Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Married too young

 I recently saw an article online about the 8 Signs Your Marriage Was Doomed From The Start.  Go ahead and read it, I'll wait for you. 

Okay, back?  Did any of that make you nervous?  I can't tell you how accurate it is, but in my case a lot of it applied.  I married Ex when I was 21 and he was 22.   We also had friends and family who divorced and argued about money our entire marriage.  We also had very different drinking habits.  He liked to drink and it'd be nothing for him to finish off a bottle of wine (or something harder) in an evening "to help [him] sleep."  I drank only occasionally (in part because all of the alcohol in our house disappeared with confusing regularity.)  Yes, I was blind.

I think the fact that we started dating when I was 16 and he was 17 and never dated anyone else after that was probably the clincher.  The person you are at 16 is hopefully a very different person than the one you are at 49.  Your dreams change, your plans change, you're more settled and established.  The things you enjoy doing change...for example, the internet was in its infancy in 1986.  Zuckerburg hadn't invented facebook yet!

We honestly had nothing in common.  I've always loved reading.  Part of our family lore is that my mom was not a reader when she and dad married but she soon learned to enjoy reading.  Ex wasn't, and still isn't, a reader.  I'd hoped that he might learn, but it never happened.  That was something we were never able to share.  I also love comic strips and the political and social commentary within.  I'd gleefully read a particularly funny one to him and he'd say "I don't get it."  Even after I explained it to him he'd say "I guess I just don't get the humor."  

I loved to sew and crochet.  He loved to watch TV.  He loved what I called "stupid comedies."  The kind that rely on slapstick for laughs, think "Home Alone" or "Dumb and Dumber."  I don't like slapstick humor because whenever I see someone get hit in the head or balls I cringe, imagining the pain.  I prefer plays on language, "in jokes" where you have to understand something in order to get the joke and laugh-at-life humor.  

We never had the same goals in life.  I didn't want anything different than other average Americans, a family (the 2.5 kids that I rounded up to three) a house, a new car every five years or so, a vacation to somewhere with the family every year.  Ex wanted far less.  He wanted a roof over his head, enough food (even if it was stale) and to not have to work (or to work as little as possible) in order to survive.  He'd be happy in a camper trailer permanently on a plot of land (maybe owned by a friend) and going out once or twice a month to make a bit of cash to be able to afford some food.  Anything he could get free would be best.

I felt that pets were family and that the cats and dogs should be in the home with us.  He felt they were animals and they should be outside only.  I felt that we should be early to everything, he felt he was on time if he arrived before the main feature started or the party was in full swing.  On time to him was within 10-20 minutes of when he said he'd be there.  If a business said it closed at 6, then they should have no problem with him wandering in at 5:59 to start his shopping.

So why did I pick him?  Why did I say "I do?"  I'm not sure anymore.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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