But divorce, and people, are usually so much more complicated than that. And unfortunately, because people forget how complex these situations are, divorce has an ugly stigma attached to it. But we can’t tell the future and sometimes we change, or we discover things about ourselves in the process of living and loving and growing together, that can make a marriage difficult.
A couple of months ago a good friend of mine confided in me her marriage was ending. I was heartbroken. They were such a fun, loving, and generous couple. We spent so many evenings just hanging out together and exploring England when we were based together there. I loved being with them. It made me sad to hear they were ending it. But it absolutely broke me to think of the mental journey they were each going through. Having to decide that a marriage isn’t working requires an incredible amount of honest self-reflection. We knew them before they were married and we knew they took the bonds of marriage very seriously. So to be forced to reconcile oneself with the idea that you have to break those bonds is so difficult. Not only that, the fear of the stigma attached to divorce becomes an issue. And the mind wanders and wonders — what kinds of questions will they get from friends and family? How many times will they have to relive the story of why the marriage didn’t work? The fears they face of starting over.
I think many people live in denial of the situation for years and live together bitterly suppressing themselves in sacrifice of their marriage. But that is unfair to both parties. Frankly, I admire my friend (and her husband) for having the courage, self-respect, and honesty to look at their situations and evaluate their priorities enough to admit is no longer working. No doubt they married because they were in love. But sometimes as people are faced with complicated situations, they are forced to decide what types of sacrifices and compromises they are each willing to make. And evaluate if they as a couple are headed in a united direction… or divided direction.
My biggest hope for my friends is that they each find the paths they want in life and live their lives authentically.
When Nichole and I planned to do this shoot we weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do. We wanted to focus on doing something cathartic. She mentioned doing something in her wedding dress and it seemed so fitting. As she held it in her hands in the water it almost seemed she was saying goodbye to it. And you could sense her heart was heavy and many things weighed on her mind. I like to think that as some of the waves washed over her, some of the emotional burdens were washed as well. While we tried to get out early enough for light, the clouds rolled in quickly and it ended up being a cloudy stormy sky. I think it reflected the mood well though. It poured as soon as we left.
Nichole, you are one of my favorite people and you inspire me constantly. You always seek to live an authentic life and I admire that so much about you. I hope this photo shoot helps bring catharsis and closure in this journey. So much love to you my friend.