Tonight I learned a physics lesson, live, in my own oven. I added a bit of warm water to a pyrex glass pan, and shattered it to pieces. I still don’t fully understand the power that warm water has to shatter glass, no more than I understand the rate at which relationships all around us are failing. Maybe I am drawing a metaphor that doesn’t hold up, but when you think of an innocent glass of lukewarm water having the capacity to shatter hot glass, perhaps its not so surprising that we humans collide so ungracefully through life.
Today I heard of a long standing marriage that is ending as well as one that has barely just begun. I was at the wedding of the latter just three years ago. I used to babysit for the bride, or shall I say divorcee. Is three years really long enough to know that it is irreconcilable to live together? If, for a moment we consider the development of a three year old anything, how can we not be more patient with its tender toddler-hood? There is so much to learn about loving someone, about loving yourself enough to even try.
As for the story of the long marriage, I have only ever known the husband, who has been a colleague in the start-up business thing since I began Good Clean Love, a pleasant, handsome Australian who left his home to build an enterprise here. At the beginning he was convinced his marriage was great, no problem… Although my first question each time I saw him was always: “when was the last time you were with your wife?” and often I was shocked at his answer. I tried to tell him many times, relationships need time, real time.
Well, today I learned he is off to home for 12 days – I, of course, commented that “it’s not enough time.” “It’s not good,” he said, resigned to going home to end things…Why is his business worth more of a fight than his marriage? Why are young people so ready to quit their marriages when they have only just begun them? Why is it socially so acceptable in our time to just walk away? Why can water shatter glass?
If we truly honor our instinct to love, we must learn to fight for it. To learn when what is lukewarm can shatter what is too hot. There are physics that hold love, I know this, and one of the rules is that you can’t just walk away.