Thursday, November 23, 2006
Why did I marry him?
In trying to come to terms with my divorce, I have been back to retrace my steps, and to try to climb inside my 23 year old skin and discover why I married him. It is like trying to see through a frosted glass, I do not recogonise my former self.
It is true: "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there". L. P. Hartley ['The Go-Between', 1953]
Sorry Diana - I just needed someone else who began their marriage with big dreams...
I had this belief that I never really loved him. I recall on the eve of our wedding, "knowing" it was "so wrong" but wondering how I could possibly get out of it, and then putting it down to nerves. My diaries tell another story.
The night I met him "He was this most beautiful blonde haired boyish type with a refreshingly idealistic approach to life".
Later "This feels so right, I'm sure god couldn't deny me the pleasure of such a beautiful relationship" (yes god was still in my life in those days, and I hadn't had sex for over a year)
"I felt completely love sick all day"
" It's really no effort at all to get on with Simon. Now I realise what I've been missing and how I've sold myself short. Its all very well loving someone unconditionally, but it means a lot to be loved back equally (I feel like this whenever I meet a new person, and this time I had actually found someone who loved me)
"It is hard to believe he is so understanding an kind in everyway"
I was a christian, and getting lots of pressure from my christian parents to do the right thing, marry and settle down. I wanted a good christian marriage. I met someone who loved me for a change, having spent a lot of time falling in love with people who just wanted a shag. It was about love, it was about doing the right thing, and it was about not having to play field anymore, which I found punishing and bruising
I married him straight away, and less than a year later, how the picture had changed.
"Simon has become unbearably grumpy this week, things are getting really bad, I only put up with it because I know I have to"
"I had no idea when I married him, how mean (as in tight fisted) he was, he won't let me even buy a pair of shoes for a job interview and all I have is walking boots or flip flops"
"I also know that marriage is about security, being often as not financial security provided by the man. Marriage provides a stable environment for bringing up children. It is now apparent that these will never be part of the arrangement. Perhaps I fooled myself into thinking that they would fall into place"
Thus 6 months in, the seed of a problem that would end the marriage was planted. He didn't want kids, and he couldn't hold down a job. The underlying reason being, which neither of us knew at the time, that he had a mental illness.
On the upside (for him), I believed that splitting up with someone you weren't married to was sad, but divorcing was a crime against God. I hung in there for 15 years as my Christian faith slowly faded, and would no doubt have hung on for grim death if a few dramatic things had not rocked our sad little marriage boat.