There’s a certain YouTube personality I’ve been watching for years. He made his start on the platform being an outspoken atheist. At one point he got married. Then, one or two years later (if I remember correctly), his marriage dissolved. In his video talking about the divorce, he said that he doesn’t regret getting married. He said that things change over time, and sometimes that includes the people you’re married to, but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time to begin with. I had never thought of it that way until I watched that video of his, and I agreed with it.
Then, very recently, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and richest man in the world, announced he and his wife are getting divorced after 25 years, and in their joint statement, they said they’d do it again even if they knew it would end in 25 years.
I was raised to believe that marriage should be forever. And honestly, I still believe that. What else would it be for? So, I guess you might be wondering how I can believe marriage should be for life, yet I agree that it’s okay if they fail after a while.
Forever should be the goal, but, nobody can predict the future. That’s how.
I don’t find it tragic when a married couple simply drift apart. I think sometimes think of Stephen Hawking, who left his wife after 30 years for another woman, but they remained good friends. 30 years is a long time, but both Hawking and his wife at the time were interested in other people and just didn’t feel it for each other anymore. Unfortunate, but not tragic.
Any other reason for divorce is tragic. I’m sure we all can agree there. I believe all marriages should begin with the intent of lasting forever. The marriage of anyone who goes into it only hoping for a few years at best is doomed to fail. There’s no point if you don’t want to last until death.
As I’m sure everyone who reads my blog has figured out by now, I am going through a divorce. It’s not a good time for my best friend either because his sister is also going through a divorce, and with someone she had been with for over 10 years. The way I joked about it was, “Looks like both of your siblings are getting divorced.”
When I first met my wife… No… When I first laid eyes on my wife, I fell in love with her. She and I started dating 3 months after we first met, and we got married 4 months after that. What I fell in love with was, well, I found her attractive, but also because I was drawn to the person she was. The more I got to know about her, the more I felt I had to be with her. After a short while of dating, something within me that I’ve never been able to explain told me to marry her. With my past girlfriends, I hadn’t even thought about marrying them. I was engaged once before, but it took years for me to even want that.
My wife and I understood each other. She seemed to understand me, which is a rather rare thing, I’ve noticed. We had plenty of differences, but also an abundance of similarities. 50/50, if you will. And I think that’s the best. I never wanted to be with someone who was a clone of myself, nor someone I couldn’t relate to at all. Half similar, half opposite … that’s the best way to go, in my opinion.
One thing I never told her, nor anyone, was that I appreciated her gentler nature. She wasn’t as outspoken as I am. Not as opinionated, not as strong-willed. Personality-wise, she was a breeze, but for my entire adult life, I’ve been a storm. I really loved that we shared basically all the same principles and beliefs (yes, including our views on politics and religion), but she didn’t dwell on big subjects like that the way I do. Yeah, I really loved that.
There’s also the fact that I can’t entirely explain why I fell in love with her. I don’t think feelings can ever be fully explained. One feels what they feel. It’s that simple. You can try to make sense of them, like I’ve tried to do here, but you can never fully put it into words.
When I learned she was pregnant, I was thrilled and terrified. But, most importantly, no part of me feared her being the mother of my child. I think I fell more in love with her while she was pregnant … and especially after our daughter was born.
The night before our daughter was born, my wife hadn’t slept at all. I woke at 4am and saw her sitting on the bed breathing heavily. I knew it was time. She could barely move, so I had to be her hands and feet. I helped her into the car, and drove us to the hospital.
I didn’t allow myself to sleep. I wanted to be available for every possible minute just in case my wife needed me. When it came time for her to give birth, I had gone most of 17 hours without sleep. She pushed for a long time. Too long. My wife was starting to be in pain, even though our baby wasn’t coming out. I saw her crying, and the nurses suggested she rest a little, but she insisted that she keep pushing because it hurt less to. When I saw her crying, I also started to cry. Finally, the nurses left the room to let us discuss our options. Still weeping, but trying my hardest to hold it in, I said we should probably do a C-section.
