Gerty had seen it all. Her childhood was plagued by a nasty divorce between her parents. She grew up confused about whom to love since per the custody arrangement, she was to stay with her mother during school days and be with her father during the holidays. Each parent took any chance he/she got to badmouth the other to her.
And like a contagious flu, a number of her friends also had divorced or separated parents. So it was some kind of a clique at school, ‘the single parents’ kids.’ They would spend their break time talking about what their parents told them about each other and how life sucked for them all.
“I wonder why people ever bother getting married at all,” Gerty said.
“Because they fall in love at one point?” a friend replied.
“If almost every couple falls out of love soon after the children start coming in, then was the love true in the first place?” None of them could answer that.
A part of her felt that she was the reason behind her parents’ divorce. She decided to spare herself the pain of falling in and out of love and having to fight over the children by staying unmarried. Even if she was to marry some handsome dude, children would be out of the question.
Gerty later found herself as an orphan of some sorts when both parents remarried. She felt out of place in either one’s new matrimonial home. Both spouses gave her the ‘the issue out of divorce’ look. Both of them had found other people to love but she was the one who lost it all.
As much as she hated what divorce had done to her, ironically, she ended up being a divorce lawyer. Apparently, it was a very lucrative career. In the beginning, she used to feel a little guilty that she fed off the breakdown of people’s families but she soon got rid of that sentiment. After all, she didn’t cause them to even consider the option in the first place. She was there to make sure the process went as smoothly as possible. And hope that the kids don’t end up as emotionally distraught as she did.
With a twist of fate, Gerty ended up romantically involved with Mike, a newly qualified marriage and family counselor.
“It’s very funny that out of the billions of people in the world, we end up liking each other. You whose job is to keep couples together with me, whose job is tear them apart,” Gerty said in a tone of amusement.
“Yeah, I’ve thought of it too. Very unconventional. What do you think of marriage considering the work you do? Do you ever think of settling down?” Mike asked. “With everything I’ve seen and experienced, I must say it’s not that of a comforting thought. But no matter the number of people I’ve seen breaking up, I see many more fighting to keep it. This tells me if you meet the right person and you both commit to making it work, it will work. Being a child of divorce, I don’t want my children to experience that. Ever. But does your job really help couples? Are they able to stay together after a rough patch?” “Some do; some don’t. But I always say this, if the foundation is well-laid, no shake-up will move it. It will stand.” “Do you think we have a chance since I know how to get out the fast and smooth way?” She asked.
“I do. As long as we decide that when we go in, divorce is out of the question. That no matter what comes our way, we’ll do all it takes to surmount it.” “What if the love we feel fades away? How do we get it back?”
He smiled as he took her hand in his and kissed it.
“As long as the God of love is at the center, the love will never fade away. Circumstances might dry it up from time to time, but when we call onto Him, He will rekindle it. So you don’t have to worry about our love running out.” “God of love, huh?” Interesting, she thought. Her parents were not the religious type and neither was she. Some religious folk have even requested for her services so religion wasn’t solid-proof against divorce. When she told him what she was thinking, he replied, “I’m not talking about mass religious practices. To have God in the center of everything means to have a personal relationship with Him, even deeper than the one we have. Take out the personal relationship and it becomes all ritual and no connection.”
“Then I guess I have some massive personal connection to catch up on.” “No, we both do. We’re in this together.” They held hands.
“You must hate what I do, right?” “I don’t like the divorce because of the ripple effects. You can testify to that. And besides, what God puts together, let no man put asunder.” “Then I guess I’d be bringing many clients your way before I bring down my axe,” Gerty said.
“I wished I wouldn’t bring any client your way but let’s not kid ourselves, right?”
“To the future.” Their glasses clinked.
So Gerty did the one thing she was afraid of since she was young: walking down the aisle with the love of her life by her side. Some of her friends made it to the ceremony. A few of them had ventured to do same, some had decided to just cohabitate and a number were into open relationships. She wished them all well but she knew she wanted to do this the right way and with God in the center, they were going to go the whole nine yards.
She wasn’t going to be a statistic in her own profession. She promised herself that.
So what happened when divorce met and fell in love with counseling? They got married!
© Josephine Amoako 2016