Tag Archives: Home

Nothing Quite Like Home

When we seek refuge, we often seek home.

When we seek refuge, we often seek home.

It’s almost an out-of-body experience.

Those moments when you’re somewhere else, seeing something with your own eyes that matters to you. Something different. Unique. Beautiful.

I feel it staring out over the Pacific Ocean in California.

I feel it strolling through the French Quarter in New Orleans.

I feel it driving from island to island in the Florida Keys.

It hit me walking in the shadows of the steel towers in Manhattan.

Touring the historical landmarks of the National Mall in Washington DC.

At the poker tables in Las Vegas.

Listening to the roar of Niagra Falls.

On the ghost tour in Savannah, Ga.

Partying in downtown Chicago.

Eating a cheesesteak in Philadelphia.

I like being somewhere else. Traveling. You can really feel all the wonderful strangeness.

The place you live can seem monotonous. Boring. Like a heavy weight on your shoulders.

Which probably means one of three things:

  1. We have made a bad decision about where we’ve chose to live.
  2. Something bad has happened to us, and we feel trapped where we are.
  3. We take for granted where we live. Choosing to focus on the negative aspects of living there rather than the many good things. Because there always are some.

I’ve had a hard time living where I live in Ohio since my divorce.

Every instinct I possess makes me want to run away. But my son is here. He’s five and precious and I will never leave him.

It’s a situation that can make you feel isolated.

That can exacerbate feelings of solitude and abandonment when you don’t have roots—no family or long-time friends or familiarity nearby.

And by familiarity, I mean the stuff you knew before you started your new life.

The stuff before your marriage. The stuff that isn’t marred by tainted or painful memories.

Those anchors are valuable all the time. They’re priceless in a healing situation.

I wrote a post a few days ago indicating my plans to try and write my first book. It is an idea I am excited about. And I hope very much to show the discipline and fortitude necessary to accomplish my goal.

I solicited feedback from readers, and I got a lot of wonderful, helpful, thoughtful advice and encouragement.

But I also got a few emails. All were amazing. But one in particular stood out.

Because it was from a girl I went to high school with. She was in a different class. While we were friendly, we were never exactly friends.

But it turns out she’s been following the blog for a while. I’m not sure how long.

That’s always a crazy feeling. When I find out someone I actually know is reading this stuff because it’s not something I think about when I write. If I actually took the time to visualize all the human beings reading and judging, I would never have the courage to hit that “Publish” button.

But here was someone I have spent a little social time with. Someone I’ve known, at least a little bit, for nearly 20 years.

And she’s reading. She likes it. And she had lots of thoughtful things to say about my book-writing plans.

In the immediate aftermath of my wife leaving, I craved two things: People who had been through a separation or divorce who could truly understand the madness I was feeling, and people I knew BEFORE my marriage.

Maybe that makes sense. Maybe it doesn’t. But there is something incredibly pure about those relationships forged during the more-innocent times.

When life was good.

Before everything broke.

And that’s what this note was.

A connection to my past. A little piece of beauty and light. A needed dose of warmth.

Not because we knew each other particularly well. Not because her advice is going to make my writing better necessarily. Not because she had a bunch of nice things to say to me, even though she did.

But because she represented all of that good from my former life.

Her message felt like home.

What a gift.

Because there’s nothing quite like home.

Tagged , , , ,

Groundhog Day CXXIII

Phil saw his shadow. Bogus.

Phil saw his shadow. Bogus.

“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement

of a large squirrel predicting the weather.” – Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

It was just one of those days.

Things, breaking.

Dad’s closest friend called. He’d just totaled his wife’s brand-new car. My five-year-old son was complaining that one of his legs was hurting. The old Jeep Cherokee-turned-snow-plow was having trouble starting and it was snowing. And not just regular snowing. It was of the bend-over-and-how-do-you-like-that? variety.

Our family only knows one way to deal with such trying circumstances. “Did somebody say ‘tequila?’”

Drinks started flowing early, because: Suck it, snow.

Last-minute preparations were being made for the annual Super Bowl party. It’s kind of a big deal. Dozens and dozens of people because my father is one of the few people on the planet who builds not one—but TWO—pretty massive bars on his property.

The only problem with having the greatest party location in the world is that everyone wants to come and bring everyone they know.

I think Dad used to like it. Hey, look at me. I’m in my fifties, and a million people come to my parties without me even inviting anyone!

Which is true. There will be 60-75 people here tonight without any sort of formal invitations being sent. People just know to come.

It would appear that Dad’s liking it less these days. Now, he’s more of the mind to have a bunch of his close friends here but maybe not worry about how much fun 20 strangers might be having.

I get it. But I’m also trying hard to be Take-Responsibility-for-your-Decisions Guy, and, hey Dad: If you build it, they will come.

Someone my dad doesn’t know very well who looks remarkably similar to R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe (I saw him at the Super Bowl party last year, looking very shiny and happy) wants to bring a bunch of his in-laws. I heard my father tell someone “No” for the first time, like, ever.

And all night, Dad was walking the line between crotchety old guy and total hilarity.

