Knowing that it’s Over

My parents were married until death came, just like in the wedding vow. I have wondered whether people remaining in long marriages made perfect sense or required a huge act of will. My marriage has been a long one, 29 years, but now it’s breaking up.

I got married to a woman I fell in love with and we seemed very compatible. We were together for a long time and I was happy. I didn’t ever give much thought to whether I should get married to somebody. I just assumed that I would, and I did. In the same way I assumed I would have children, which we did.

Now that the marriage is done I still have two wonderful kids. They’re not little anymore. But the memories of holding their hands, throwing them up in the air and being greeted by them when I picked them up at daycare are like stones so precious I could never trade them or lose them.

I have never been a guy that made many friends. I don’t have a group of buddies I hang out with. Sure, I’m social. Great at parties. Great at striking up conversations with people I don’t know. But forming strong friendships? For some reason, I’m not good at that. After I got married, my wife was kind of it for me. She was my lover and my best friend and I thought that she was enough. And now that’s over.

I guess what we think of marriage is a transitory thing. Maybe it’s crazy that I ever thought otherwise. We used to think marriage meant starting a new family. No longer the case. We used to think a marriage was a union between a man and a woman. No longer the case. I guess marriage means whatever we decide it means. If we decide marriage is a ham and cheese sandwich, then that’s what it is.

As for that “til death do us part” thing, you gotta admit that was a lot easier back when we didn’t live so long.

The woman I married is still in my life. When you have kids there’s no other choice, really. The divorce, which will soon be a reality, was not my idea. And for a long time all I wanted was to get her back… to somehow turn this ship around and make things the way they were, only better.

But I’m tired of wanting her back. The marriage is done and now even I know it’s done. And, you know, maybe that’s not so bad.







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