Monday, October 18

Why We Do It

Uhm, no, not why we do "it," my fellow perverts, but why we get divorced.

Rather, why I got divorced. Oddly, this entry wasn't brought on by some need for catharsis, which does happen on occasion, but rather an entry in another online diary thingy, by a male-type person, who is breaking up with his long-time live-together girlfriend. Judging from reading many of his entries, he's deeply and consciously emotionally involved in his own life (NB: this is both a refreshing and highly attractive quality.) Here's the quote that sparked this entry, "It just means there’s a pile of shit to sort through that used to be our life together."

It hit me hard. With a "thud" sound effect, even. By the time I told my former spouse that I wanted a divorce, I barely remembered a time when we had a life together. We did have a life together at one point; we were "married" by our hearts before we were married legally. The former spouse, hereinafter referred to as "Grimace" was attentive, kind, and fun. He was never brilliant, but that wasn't the point. He was my present, attentive, loyal friend, and that was what I longed for: that's the part of the story that's cute and precious, also sad. To tell that part, I gotta tell another part of my own story.

Once upon a time, I was married (briefly, yet tragically) to a young man we'll call Mark. Mark and I married on New Year's Eve in 1994. It was the most meaningful wedding and most fabulous reception (sorry, Dadness) in the history of weddings. We had dated for two years, and had been engaged for an additional year, and I wanted to make my life with him. People regularly said things about us like, "You two are so much yourselves when you're together," and "You're such good friends," and "You're life will be so adventurous!" I wasn't the only person who thought that Mark and I would make a great family. There were lots of us -- we had a gabillion friends, many of them common as we met in a huge church family -- who truly believed that we would make a wonderful team for many years.

Part of our marriage ceremony was reading letters to one another that we had written for the occasion. My 'letter' described a New Year's Eve 100 years in the future, when Mark and I were long dead, but our family was gathered together and were chatting about their parents/ grandparents/ great-grandparents Stacey and Mark. Our picture was in a silver frame on top of the mantle of a big fireplace, and we were real old in the photo -- and we looked like we were tired and contentt, having run ourselves ragged and happy doing wonderful things while we were alive. We drove to Alaska just for the hell of it, took teenaged kids on mission trips to little-known areas of the world, and had generally stayed positive and offbeat our whole lives. Nothing thrilled me more than to be setting off on this journey with Mark. Six days into our marriage, (yes, kids, six days) Mark mentally and emotionally checked out of the friendship we had built, and never returned. I realize that this sounds like some major drama I invented in my mind, trust me, I know. But it's not. It was a constant struggle for three solid years just to find his ass. Eventually I bought a pager, had it hardwired to his pecker, and I still couldn't find him on most days. It was if he didn't even realize he had gotten married. I was purely an afterthought, if I even appeared on his list anywhere. Later, my brother asked him, "Did you even want to be married?" His answer? "No." Thanks so much for trying to kill me physically using emotional pain. I really appreciate that.

Here's where I began to make the mistakes that would become my second marriage.

While married to Mark, and for about three years afterward, I mourned deeply for the loss of the life I had thought would be. Mark was a youth ministry student, and we had planned to have a life full of service to others and fun, fun, fun. Including some kids of our own. And maybe a house thrown in there somewhere. Anyway, for a multitude of reasons, (the mental dissapearing act, his lack of desire to hold a job, his inability to retain consciousness for more than 4 hours at a stretch, and the way I allowed myself to be sucked into the whole sad pattern,) none of that was going to happen. I divorced Mark after three years of begging, sobbing, praying, and counseling, all to no avail. That divorce just made legal what was already true. (Read that sentence again, OK? It's important. And true.)

So about a year after I threw Mark out, I met Grimace. And it was great. He was so PRESENT. I never had to fight for his attention -- I just had it, all the time. He called, he gave, he made me laugh. He bought flowers. What else did I need? Right? Well, as it turns out, I needed about another two and a half years to digest everything that happened with Mark, and to let him go from my heart, and to get happy with myself. Unfortunately, I had married Grimace during this time, and it wasn't a good decision. Know that I truly thought it was the thing to do at the time. Not once did I think, "This won't end pretty." I believed I was marrying my best friend! I was so fucking wrong I can scarcely explain it.

Having met, dated, and married Grimace while I was still nursing my near-fatal injuries from my broken previous life, I wasn't all that happy a soul. But because I was so much better than I had been during my marriage, I didn't even know how sad I still was. That would take another couple of years to really understand. When things began to go south with Grimace (starting with his randomly quitting a high-paying job without discussing it with me) I began to realize how unhappy my soul was. Thankfully, I had some people in my life who love me and who want what's best for me. The best advice I ever got was as follows: Get a life. And then I did.

Getting a life made me happy. Real freekin' happy. And that was the beginning of the end of my second marriage.

EDITOR'S NOTE: At this point, if I don't give you a break, even if you got THIS far, you'll never read the end. So, I will post the rest later, or tomorrow.


allie said...

i adore you.
that is all.
carry on.

ropemonkey said...

wow. I'm sorry you had to go through 2 tough marriages. I sure hope you have fun "getting a life".

devilboss said...

You are such an amazing person inside and out. I love you.

*L'ola said...

and now you are married to me (spiritually and all the other meaningfulest ways) and that, my dear, is a marriage of the forever kind. even my husband knows that. he doesn't even roll his eyes anymore when someone asks who the cute Portugese Princess with the giant meatball on her pizza is in that frame on my desk and I say proudly, "My wife". That's love right there, folks. I'ma lucky lucky girl.

pears said...

I love you. That is all.

christ*el #3tx said...

i am still and continually will be SO proud of you.

M'Ary* said...

I'm so glad that we found each other. Now we don't have to go through the same bad crap separately.

Smashlee said...

Dittos to all things said.
Love you but most of all proud to know you, proud of you, and proud of everyting I know you can be.

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