He leaned over to his friend who just hours earlier had totaled one of his vehicles, not particularly sympathetic because he had a Super Bowl party crisis on his hands with the possibility of Fake Michael Stipe showing up with his wife’s family.

“I mean, if you’re coming, I better know you, and I better like you!” he said.

A Different Life Now

Dad’s not unkind. He just cares less about making new friends than someone like me. I live a life isolated from most of my friends and family.

I live somewhere where I have no roots.

My dad’s side of the family is 500 miles west of my house. He lives in the general vicinity of where he grew up surrounded by lifelong friends. And my mom’s side of the family is more than 200 miles away despite also being in Ohio. She too, lives surrounded by familiarity.

I took a different path. Choosing independence. Moving away for college. Then moving to Florida after college. Then returning to Ohio, but living about as far away from “home” as Buckeye State geography allows.

My ex-wife is from the area—the area in which I now live. Her extended family lives there. My in-laws. An entire family. Evaporated because of divorce.

And now it’s just me. Just me and the boy and the handful of friends I’ve been fortunate to get to know over the past seven years.

I don’t like to be jealous of my father. Especially because no human being has done more for me in my life than that man. But deep down in the part of me I don’t talk about much? I envy people surrounded by friends and family. A built-in, reliable support system to help carry you through the challenging times.

There have been some challenging times.

It’s not loneliness from an entertainment or companionship standpoint. I have wonderful friends. It’s more the feeling that I have to deal with life 100-percent alone. That’s never happened before. And the 10 months that have passed since my family disappeared have done little to erase that feeling.

And now I’m back in the nest. Safe. Here’s my dad. The guy that fixes stuff that’s broken. Here are a million friends and family members. Masking the aloneness.

But a few days from now? It’s just going to be me again.

Just me back in the quiet house in Ohio. Fingers tapping these keys. Tap, tap, tap.

And you. You serving as my support system to fill a void I’m not sure it’s fair or healthy for me to ask you to fill.

It’s Cold Out There Every Day, What is This—Miami Beach? Not Hardly.

So, it’s a little like Groundhog Day now. Not the traditional real-life event which happened today in Punxsutawney, Pa., but the 1990s film starring Bill Murray, whose movies I’ve been going out of my way to watch lately. (Because I like laughing.)

Where most every day is the same. Unlike Phil Connors’ experience, the details change. But really, it’s just the same thing over and over again. And like Phil, I’m going to have to make some changes in my personal life to get me out of the rut.

Seeing friends and family is a powerful reminder of that.

Because something’s different. And anything different is good.

“There is no way that this winter is EVER going to end, as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Pottymouth Training, Vol. 2

Uh-oh.

Uh-oh.

I’ll never be able to look at him the same.

Not after yesterday.

Just 44 inches. He loves to tell me how tall he is.

The kindergartener mesmerized by dinosaurs and modern-day reptiles.

By action figures. By animated family films. By his favorite books and television shows.

So sweet at times. So innocent. Not yet scarred by the brutality of gaining life experience.

He couldn’t have said THAT.

Did You Order the Code Red?

At school, my five-year-old son’s kindergarten class has a color-coded system to indicate what kind of behavior the students displayed during the school day.

Green days are good.

Red days are bad.

The day my son exposed his penis to other boys in the bathroom just as a teacher poked her head in to check on them was a red day.

My ex-wife texted me thoughtfully last night to ask about the health of my grandmother who had an old-lady accident with her car. I told her that my grandmother seemed to be okay, and that I appreciated her asking.

She followed with a question.

“What color day did he have in school today?” she said.

“Orange. He was afraid to tell me,” I said.

Orange is the second-worst. Just a step shy of red.

“What did he do?” she said.

“Talking. Not following directions,” I said, because that’s what he told me, and which makes total sense because that’s what he’s always in trouble for, just like I was in grade school.

We exchanged “Have a good weekend”s and ended the conversation.

Maybe a half hour later, the phone rang.

My ex-wife again.

I answered.

“So, his teacher just emailed me. And he apparently said ‘motherfucker’ in school today. Somebody told on him, and he admitted to saying it,” she said.

My son instinctively knew the conversation we were having and buried his face into the couch, and wouldn’t look at me.

This was WAY worse than the times he said “dammit” a bunch in mature and appropriate ways.

And I instinctively panicked because between my ex-wife and I, I am absolutely the one he would have heard that from. I know that I’ve let the F-word slip in front of him before. At least twice.

But I don’t think I’ve dropped a mother-effer in his presence. But, honestly? I don’t know. Not knowing, I think, is bad enough and an indication that I need to be infinitely more conscious of the way I speak.

Then, I did what any sane father would do, and handcuffed my son to a chair in an all-white room and shone a heat lamp on his face.

“Who taught you how to say that word!?!? TELL ME!!! TELL ME NOW!!!”

And I kept waiting for him to yell back: “I learned it from YOU, motherfucker!!!”

But he didn’t. Just like I don’t really have an interrogation room in my house.

