4/06/2008

Divorce

There are clearly people who simply aren't meant for marriage. I had always considered myself among that number. I honestly never thought about marriage when I was a young man. The idea of kids, a wife just never appealed to me. I can see the benefits of marriage now. But, up until my 40s, I never considered the idea.

I married late in life. That's never a good idea as I have discovered the hard way. Most people are set in their ways by the time they are in their 30s and certainly in their 40s. With 20/20 hindsight, I see what a terrible mistake my marriage was for a number of reasons. Just to name one, I have always been very independent. My ex-wife has always been very dependent on her father. She constantly relied upon me to 1) find her car keys 2) balance her checkbook 3) help her make decisions about her family obligations 4) help her with her case load from her job, etc. Now, I'm sure many will think these aren't unreasonable requests by a woman. I am not sure what constitutes reasonable or unreasonable any longer, I suppose. Now, I don't want to come off as a saint here. I realize now I should have been more tolerable of her weaknesses (thanks to her constant babying by her family). I should have been more sympathetic toward her. Plus, I have a hot temper that would explode whenever she started her moaning about my "lack of attention to her". My ex-wife demanded constant attention. Like most men, I like to watch football and drink a beer in the den in the fall. This took away from the time I could devote to her. Football season brought even more added turmoil to our marriage as I would not relent on this particular love of mine.

Less than a month into this marriage, I realized what a stupid, terrible mistake I had made. I don't even blame her for the mistake of getting married in the first place. I didn't listen to that "inner voice" of mine for quite possibly the first time in my life warning me NOT to do this! I honestly thought she loved me. In her own way, I suppose she did. But, she loved the man that she had hoped she could transform me into becoming more than she did the real me. Of course, I rebelled at her constant attempts to make me something I wasn't. She filed for divorce and I was told to get out of the house (her father owned it, being the wealthy guy he was). For about three weeks, I was basically homeless. Oh, I would stay at friends and family for a while. But, I actually lived in my truck for about two nights before I finally got back on my feet.

I view it all as a hard learning experience. I thought there wasn't much you could teach an old dog. I found out that wasn't necessarily so. Divorce has left me a wiser, yet sadder person. The aftermath of divorce made me contemplate suicide for the first time in my life. I honestly loved my wife, strange as that may seem to many. But, I know now it wasn't me she loved. It was a younger, updated version of her father that she so desperately wanted and needed. That just wasn't me. I've moved on now. It will be three years on July 4th (talk about ironic) since our divorce became final. I see other women and have made new friends. My ex-wife and I actually are able to talk on the phone now without fighting. But, I try not to speak to her very much. There is some bitterness inside me I pray will eventually disappear. Life goes on.

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