At the end of the first season of Ted Lasso, Rebecca reveals that she has been sabotaging Ted from the beginning. After that revelation, Ted says that he forgives her because “divorce is hard!” And it’s the truth. Rebecca’s reaction to her divorce was to destroy the one thing that her ex loved the most in the world. Ted’s reaction was to give space and let his ex go (with panic attacks spotted in there). The reactions to divorce can be very different but unless the people just did not care, then it’s hard. It’s such an odd thing because we all know the statistics, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Yet people continually bet all that they are on the equivalent of a flip of the coin. If it is just cultural conditioning or the tax break, we should really reconsider.
As someone who recently got divorced, I completely agree with Ted. Divorce is hard! It has hurt me in ways that I never could have anticipated and made me doubt things that I believed in on a gravity level. The unraveling of the ball of twine that I am as a person has been most unsettling. Deciphering the difference between which twine is really me and which got placed there because of my marriage has made me wonder when I’ll just get to be me again because I refuse to throw something away simply due to association. If something has inherent value, I’d rather keep it. So reevaluation is a constant. The loss of some different relationships due to the breakup has also been difficult and unforeseen. And probably the most difficult thing to deal with recently has been the question of whether I even knew the person that I walked through life with for so long. All of these things and more have made divorce “hard”. Yet at this very moment, I sit here completely convinced that I will make another lifelong commitment to a woman in the future. What is that?
It’s not a need for division of labor. All of the chores, responsibilities and projects get done. They just get done at my pace and in my style. Nor is it a need for a new focal point in my life. There is more than enough to focus on without bringing that level of disruption. It’s not a security blanket to help me sleep at night, I’ve always slept pretty soundly regardless of location or company. I’m a decent cook and social life is not a problem. So why go back to that gamble?
Like so many things that are linked with the show Ted Lasso, it comes down to belief. I believe that the right relationship can be a force multiplier where 1+1 doesn’t equal 2. It is an equation that brings out the best version of each individual that leads to a product greater than the sum of the parts. Perhaps I’m a fool for believing in such things. I can accept that. Maybe a good dose of pessimism would save me some heartache or a possible broken heart. That may be true. But it feels more like a coward’s mindset toward living. Running away doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get hurt. It just guarantees that you’ll never know what was possible.
Divorce is hard! Unless you didn’t care, prepare to be broken. BUT that one experience is not the end of you. You could be the exact ingredients that someone else is looking for in order to “fill the gaps”. There’s not a perfect person out there but maybe there’s a person who is perfect for you. Believing in that seems like such a better idea than giving up because you don’t like the odds!
“Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasure.” -Rilke
Hard stuff is not always bad stuff!