Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guys who leave

I was going to title this "men who leave" - but if they leave, I think they leave their manliness behind - balled up and rejected, left for someone else to pick up after them. Because really, that is why they leave...they just want to have someone picking up after them all the time. They don't want to do the work - the real work - that comes with the commitment. To a partner. To a child. To a home. To all of the messy complicatons of a life shared.

The other day, an old dear friend completed one of those memes on Facebook, this one was about her firsts.

One of the questions was "who's wedding was the first one you were in" or something like that. Her answer was: mine. (Mine, as in Daffodil's, to be clear)

Not mine and my ex's. Just mine. I got married alone, to myself. He has been erased from the equation, by having left our marriage. He starts fresh, I clean up and carry the history around with me forever. I have had to show my divorce papers at several times during my subsequent life, not just at my remarriage. At the adoption of my child. For tax purposes. To register a car. I still get his mail at my address, and I have moved 10, maybe 12 times since the divorce. Once I have recovered from the shock of seeing that name attached to my address - the home I share with my husband who swears he will never leave - I mark the envelope "return to sender" and stick it back in the box. Erase it from my mind, like he erased himself from my life.

Around the time that I remarried, my parents divorced. It was long, drawn out, and ugly for the pain it caused. For it's wrongness. It was rife with late-night calls, early morning departures, mail with no return address. Christmas was forever changed because it all seemed to spiral out of control beginning one cold Christmas morning - and the final nail was hammered in exactly one year later. My father was able to wreak havoc, to throw lives into chaos, create turmoil the likes of which I still cannot comprehend. And he just walked away. Left it for someone else to clean up and tie in a pretty bow and stick under the Christmas tree.

I see other couples going through tough times, and I wonder if the challenges will bring them closer together, or tear them apart. If the guys will walk away. Not men, not boys - just guys. Guys who know better, but choose to leave it all behind. It's too hard. It demands to much. It's too hard to keep clean and shiny and new.

My marriage isn't shiny and new. It's dented and tarnished and maybe a little rusty - but it's strong. It has weathered the abuse we (mostly I) have heaped on it. We were discussing marriage last night, and our reaction to friends who are struggling right now to hold their's together. My husband said to me "I plan to live here, with you, until you throw me out." We laughed, because we could. Because it was funny. Because neither one of us has threatened to leave. We have had conversations about splitting up - but those conversations were brief and tear-stained. No one is going anywhere. No one wants to leave. Leaving is not an option. We may disagree many times about many things, but on this topic, we are in agreement.

Coming soon: Women are Crazy Bitches

And if you read this post and thought to yourself "How dare she, my life is not her blog fodder", well, I got a few things to say.

1. Get over yourself, it's not about you. Trust me, many men are making stupid decisions these days. But the fact that you see yourself and your situation in this post should be a huge CALL OUT to shape up and grow a pair.

2. On the other hand.....Yes, everything I witness and hear about IS blog fodder. That's how it works. Too bad, so sad.