We stayed with one friend I met during my first graduate program; between some of A.'s LiveJournal posts and a few hints around her house, we've suspected something is up in her relationship. A.'s wife was away on business, so we didn't have a chance to witness anything in particular--and we weren't going to push for information since A. tends to lay out everything she's willing to and nothing more. Not that I want to see things fall apart for her, but Trillian and I both are not very fond of her wife. A. left the area where she grew up and moved a long distance so her wife could take a job in the city we lived near at the time... and then her wife left that job shortly after they had bought a house that stretched them financially. The wife has since taken another job and (fingers crossed) appears prepared to stay there for a while. And A. has finally, after a couple years, found a job that comes close to matching what she did before she moved. The wife is anti-intellectual--I don't just mean stupid, but really against making an effort to learn new things. And now we suspect that she may be cheating on A. While our friend might be better off in the long run without her wife, I hate to think about the complications involved in the whole mess.Today came the post we'd been expecting for a while: they're breaking up. Or really, have already broken up, though it's not clear to us whether or not this was the case when we visited (and then the cheating may not have been cheating). As I suspected, their financial situation with the house will keep both of them in it for a while. When we were visiting, it looked like one had taken over the downstairs, the other the upstairs, and they shared the kitchen.
I hate finding out that we were right, that Trillian and I read the subtle clues around the house correctly, that the hidden-between-the-lines frustration, even as her career and other aspects of her life seemed to be picking up, was the struggle to deal with a relationship that was falling apart. And it was painful to hear the defeat in her words, the failure she feels at letting go of this relationship when she had truly meant her commitment several years ago. I don't know anything about fault, if there is any, but feel pretty certain that my friend held onto the slightest glimmer of reconciliation longer than her ex--and I imagine that adds to her pain.
There is a part of me that wishes to reach through the distance and offer platitudes and comfort. But she has, for the moment, cut herself off from communication as much as possible. And I understand why and want to respect her desires in this. I completely understand the decision to lob this bomb out there and then duck away from the fallout. She will get no I-told-you-so's (especially since I didn't--Trillian and I kept our opinion to ourselves) or this-is-for-the-best's. Maybe chocolate.