Her mother set us up on our first date.
“My daughter just graduated. She’s really creative, very cute, and, well, you’re always joking about having nothing to do on the weekends — so, I thought…”
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” followed by chocolate pancakes at IHOP, was our first meeting.
Within months, we lived together – much to the chagrin of her parents. Before a year passed on the calendar, we were married; moving from Redding to Bakersfield. I worked as a nighttime DJ starting at 5:00 PM. Her job began at 7:00 AM. Arriving home at one AM, I’d wake her up so we could spend time together before going back to sleep. At six AM, she’d get me up so we could do the same, before I returned to bed. When you’re in your twenties, you can do it.
Two years later, she was pregnant and we relocated to the Northcoast. A couple years passed and our second son arrived.
People who have a baby because they think it will bring them closer together are horribly misguided. The added stress and cost of childrearing, plus the loss of half our income, chipped away at our fairy tale castle. Home ownership and long work hours accelerated the decay. Dragging myself home exhausted at day’s end was her long-awaited cue to relax, leaving me with household and child chores until I collapsed on the couch. There was no “us,” only “she” and “me.”
Drifting ever further apart, we became resentful and angry. Overeating was my method of handling it; she had her own vices. Our house became an armed camp. The marriage counselor eventually recommended divorce attorneys.
For awhile we co-parented; one week “on,” one week “off.” But while I dealt with my demons through therapy and weight reduction, she followed a different road, eventually severing contact with us and moving away.
Know that my intent is not to apply blame.
The cause of our breakup was not her fault nor was it mine; together we were a mis-matched blend; never meant to share a life. Apart, who knows what would have happened? That is also not to say that many good things didn’t come from our time together.