Lately, I've been in conversations with two good friends of mine, each of whom is concerned about their marriages (to other people, not each other). One wants desperately to fix what's broken and try again. One wants the freedom that comes with being alone. Both are heart-wrenching in their own ways.
V and I have a good thing going. Honestly, I don't know how. Part of it is that she can be an angel (and also sometimes a doormat, which I have to warn her against). Part of it is that we learned early on how to communicate. We were born in a fire, of secrecy and risk and other lovers and more external pressure than anyone should have. It's a near miracle we made it through; now, it's become the foundation that we know we won't break.
Some people are made for monogamy. Some for more open relationships. Some for partner-less-ness. All of that is fine. It just hurts to watch the growing pains of people finding what they need. Of people accidentally getting hurt in the process. Of people not knowing how to communicate, and digging their hole deeper.
I never want to stop appreciating what I have. Appreciating the emails that start, "I don't really want to tell you this, but..." Appreciating the trust that enables me to say, "I'm broken, again, for the millionth time, and I need you." Appreciating that I can tell her, "I'm a mess; get out of here and save yourself," and her response is to roll her eyes and say, "You've tried that before. It didn't work. I'm still here."
To those out there who are struggling: My heart hurts for you. I'm so sorry for the difficulties in life. I want to help.
To those out there who are on surer footing: Never stop being grateful. What you have is a gift.