I wear this white gold ring on the third finger of my left hand. Inscribed inside are the words, “Always and Forever July 17, 1993”. When I first put on that wedding band, I swore it would not come off my finger. Nothing was going to break that promise I gave to my wife on that beautiful summer day in 1993…nothing. And she has been MORE up to the task of upholding those vows than I ever could have dreamed. We’ve been through richer and poorer, sickness and health together. I honestly don’t understand why she stayed with me after my bi-polar PTSD addled drunken escapades over the years, but she did. And I love her even more for it. We’re two of a dying breed it seems.
Two nights ago, the very famous Jon and Kate announced they were getting divorced. Just a few minutes ago, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina announced he’s been having an affair. The bastard left his wife and kids over the weekend (on Father’s Day, no less) to go to Argentina to conduct a little “personal business”. The worst part about it is his wife KNEW about the affair. What political spouses will put up with these days, just in case they get into the White House. Nice to see that the political party of “family values” continues its proud tradition of maintaining extramarital affairs. Outside of the Obamas, I honestly think that the last happy marriage in politics was Ron and Nancy Reagan. You can see the honesty in these two marriages as opposed to (let’s say) the convenience of the Clintons’.
It’s inevitable that people will change over the years; that’s a given. But always deep down is the person you first fell in love with, and that is something that time NEVER changes. It’s often burred in the Present making the Future with that person that much harder to see. God only knows the storms my wife and I have been through, but we work things out…and it’s not just “for the kids”…it’s for US, because if our relationship isn’t working, than what good are we to our children? Furthermore, it’s detrimental to each of us as individuals if our partnership isn’t working.
My friends all have varying track records when it comes to marriage. My best friend has been married three times, and is SO much happier the third time around. Another friend has been married twice and she’s gone through hell both times and is only recently starting to live her life again. Still another friend celebrates her 20th wedding anniversary today. Almost all of my friends (outside of my brother, myself, my daughter’s Godparents, sister-in-law, and the aforementioned anniversary celebrant) have been divorced at least once. One of my friends just became a widower. I’ve been there with these guys through all the events that lead up to the unhappy separations (ranging from just complete incompatibility to having their wife run off with someone they met on the Internet). Then I look at why my marriage is so strong and why we’ve stayed together…one simple word: love.
I knew damned well that if I didn’t stop drinking, not only would I be dead somewhere down the line, but I would have also been a dead divorcée. I stopped because I had to and because I loved my wife more than I loved the booze…but it took a while for me to get there. I loved the booze more than anyone or anything for a very long time, but in the end it was my wife and my love for this remarkable human being that won out. Not everyone is so fortunate, be they an alcoholic or someone who suddenly finds that they wake up one morning and realize they no longer love the person laying next to them. Marriage is a tough thing; no one gave you a manual nor told you it was going to be easy. The only words you were given were those vows; and every single word means something and should be taken seriously.
So here we have the very public divorce of one celebrity couple (and don’t even get me started on these two, because that’s best left for another post); and who knows what will happen with the good Governor. Looks like while he was rejecting an economic stimulus package for his State, he sure as hell had his own personal stimulus package that he was more than willing to accept.
I sure as hell hope he wasn’t planning to live in any houses that were white recently; because it looks like a nice brick one will do nicely.
“For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.” – Bill Cosby