Via Text, her partner ended their relationship of ten years; their marriage had lasted less than one.

Sushi date automatically canceled, I met to share a few bottles of wine with her.

I was probably the wrong person for her to call. I had no words of encouragement to give.

During my post-break-up time, the two most frequently used phrases that I received were: “At least you know now before kids are involved” and “would you really want to be with someone like that?” I learned to hate those phrases. I thought they were belittling. As if my world collapsing had a silver lining. As if that made it better. I thought it as asinine as telling a cancer patients that, although the disease was caught too late for chemo, at least that meant their hair wouldn’t fall out. The third phase I received for support was, “In time, you’ll see it’s better this way. Time cures everything.” Used to hate that one too, this magic cure of time, an easy solution and a miraculous fix, applicable to everyone.

Instead, I listened. Asked about her coping mechanisms, her depression symptoms. She was handling it in much the same way that I did. Long hours spent on the couch, lying there silently, without music or television or books … because the thought of following a rhythm or plot was exhausting. Phone calls without conscious remembrance of words exchanged. Weight loss. Avoidance of social activities.

I had no hope to give. I had bitterness, outrage, support, but no hope. It all absolutely sucks. And her life is going to suck … for a long time. I would be a fraud if I tried to convince her otherwise. 

On the way home, The Kid called and, although I usually don’t answer at night because, you know, I am busy with someone cute, I answered because I was so heartbroken about my couple and needed to vent – they used to be fucking inspiring, made me believe that a relationship could last, and now they were done, just like every other couple I once had faith in. He answered with a callous remark, something about the harsh reality of the world and things ending for a reason. His comment caused me to end the conversation abruptly.  Didn’t have the inclination to hear those belittling and empty words.  Especially from him. 

And finally, I felt what everyone was telling me to feel all those months ago.  I was happy to have gotten out.