Again, not unusual, I waited until I was 40 to settle down and I never imagined I’d ever be in this position in life.
Of course I knew the odds are against traditional marriages surviving . The younger you are the higher the rate of divorce.
But my grand-parents stayed married all of their lives. My dad had only one marriage, my mom had been divorced at a young age, and most of my aunts and uncles were long timers.
So as I await the final papers it’s given me pause to ponder how I got here in this spot that millions of others are in? I’ve talked to a lot of people; to professionals that work in this area and frankly there aren’t a lot of answers.
So I thought I’d write about this and put it out there. I mean; what’s more exotic that personal therapy in front of thousands of strangers?
How do you go from that photo to having emotional moments about spice jars? I spent nearly 3,000 days of my life with my wife and vice versa and yet we’re now strangers having not spoken a word in over a year. Totally strange, I know, but again far too common.
I think there are more reasons people break, drift, or run apart than come together. Depending on your age and life situation there’s always the old saw of wanting to create a family. That’s a great reason, but is it truly a life commitment? With life spans growing, at least until recently, were we meant to mate for 70+ years? Don’t our needs change over time? Don’t we change over time?
We of course all want to be loved and objectified. We want to be wanted and we want to enjoy that very special process that makes so many wacky! Of course some want more of sex and some less. In today’s age of odd and frightening social diseases the thought of having a healthy safe mate to copulate with is amazing. Of course that requires a lot of trust and really strong communication. And what happens if people change? What if we grow tired of our partners sexually over time or one partner can’t or loses interest in sex? Does that mean a marriage ends?
Is sex a reason to get married? Stay together? Break apart? Can a marriage survive if one partner gives up on sex?
Friends, Family, Job
We don’t just marry our spouse. We marry his or her friends and family. We end up sometimes with their offspring and/or pets. What if their child hates you or is deranged? What if your pet doesn’t get along with her pet? Can a marriage survive if someone’s family hates the person you marry? In talking to people this really hits home more for women and than men. Women generally seem more dependent on their circle of life’s opinion about just everything.
The Break UP
Now this is always interesting in long term relationships. What do you keep, what do they get? Sometimes it’s easier to just walk away and start fresh. I remember my wife arguing about a half bottle of gin and neither of us really drank gin. Of course it depends on why your marriage crashes and burns. Infidelity is always a killer. Money issues are the biggest causes of break ups. Of course there are jokes that money is one of the biggest causes of marriage!
Good people can simply not make good couples sometimes. But as I’ve spoken to people over this past year the one thing I’ve heard a lot of was about expectations. People really don’t change. They evolve. They can be polished. They can learn, but they never change; especially as they get older.
Are enough of us really honest with ourselves before we take that leap? Are we honest about our expectations of our partners? Do we look for the same thing? Do you really make a huge life long decision because you like big boobs or red hair or a HUMONGOUS package?
When you get a pet it’s a 10-20 year commitment, but a spouse? That’s supposed to be a life time depending on your vows!
Kids & Pets
BOOM! This is usually a total disaster when kids are involved. Custody is brutal, but pets can be just as bad. In our case we parented each others animals for nearly 8 years. Losing a beloved pet with no access is not an animal friendly experience. You can’t really fight for custody of pets as they are considered “Chattel” by the courts. Possessions. It’s like trying to get your wife’s old 80’s dance cd’s. Judges frown on that sort of thing…
So you wake up that first morning. It feels odd. For me it was shock. I think I was in shock for months. A friend in the states talks about some of his co-workers walking around like zombies at work for months after a break up. Things are different. It’s like losing a limb in many ways and still having phantom feelings….
Of course it depends on your break up. Some are more nasty or amicable than others. In my case it was mixed as my wife was home sick for BC, way over on the other side of the country and hated the city where we lived.
We don’t bump into each other locally as happens to so many people.
Rebound dates are the weirdest things in the world. On both sides of the equation. I have no idea why anyone would want to date someone that’s just broken up from a long term relationship. The person is usually a basket job. Griping about their ex – comparing the new person to their ex – uncontrollably weeping at that Rod Stewart song playing in the restaurant…
See there are reasons why we connect with someone and live with them for large chunks of our lives and those are usually very valid. Just because we break up doesn’t change them. Yet that person is gone? Will we find someone better? Mathematically speaking the answer is usually yes. I spoke with one gentleman who shared that for 15 years after his first break up he just dated. Lightness and sex, but nothing serious because he just wasn’t ready.
Of course the newly on the market are vulnerable. They can feel rejected and have issues. The older they are the harder this can be and there are sharks a swimming in the world.
And then one day, a year, two years, or ten years down the road you wake up and realize that even though you’re scarred for life you’ll be fine. You’ll survive and probably live to make an even bigger mistake down the road!
I think for me it’s always been about learning from each relationship in my life even if it’s only a morsel from each one.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we can do so much right in relationships or life and still end up with blech results.
Sometimes we win the lottery of love and sometimes we just have to crumple the paper and buy another ticket.
So amazing viewers of The Cornwall Free News. Your turn to share on your relationship theories and experiences. You can post your comments below.
And to my lovely, intelligent, and amazing ex wife to be out in British Columbia I hope that you get all the blessings in this life you wanted. And please give my Lee Loo a kiss on her very old nose!
Time does heal most wounds and it does this magical trick of making the good memories usually shine more than the dark ones.
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