Repairing a Broken Heart- The Modern Man

If you haven’t noticed or I haven’t told you I like music to accompany my writing. Sometimes it helps to set and maintain the tone of whatever it is I am working on. Sometimes the music is supposed to help you, the reader better understand and sometimes it doesn’t mean a freaking thing.

As a point of interest, whenever I link to a song on YouTube, unless otherwise noted the music is the most important piece.

Love Reign O’er Me– The Who
Somewhere Down The Road– Barry Manilow
Sweet Home Alabama – Lenigrad Cowboys & Russian Red Army Choir

In an earlier post I mentioned that I have several friends who are in the process of splitting up with their spouses. They are not the first friends of mine to get divorced, but they are the first to do so at this time of life.

For those who care, here is the distinction between the two. There were a few who got married in their early twenties and by the time they had hit their mid to late twenties their marriages were over. No children or property was involved either time.

Now it is different. Now there are kids and there are assets and there are complications that didn’t exist for those other friends. Not to belittle or marginalize them, but splitting up then was far less complicated.

And now the boys are dealing with their relationships and trying to process what it all means. The conversations feel a bit surreal. Are we really old enough to have these discussions. Can we really be in a place where we wonder about how we got to this place, where we ask how things got so crazy and mixed up. Can we really be old enough to talk about custody issues and to wonder if it is possible to fall in love more than once.

Are we really old enough to wonder if we have reached a place where you can never fix a broken heart. Because that is precisely what one of them asked me. He is confident that dissolution of the marriage is the way to go and that they cannot get past their differences. But he says that his heart is broken and that he can’t imagine ever feeling anything for anyone again.

I am tempted to show him the Pablo Neruda poem, or at least a quote from it:

“What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That’s all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.”

But I think that I’ll hold off. I am not sure that it would help or that he would appreciate it. It is a funny thing to be a man today. Our fathers and grandfathers would deal with this sort of thing stoically, no doubt or weakness to be shown to others.

Now we modern men are told that it is ok to show feeling, that it is cool to cry. But at the same time we still receive the messages of old, that it is better to show strength. Better to laugh it off and say that there are lots of fish in the sea,

I feel for him, I really do. Because I wonder what sort of outlet he has. I have told him that he has my ear. I am happy to listen, to grab a beer or watch a movie. If he wants my advice I am glad to give it to him.

Advice, now that is a dicey proposition. Relationships are really complex creatures. I have learned to be quite careful in what I say. His soon to ex is in simple terms a major bitch. I don’t know a single friend of his who liked her. But I don’t want to say that. I don’t see how it is going to help and on the off chance that they somehow reconcile I don’t want to make things awkward.

When he asks me how to fix a broken heart and wonders what I would do I have to tell him that I think it is a really hard question to answer. It is not because I haven’t got an opinion or prefer to sit on the fence. I just think that it is different for everyone.

If someone were to break my heart now I am not quite sure exactly what I would do. I have my ideas. I have my thoughts and my sense is that I’d follow my gut. But again that is a personal thing. If you really are in love with someone I am not someone who just says goodbye. I go the distance. And yet again I have to say that this is a personal thing.

Repairing that broken heart is one of those chores in life that requires you to find your own way. You have to wander around and find your own path.

Special note to anonymous from this post, I included Barry Manilow again. Here is another just for you. 😉

Crossposted here.

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