The medicine given to my wife made her shake a lot. They put a veil across her chest while they opened her up, and I held her hand. Then, I heard a baby crying, and the nurses all commented on how large our baby was.
I got to see our baby girl up close first. I got touch her hand first, talk to her …, and also hear her screams up close. They put her on my wife’s chest. Baby kept crying, mother could barely lift her hand to touch her. Not long later, my wife was able to hold our baby upright, and we were able to share the moment properly. And I was even more in love with her then, too.
I had so little sleep at the hospital, so little food, that my body was literally forcing me to fix those. At one point, I passed out. While I was out, my wife needed me to call a nurse, because our baby’s fingertips were purple. I didn’t hear her… I woke after a doctor came in, and told her that this was normal for newborns. I saw my wife in tears again, and she later told me how she tried to wake me. I felt horrible. Just horrible. I had done my absolute best to stay awake, but my strength had given out during a moment when I was needed. It wasn’t dire, but neither of us knew that at the time. Frankly, I still feel horrible for having not heard my wife call for me…
It didn’t quite hit me that I was a father until the following Wednesday after we came back home. Our baby was sitting in her car seat, and we had just come back from somewhere, and it hit me right then. Our baby was asleep in her car seat, and as I looked at her, it all came over me. This was my flesh and blood. Our flesh and blood. We made this. This was our creation.
Marriage is more than just having strong feelings for someone and wanting to feel that way forever. It’s about the experiences during the marriage as well. My reasons for marrying my wife were added upon while we were together, the greatest of all was the birth of our daughter. While she was pregnant, and especially after our baby came out, we struggled a bit in every way. For her, it wasn’t easy walking around with a belly the same size as the rest of her body. So, there was struggle, but that struggle is part of the journey. Getting married isn’t happily ever after, it’s the start of a journey, and the hard parts should enrich it just as much as the good parts.
But now, our daughter is nearly a year old, and my wife and I are no longer together. Our relationship, from my point of view anyway, didn’t drift apart, it nosedived. Just 4 months ago, everything was fine for the most part. Frankly, I’m still not sure what caused this plummet. We both have our perspectives. All I do know is that I no longer even recognize the woman I fell in love with. The things she’s done since our separation, and the things she has only begun to try to do……. It’s despicable. And her family (whom I could write so, so much about) will sit back and watch her do these things, either out of cowardice or agreement (or both), which comes as no surprise to me.
I will say this about her family, though: There was never a shred of genuine support for our relationship, even when we were only just dating. I hold the strong opinion that that cursed our relationship. There wasn’t even a shred of gratitude that I was not just some guy who had a drug/alcohol/smoking problem, or who slept with her until he got tired of her, or who knocked her up then ran away. Even before we started having problems, I often heard, “You got married too soon.” Like I implied, there wasn’t a shred of gratitude that I was committed to her with all my heart. But that just barely, barely scratches the surface of all the things I could say about her family. Whatever I think of the woman I married at this point in time, I believe she is mostly just a product of her upbringing and environment. For one example, she’s following her mother’s footsteps quite well so far. I can only hope she doesn’t follow them further.
I will tell this entire story here on this blog someday. But really all I have to tell you is: think of what usually happens with divorces when a child is involved. You can fill in the blanks pretty easily now, I’m sure.
I’m terrified, I’m angry, and I’m so consumed with what’s going on that I can’t think straight.
I don’t know what my wife has turned into, or if she was this kind of person all along, but I know I can’t miss someone who has done the things she’s done and has begun doing, and unapologetically. However, that doesn’t mean I regret what I had with her. It doesn’t mean I regret what I felt before. Maybe it was an illusion, and if it was, I was happy with the illusion. Without a doubt, there are things about my wife I was completely blind to, that I now see clear as day, but I will still say proudly that I don’t regret marrying her. Happy memories don’t suddenly become sour just because the memories eventually ended.
Like with life itself.