These times are troubled and these times are good
And they’re always gonna be, they rise and they fall
Clint Black – When I Said I Do
Once upon a time, today was a special day. There was a gathering of people. There was music. There was booze. There was a preacher. There was dancing. There was a celebration. There was love.
When I logged on to my computer this morning I looked down in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen to see what time it was. Then I saw the date: 10/18. Then it hit me.
We got married in an Elk’s Lodge. It was cheap because my dad was a member. It was convenient because we could have the ceremony and reception in the same place. It worked because it was the second marriage for both of us and we didn’t want anything extravagant.
We both had a couple of drinks before it started. You had some beer. I had a couple of SoCo and Cokes. At one point in the evening I was told our’s was the best wedding ever because never had there been another wedding where you could drink during the ceremony.
We promised each other we would be there for each other ’til death do us part. Six years later the only thing that has died is our love and our marriage.
In hindsight it’s easy for me to look back and see all the “dead end” signs. I noticed them as they cropped up. I just ignored them. I loved you fiercely and told myself as long as we had love everything else could be worked out.
I was wrong.
The night we were married we danced to the song When I Said I Do. In the song there’s a lyric that goes thus:
Only you and I can undo all that we became
And that’s exactly what we did.
Things were tough right from the start. We struggled for nearly two years to conceive a child. For two years something that should have been fun seemed like a chore. We watched the calendar. We had sex during optimum times, whether we wanted to or not. We abstained during non-optimum times…whether we wanted to or not. We both were tested. We both were medicated. We had treatments. It took its toll on us and I don’t think we ever recovered.
We both made huge mistakes even after you became pregnant. Mine was a failure to have my depression treated. Because of that failure, I was extremely moody and irritable. I snapped easily and often. I treated you poorly and I’m still ashamed of some of the things I said. Your mistake was to put your happiness in my hands. Instead of making yourself happy, you decided it was my job. You put that burden on me, but couldn’t tell me how to do it. It was like being given a map with no labels.
I can only speak for myself, but I think we’re better off. We have nothing in common. You’re very social and like to party all the time. I’m very introverted and prefer staying home. You like pop music. I like rock. I like sports. You like reality shows. You are very anal about housekeeping. Me, not so much.
In the end, I was left with a shit-ton of heartache, a drinking problem, and a beautiful baby boy. I’ve gotten over the heartache and the drinking problem, but I’ve yet to get over that little boy. And I probably never will. Our son keeps a smile glued to my face and I will forever be thankful I helped bring such a bright light into this dark world.
We would have been married six years today. Despite knowing that what happened happened for the best, it’s still a sometimes bitter pill to swallow.
Life goes on, though. Life just keeps going on.