had the courage to go through with it. I mean the risks!
- The emotional turmoil that one decision will bring on to my kids always has been my number one concern
- The drama of the badly bruised male ego with that one step would be too much to cope with.
- The meddling and judging by the people around us also bother me. I mean people never seem to understand what one goes through, unless that person had been through it.
Now let’s talk about that last point. To find a solution to the dilemma that I am in, I thought I will get the advice of seniors. And I am honestly shocked to hear their reactions. The senior ‘he’ says, she is just jealous of his achievements (referring to dating a way too young a woman) and the senior ‘she’ says, “what’s wrong with Sara. why should she have left him in the first place. what’s wrong with trying to work out the differences between them? what they need to do is to get back together.”
And that was not it. These seniors talked about the past of HE & SHE. Judging their actions and behaviours. And they found fault mainly with the SHE. Why? because she was the one who left. She had had enough and she finally left! Why she left, they don’t want to know, don’t want to comprehend.
The bottom line is, I don’t want to be in the situation of SHE. I don’t want to be the topic of dinner table chit-chat. I don’t want to be judged, really mis-judged. So yes, those are the risks I don’t want, no matter how good an illusion the other guy portray.
I know that might not be making sense to anyone. It makes sense to me though :) I had to just get it out because I am really disturbed about the attitudes of people involved.