Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marriage -- Does it Always Come to This?

I already introduced you to my Ex, Sabina.

In that introduction I suggested we simply grew apart and then went our separate ways.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Ah, yes, and peaceful.

If only.

 Our back stories aren't just are back stories. They tell us a lot about ourselves today. And so it is with mine. I'll insert a few marital tales as another means for us (You the reader and I) to get to know each other. A change of pace, if you will, from the tales of dating. I think you will agree after I've told enough stories about my wedded woes, my dating life doesn't sound so bad after all. :  )

About a year ago today, Sabina told me she was going to take some "time away from the marriage" after the holidays (sounds like a line from Friends, in retrospect). She might move in with her dad (who lives an hour away) or she might rent a townhome. Either way, the kids were leaving, too.

I told her it seemed kind of rash and out of the blue (a sentiment later echoed by her relatives). She said she had been thinking about it for a while. So it wasn't new to her. Lot's of nuances here we can talk about later. The point for now is the Decision had been made, and I'd better get ready for one hellacious ride.

My first clue as to how hellacious came during my son's basketball tournament a few days later.

My son and I got up early on a Saturday morning to get ready for the tournament. I drove him to school every day, and this morning was no different than any of those, at least until we got to the parking lot of the school where the tournament was being played.

"I don't feel good." My 10-year-old said.

I knew what was coming. He had said this once before on the way to school.

Sure enough, he got sick all over the back seat. I turned the car around and drove him home so he could climb back into bed and hopefully sleep it off. I carried him upstairs, changed his clothes, and tucked him into bed. Then I proceeded back to the garage to clean out my car.

The Ex comes storming into the garage.

"What the F is going on?"

"Well, right now I'm cleaning up puke."

"Why did you bring him back here?"

"Like I said, he just puked."

"Don't you know the difference between being nervous and being sick?"

"I think so."

"Well, I'm a nurse and he's not sick!"

Oh. I guess that made me a moron. So we both go back upstairs and the poor kid is bent over the toilet puking again, a position he'd occupy for much of the day.

"Should I still bring him back to the tournament?" I asked.

She didn't have much to say the rest of the day.

Anyone who has experienced this drill (the end of marriage fighting drill, that is), understands what was going on here. The Ex was trying to provoke a fight that would justify her decision. Be irrational isn't a bad way to accomplish this objective. Being bat-shit crazy, however, increases the chances of provoking an irrational reaction out of others.

Problem for her was I didn't get mad.

I never got mad, not since 2008 when I took a step back and decided that I needed to get healthy. Sure, if she got in my face and started yelling and swearing, I'd push back a bit. And if she'd continue, I'd go into the bathroom and lock the door behind me. Eventually, the yelling and swearing would stop, and I'd emerge with really clean hands. :  )

It's sad and unfortunate that this kind of story is so well known by persons in my position and even some who are still married. But it seems to be how many relationships end. When there is no obvious reason to quit on a relationship, well, then, try to invent one.

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