Separate Ways | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Separate Ways 

Pin It

Divorce is a traumatic experience. But sometimes, irreconcilable differences can simply no longer be ignored. When that moment comes, it makes sense for both parties to take an objective look at their relationship and circumstances and try to do the right thing.

That time may well have come for one broken marriage, between the United States and the Rest of the World.

All we ever do anymore is fight. The Rest of the World begs us to listen, even lashes out for attention, but we are too engrossed in our own troubles. People get hurt, but do we listen? We’re only listening to our own pain. Everything is about us. US US US. Being right has become more important than doing right. We come home from work angry every day, fly off the handle, kids get hurt.

Arguments around the dinner table have gotten ugly. Everything has become a litmus test of the relationship. We demand support, but the love is gone, the respect for the other’s point of view absent. Love is war.

Lately we’ve been going out a lot on our own, ignoring pleas to bring the Rest of the World along, even becoming openly contemptuous of the Rest of the World’s friends. That trip to Kyoto by ourselves was a particular disaster. Feelings, egos get so bruised, is it any wonder that when we really need support, it isn’t there?

The Rest of the World has been begging us to spend more time together. Remember all those resolutions we made together? Number 242 comes to mind, but all we can talk about is 1441. We share no common interests, and have closed our ears, our eyes, our hearts, even while the Rest of the World has made it pretty clear: If we go off on that adventure to Iraq on our own, that may be the end. The damage—to the relationship, to the family—will be enormous.

The Rest of the World says we just don’t speak the same language anymore. They are right. I’m not sure we ever did, or that we ever really tried. Do we really know how the Rest of the World feels, how it spends its time, what motivates it? When it has problems, do we bother to listen anymore? We focus on our tragedies and ignore theirs. We have become demanding, arrogant, unyielding. Great oceans have grown up between us.

The bonds that have kept us together so long were once strong. Remember how close we felt as a family after the tragedy two Septembers ago? All that is gone. Affections forged in hard times, through common sacrifices, are being forgotten, and scars are all that is left. Repairing broken feelings, redeeming lost respect, rekindling a lifetime friendship may not be possible.

Going our separate ways seems fraught with difficulties, yet somehow I sense the Rest of the World might be better off without us.

Whatever happens, we will have only ourselves to blame. How could we have tried harder to understand? At what point was it too late? we will ask ourselves. Maybe we will come to our senses in time, if we stop to think of what we stand to lose. If we don’t, then the Rest of the World would be within its rights to say: I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee.

Pin It

About The Author

John Yewell

More by John Yewell

  • Carpetbaggers

    Experienced politicians always have one eye peeled for the Law of Unintended Consequences. Like good courtroom lawyers, they don’t ask questions they don’t know the answers to in advance, and they don’t take shots at their opponents...
    • Jun 11, 2007
  • Yewell’s Log

    Yewell’s Quarter Column On Virtuous Politicians, Poor News Judgment and Credibility Called Into Question
    • Jun 11, 2007
  • Plaza Sell-Out

    In the end, it was never about principle. It was about money and power. No one should be surprised. In a culture ruled by greed and influence, where the shared values taught in generations of civics classes are no longer taken for granted, talk is the...
    • Jun 11, 2007
  • More »

Latest in News

Readers also liked…

  • Through the Looking Glass

    Local witches discuss an occult practice related to Latter-day Saint history.
    • Oct 30, 2019
  • Recycling Enforcers

    An inside look at who's trying to help Salt Lake City residents stay up-to-date on the recycling world's changes.
    • Nov 27, 2019

© 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation