I was mind-blown. I expected to be baffled with disbelief. But no, I was baffled with…assurance.
You see, this particular advice would have been ideal to hear before becoming engaged. I made a commitment that I don’t intend to break. And yet, I am assured I made the best decision when I accepted the ring.
As soon as I’d heard a mother tell their child this advice, I thought, “I don’t know about what I just heard or what she meant by it, but this sits right with me.”
It is as though the grungy, battered appearance of the mother put an emphasis on the truth she shared. It was as though she couldn’t say something truer to her child.
Before I say anything further, think about this segment for a minute. Let your reaction unravel.
What was your take on this?
What did that mother intend to convey?
When I planted this divorce scenario between my initial reaction and revelation, my mind naturally went to my recent engagement to Maya. I know next to nothing about the world around us. We are these incidental human beings just trying to do right by our people and the environment as best as we can. We said “Yes” to the complete unknown. We don’t know what a marriage entails. We don’t know what a lifetime commitment requires. We have no idea how hard it will be. We can only imagine. Dream. Wish. And believe. But this time, I chose to listen. I listened to a woman of wisdom even though she wasn’t speaking to me. (Or was she?)
As I disappeared into my thoughts for the duration of the bus ride, I knew I wasn’t planning or preparing myself for the possibility of a divorce in the future. If anything, that’s not an option as far as I am concerned for my relationship. I said “Yes” to the love of my life and that’s final. And Maya agrees. So, again, this isn’t about if Maya and I get a divorce. This is about knowing your partner as though you both were in a “worst-case” scenario. Think about how they may handle it. And how they may take care of you. It is about knowing your partner in a more intimate, deeper sense.
I thought about the person Maya is and her quality of character. I asked myself, “How would Maya’s character play out in the event of a divorce?” Despite all biased implications when assessing about the person I love, my thoughts concluded with, “If there were to be a divorce, I trust in Maya’s character to be gentle and caring, reasonable and kind, responsible and trustworthy.” Besides the multitudinous reasons why I am committed to Maya, I want to marry her because I know she will try and try again, ten times over, until we’ve survived and healed from tough times. She will even try when the problem may be beyond repair. If we ended in a divorce, she will care enough to ensure I have what I need to support myself. Maya will put in the time and effort to maintain our companionship even if our marriage fails. She will prioritize our family. The marrow in every 206-something bones in my body contain all the confidence that Maya will only do good to our relationship, our marriage, and a divorce if, God forbid, there is one.
I rested my head against the dried up water spots on the bus’s windowpane and grinned, watching the city pass by.