Mawwage.

by Christie Mellor

 

Marriages are crumbling around me. Two friends of mine, within a year of one another, left their husbands for other men. Another married friend of mine admitted--with not a lot of compunction--that he’s had a girlfriend for years, and sorta can’t wait until his youngest child (age 12) leaves for college so he can divorce his wife. Not necessarily so he can be with his girlfriend, but just because, well, it’s not happening so much with his wife. There’s Tiger Woods with his naughty texts and surgically enhanced playthings. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins! It’s really over? Kate Winslet? Oh, no, not you too. And excuse me, but are ya kidding me Mr. Sandra Bullock?

 

“Mawwage,” said Peter Cooke so famously in “The Princess Bride.” “Mawwage. That bwessed event, that dweam wivvin a dweam…” Ah, that dweam wivvin a dweam. I’ve been married for almost 24 years, and know that the dweam wivvin a dweam can be fraught with drama, resentment, and occasional ennui. When a good friend decides to leave her marriage, and does—within a matter of weeks after breaking the news to her blindsided spouse—it really puts into stark relief the frailty of our own relationships. But am I just an all-day sucker? I like mawwage. I like being married to this guy I married.

 

Sure, it’s not always easy. Relationships need attention. Marriages need tending. And at some point some people just don’t want to put that much effort into “rekindling” their possibly stagnant relationship. The excitement has evolved from the frisson you used to feel when your knees grazed under the table to discussing what type of tile to use in the bathroom. The thought of planning “date nights” just feels like another chore. It’s no wonder the idea of having to “work on” your relationship makes you want to run for the hills. Or straight into the warm embrace of a fresh pair of arms. A pair of arms belonging to a person who possibly has never heard you fart.

 

But, you know, once those new arms start feeling cozy and lived in, they start leaving their dirty socks on the floor too. At some point, you’ll hear the faint sound of a fart from under the covers. Eventually, bathroom tile will be discussed. So why not take the old wagon out for another test drive? There’s still a lot of fun to be mined in your marriage. It’s not like any other friendship you have, right? And it’s kind of nice, having someone around who can help you figure out who the Kardashians are. Someone who will spend a half-hour showing you how to do a Sodoku puzzle, and then when you ask BUT WHAT IS THE POINT?? he doesn’t punch you in the nose. It’s nice, isn’t it? You can do that sort of shorthand thing, when someone whom you both find annoying does something annoying, you can look at him and only he completely understands what just happened. It was funny! No one else saw it! No one else understands, because no one else knows what you both know!

ashley_c523
06.21.10

I think it has just become to publicly acceptable for marriages to go their separate ways! Crazy!

CMHOWARD@BELMON...
03.31.10

Very funny column, Christie - especially the bells vs. smells part. I agree w/ vlarson that we do expect too much from marriage - or from one person, which is why people need other friends in their lives along with their spouse. Our disposable culture might have something to do w/ the way we view it as well. Fortunately, I like antiques.

msugina
03.31.10

I am Divorced. With the "love of my life" for almost 10 years. Only 2 of which we were married. His choice to move on. He detailed how he had met someone else at the bar and had slept with this person over and over again. He later recanted his story. I loved him. I was prepared to go to counseling and try to work on it. He wasn't interested. But now...I'm divorced and I'm angry.

I'm angry that I'm hawked this crap about re-kindling the flame. I never lost it. I was always madly in love with my now ex-husband. You can imagine how a woman could feel when the live of her life walks out on her and their 6 month old baby. I had no choice. I did all I could to keep us together. He, now, wants it back. He wants to try again. WTF! A roller coaster of emotions. I should be writing a blog about how my life became better after divorce. That the scorned woman will prevail. And how unhappy he is now that he's left me. He will feel this way for the rest of his life. Not rushing back to get into another relationship. We (divorced people) just need to feel loved. I know I did after all he put me through. I needed to be praised for the good things I was doing instead of put down (by my husband). I needed someone to act attracted to me (unlike my husband). We have needs. If they're not being met...problems occur. Rant. I hope you all enjoyed. lol!

