MARITAL DISSOLUTION: NOT AN OPTION

What do I know? What can I possibly say that other people haven’t? Why do I need to say anything? I’m just a person with a blog, writing in a vacuum, next to a space heater, with the TV off, with the newspaper read, with a heavy, yet hopeful heart, with a, “Shit, we have to do something–now!” overwhelming need to respond to last week’s acts of terror.

Love. Once again. It comes down to love.

They love America. You love America. I love America.

When we got married, what, something like more than 200 years ago, we were in love. New country.New life. New possibilities. But the red flags were there. Be honest; we chose to ignore them. We believed what we wanted to believe. Hope–cross our fingers, wink, wink–that it would turn out OK, once we had kids, once we had the house, once we paid off college debt, had careers, credit cards, leased cars, shopped organic ...

We kept piling it on. Pushing the debris under the rug. Never addressing the real problem. The source of the tension. The tip of the iceberg. We distracted ourselves: Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, booze, bars, Flaming Cheetos, too much screen time, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Apple News, “reality” TV, “reality” POTUS. You know. It became, like, a hobby, a sick waste of time: What will happen next? we wondered. It’s like we were living in the middle of a Martin Scorsese Netflix movie.

Martial difficulties, when it’s someone else’s, is voyeuristically compelling.

But here’s the deal: We can’t divorce. We’re married for life.

Yes, you might be Republican and I might be a Democrat. You may love Trump and all he stands for and I may loathe him. And we are passionate, as we should be about things that matter to us. But hating doesn’t solve anything. Demonizing digs us further into the hole: Go to your corner–The Midwest and South: Go to your corner–The West Coast and big cities. Puff up your chests. Duke it out and pummel your opponent ’till there’s nothing left.

Yeh, that’s one way to end a marriage. Tough guy. Blind yourself with rage. Make everyone else the enemy. Take no responsibility, accountability. Just be right. You’re always right. You win. But everyone else–your spouse, your kids, your extended family and neighbors–lose. That’s OK. Because winning, taking back what’s “yours”, is what ultimately matters, right? Being tough. Not backing down.

That’s one way to go. Yelling. Screaming. Putting down. Feeling righteously vitriolic. But at what cost?

Love.

We can’t get divorced. We aren’t the North and the South. It might feel like it right now, but we aren’t going to split. We can’t go to our corners. We are married. We are Americans. All of us. Amer-i-CAN.

We need some counseling. Serious marital counseling. Led by respected spiritual healers, teachers. So we can get to the source. And stop burying it. Once and for all, let’s pick up the rock, and see what’s underneath it.

This is a profound, real moment for all Americans to calmly share our thoughts and desires without hyperbole and put-downs. Make “I” statements. No pointing fingers, no blaming your partner. Remember, you love him or her. Or at least one time you did. Remember what you loved. And don’t bring other people, other sources, into the room. It’s just you, your counselor, and your partner, you know, that spouse you have been married to for more than two centuries, the one you fought alongside during the Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement. We’ve been married far too long. Think of the kids, my students. We gotta get it together! Divorce is not an option.

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