Why and How I Created Change in My Life
Memories of days of fighting recollected besides an electric fireplace teach life lessons for marriage.
The short and adult version of the story is that I am one amongst the rarefied category of husbands in America who have escaped the national debacle of divorce. I am what the Divorce Statistics Info website estimates as the 13% solution, meaning among those 13% couples who get back together after years of separation. Not surprisingly, mine was a quick marriage that began when we realised that she was going to conceive and it was a little too late to consider options. Pretty soon the two lovers quickly solemnized their status and strategically informed all family and friends that literally, over the weekend, we were married. Just like that.
It wasn’t exactly all dancing bears and roses and soon the baby arrived, a couple of months too early. Lord knows, we scurried around trying to keep up with hospital visits where the baby was kept in an incubator as is the policy with premature pregnancies. In the month’s time that it took us to get the wee thing home, my meagre savings were exhausted and the rising cost of diapers was suddenly more important than any other statistic that I might find in the newspaper. It’s difficult to keep find sure footing when everything is on war footing. Sure enough, since fools rush in where angels fear to tread, we were at our utmost capacities and the strain started to cause cracks in our relationship.
When Christmas came around, she and I had fought with each other beyond the point of exasperation and she upped and left for her mother’s house, baby and all. Then in started my personal model of the decline of western civilisation as I went from job to job, actually getting some darn good salary hikes in the process. Like a good boy, I would find a plum job and try and get back with my half only to be stonewalled with an icy silence that would not find any comparison till the Northern Wall was finally described in Game of Thrones.
In spiralling circles with the ice forming on the tips of my wings and Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd (in fact, a lot of Pink Floyd) and frequent bouts of dipsomania, I reached the crossroads of knowledge and fear. Knowledge since pining for his separated family can lead a man to late nights of researching divorce laws and psychology articles on anything related to his ordeal, and fear because all to frequently I would wake up hung over and shudder when I saw how erratically I had parked the pick-up truck after coming home from another drinking spree. Hard as it was to face the empty house without some pints under the belt, I had to stop or face the grim reaper, with or without the pints under my belt on account of it making no difference, you see.
I had the faith to hang on to the debris of my marriage and the alcohol had anesthetised most of the denial. All that was remained was to chuck my ego and simply get on with normal and not so dramatic life. I enrolled in rehab and stuck it out for a good five years on my own. According to the Onion, 92% of the time children are the most reason people need to get back in touch. There are some accompanying riders, as well, as described succinctly by the Huffington Post.
Suddenly, out of the blue and after five years of radio silence, I got a call from my wife. Our daughter was growing up and would I be able to consider a truce for her sake. A year of meetings on common ground later, it’s been six months since we’ve been living together again. As I write this by the dancing flames of the 50 inch electric fireplace I got online for us from Tuscan Basins for us as our anniversary present, I am suddenly struck by the thought that more important than the road not taken, is to have walked some distance along the road than to have not taken to the road at all.