kenmac722
03.31.10

I almost choked when I saw this pop up in my email box. I just asked my husband for a divorce on Sunday. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. We have a 3-year old son and one on the way. We would have been married 5 years this summer. About a year and a half ago, we went on a marriage retreat. I knew we weren't ok and he seemed so blocked and distant. He came clean on the weekend that he had been cheating on me the entire marriage and even before. AND he had fathered a child with another woman. I was shocked, but I just thought that he had a problem and we could work through it. He had a serious history with drugs and I thought that this had to be some kind of addiction because it was obsessive. And he claimed he never loved any of the many many women he slept with. Later I came to find out that he had relationships with these women spanning years. So we entered therapy after him promising to never cheat again and work really hard to deal with his addictive personality. Our therapist sent him to SA meetings and we were writing to each other every night (a tool we learned on our weekend). We were really doing well. I was happy that we were going to be able to save our marriage. And then about a year into it, maybe a little less, I started to see little things start to change. He didn't want to write anymore... he wanted to cut down on the weekly therapy... he stopped going to meetings... he admitted to taking prescription pills pretty regularly too. And then we got pregnant again. And he was so excited. I was scared. This was not planned and I didn't think we were good enough to have another baby. But he seemed elated, so I thought maybe I was just being crazy and he did love me and wasn't cheating again. A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a friend of mine who happens to be his ex girlfriend. (she has been dating a friend of ours for a long time now, so we kind of had to become friendly.) so she explained that he had texted her about meeting up for sex. She sent me the entire conversation. I was heartbroken. I couldn't believe he was doing this again. Then I started snooping and sure enough, texts, phone calls, facebook messages... from lots of different girls. So I went and saw a lawyer, got my things in order and told him Sunday after seeing another text about meeting up from another girl that I wanted a divorce. He denied everything. Left, threatened to kill himself, finally came back and admitted that he had been "screwing up". So I'm humiliated and broken and done. I really tried to save the marriage, but he stopped trying.

I agree, a lot of couples think it's easier to end things without trying, but there are still some people who do give it their best effort and still can't make it happen. :(

Nattymama
03.31.10

Do you live in my house?? Just asking because not only is one of my best friends leaving her husband of only 2 years for an ex...who she has already started bringing around the crew to parties and such...I recently found out that my very own perfect, loving,god fearing soul mate and husband and better half...cheated on me last year while I was preggers with our first child. As a result he lost his high paying job and has been unemployed for the better part of a year...I on the other hand - a SAHM, fashion designer, model, and MBA student - am left trying to work on not only keeping our mortgage, car note, and light bill paid...but also am trying to keep food on the table, and my 11 month old bundle of joy happy and healthy. Did I mention Im planning a one year birthday extravaganza to boot?
Sure, I wanted and still sometimes do want to throw up my hands, take my baby and disappear, but turning a high powered philanderer into a housewife has had its advantages...He finally gets what it means to be a hands on parent, and a full time housekeeper, dog watcher, cook, and organizer. He has had to pick up all the slack I let go of when the 'ish' hit the fan.

And don't get me wrong, I am still hurt, broken in some parts, and holding on to whatever I can to get thru this part of my life...but there are a few things like 'The September Issue' that give me a glimpse of hope that I can salvage my marriage and some day get back that loving feeling...

After trying to finish my finance and accounting homework last Sunday night...I got the urge to watch 'The September Issue' on demand for the first time. Being a fashionista with more 'Devil Wears Prada' moments than one should ever have to experience I could defly relate and could'nt wait to get up close and personal with Ms Wintour. Thing is, it was 2:30 in the morning....
but my dreary eyed hubby sat down on the couch and for the first time in a looong time didn't fall asleep during a movie. He was glued to the tv...asking me a million questions and waiting to see how Grace and Anna would resolve thier Issue issues...

And for a moment, I felt like we were in this together ...again, like I used to. All because he stayed up with me. And I didn't even ask.... So is my marriage over...not this week...and with a lot of prayer and a bit of luck we will have many more September issues in our future....Only time will tell :)

mrsncook
03.30.10

I just celebrated my 13th anniversary with my husband, and I am more in love with him now than ever. He and I have been thorough so much together that it makes me love him even more for standing beside me during all of those tough times. Some recent stress came up again, and instead of looking for another man to hop into bed with, I am enjoying cuddling up with him and knowing he is there to support me. He knows when I want to talk, don't want to talk, or need him to pry things out of me with questions. He knows when the "I'm fine" really means I'm fine or when it means "I'm not really fine, but I don't want to bother you by venting" or when it means "go the hell away until I've calmed down". There is no other man I would rather be with. Sure he has less hair and I have more grey hair. Sure we gained weight, found wrinkles, and all of those other things that happen as we get older. But I find him just as sexy as 20 years ago, just in a different way. Then it was a "you're hot, I want your body" way, and now it's "this is MY MAN, he KNOWS me, and he's hot and I want his body" type of way. lol I don't get why people run to someone else. I still have the sizzle, even if it's a little more effort to act on the sizzle when he's exhausted from his works and doesn't have time to sleep much less fool around. Connecting with my husband doesn't have to be a "nap" in the afternoon or wild fun at night, because it's just as nice to sit together on the couch and watch a movie sometimes. I know the "fun" comes sometime later, because he's here to stay. Besides, no tryst can compare to the man who knows how to make my toes curl and doesn't mind what I look like after. lol

vlarson
03.29.10

It's true, Christie — it's so much easier to start a new romance — the sneaking around! the excitement! the new smells and sensations! — than deal with the one at hand.

And all his issues and quirks that drive a wife crazy? Give the new love a few years, and ...

Not to say that sometimes there shouldn't be divorce; there should, especially there are are things like addictions, abuse. Infidelity? Maybe, maybe not — a lot would depend on the hows and whys and commitment to healing.

I often wonder if we just expect too much from marriage; being single sure seems like fun, which marriage often isn't.

But then we get divorced and want to rush back into another relationship. What's THAT about?