End of a Family

7 04 2010

My marriage is ending.

On the very day of what would’ve been our eighth anniversary, my wife and I are going for our final therapy session.

The therapy didn’t work.

My wife was angry for what she sees as my lack of concern for her in the early days of the marriage.  I feel like I’ve never been allowed to be close to this woman that I slept next to for eight years.  She feels trapped and I feel unloved.

Of course this won’t kill either of us.  She’ll move on with her life and I with mine.  We’ll fight over things and money, but we’ll be ok.

I worry for our children.  Everyone I know reminds me how resilient children are and reassures me that they’ll be fine.  I’m the child of a divorce myself and I know I lived through it.  But, that’s not the point.  My little girl is old enough that she’ll remember bits and pieces of the time before mommy and daddy were divorced.  My son is only five and it is likely that he will remember nothing from this time.  His knowledge of our family will always be one of a splintered whole, a broken home.

I remember almost nothing of the time before my own parents split up.  I was about six at the time.  I can remember my father as an imposing angry man who drug me as a small boy down the hallway to my room by my hair.  He was little more than a child himself at the time.

I remember my parents fighting.  My brother and I hid under our covers while the walls shook from the verbal and physical fights.  As a small child, or even as an adult, there are few sounds more distressing than the sobbing cries of your own mother.

At least I have spared my children that horror.

The memories of my parents after the split are very different.  I can see now that my father went through an emotional crisis.  He drifted from one preoccupation to another in search of what felt right.  One weekend he wore white robes and read poetry, but that was completely forgotten two weeks later at our next visit.  Without my mother he didn’t know who he was and the search took him down some really odd paths.  My mom ran off to a series of relationships with other women with her little redheaded boy in tow.

I remember being loved but being inconvenient.

I am so sorry Anna and Danny.  I’m sorry that I couldn’t hold this fledgling family together.  I’m sorry that the love your parents felt for each other was exhausted so quickly and wasn’t enough to surround you in a warm little cocoon until you were fully grown.

But, we love you.  We always will.  I promise with every piece of my heart that I will always strive to be a father you can be proud of.

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