But sitting on the couch, and again in bed after our nightly prayers, I asked him several times to help me understand who taught him that word or where he heard it before—which I am convinced he knows the answer to—but he wouldn’t crack.

“No one taught me, dad,” he said over and over and over again.

The mystery remains unsolved.

I’m pretty cavalier with my language. More than I should be, even in the company of like-minded adults. But that word becomes infinitely more vile when you imagine it coming out of your five-year-old’s mouth—and poisoning the ears of other young children.

“I want the truth!” I yelled in my best Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men impersonation.

You can’t handle the truth.

And I’m not sure in this instance, the truth matters. The damage is done. My beautiful child knows how to say really bad words.

Even if he didn’t learn it from me, it’s still my fault.

And as an aside, can we all agree that saying “motherfucker” should totally earn you a red day in kindergarten? Orange? Come on now.

Everything’s Better in the Morning

I’m still reeling a little from the realization that it wasn’t a bad dream.

That my little boy said that.

Goodness. I remember using some language here and there. I remember my mom flipping out a little because she heard one of my friends use the F-word when we were in eighth grade. Her heart would have stopped if she’d been in any of our junior high sports team locker rooms.

But, kindergarten!? Honestly?

Too soon, right?

*deep breath*

He still reminds me how young and sweet he is. He was cute when he woke me up this morning, requesting omelets from Chef Dad.

“Okay, baby boy,” I said. “I’ll make omelets.”

Then I paused. Baby boy.

I still have a bad habit of calling him that.

“Buddy, I’m sorry. Dad shouldn’t call you that. You’re a big boy now,” I said.

“It’s okay, daddy,” he said, patting me on the arm. “You can still call me that.”

Okay, then. Maybe just a little bit longer.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

You have a couple choices. I hope you'll make the correct one.

You have a couple choices. I hope you’ll make the correct one.

She’s going to leave you.

And even if she doesn’t, she’s going to want to. She’s going to fantasize about your best friend. Or her friend’s husband. Or her co-worker who pays attention to her. Or the guy who smiled at her at Starbucks. Or the UPS man. Or me.

A 5’9” guy with a kid who got dumped this year and cries a little more than he should. She fantasizes about THAT guy.

That’s how shitty you are.

She won’t even be able to help herself.

Despite what a total self-absorbed prick you are, she still loves you and wants YOU to be the one who makes her feel good.

But you don’t.

You make her feel like shit. When she tries to talk to you, you tell her the things she thinks and feels are stupid.

When she asks you nicely to do something simple for her, you refuse.

When she asks you nicely to not do something anymore, you do it anyway.

You make her feel bad when you put your immediate wants ahead of the needs of your relationship or family.

When you don’t tell her she looks good. When you don’t tell her she makes you feel good. When you don’t show her that you want her.

That situation is unsustainable. And she’s going to leave you.

Or she’s going to sleep with someone else. And then leave you.

Don’t shake your head no. You’re in denial.

I’m right.

She will. Or she’ll really, really want to which I submit is equally bad.

Then you’re going to get divorced. Because a human being can only take so much, and sooner or later, the misery of divorce is going to seem like a lesser pain than the misery of living with you.

That one’s going to sting.

And then you’re going to be alone and your life is going to be shitty. And one day you’re going to have a really rough morning with your kids. And then the day care lady is going to come over and pick up your son and he isn’t going to want to leave you because he knows he’s not going to see you for three days and he’s going to cry as the day care lady peels him off of your leg so that he’s not late for school and you’re not late for work. And he’s going to scream “Daddy! Daddy!” as he gets carried away sobbing and you can’t help him because you can’t even help yourself.

And then you’re going to cry in your kitchen and call your ex-wife names between the sobs.

But really?

It’s going to be your fucking fault. Because you brought this on yourself.

Don’t ever forget it.

…..

Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.

…..

When Two Become One

When you’re a kid, your parents are the most-important figures in your life. You can barely imagine life without them.

But you grow. Mature. Gain independence.

Then you meet someone. Someone you decide is going to replace your parents as the central figure in your life. They become the most-important thing.

But now, you don’t always treat her that way. It’s because you’re a shitty husband. Don’t worry. It’s not just you. Most of us are.

You see, I know you’re not a bad person. I’m not either.

You don’t have to be a bad person to be a shitty husband. The shitty-husband badge isn’t only reserved for assholes.

By assholes, I mean guys who cheat, guys who are physically or mentally abusive, guys who drink excessively or do drugs, guys who go out every night leaving their wives to fend for themselves or to care for children alone.

You might even be nice like me. Kind. Empathetic. Caring.

But there’s a demon inside you that you can’t quite fight off. The sex isn’t quite as stimulating as it used to be. You probably think it’s her fault.

Because she used to really get your blood pumping. Back when she wanted you. Needed you. You didn’t have to ask. You could see the need. Feel the need. And you loved it. Because we all have a little Alpha in us.

And now she doesn’t make you feel wanted. She doesn’t make you feel needed.

It’s not because she doesn’t want to. She wants to. It’s an involuntary sort-of apathy she feels now. Because you robbed her of the passion she once had for you. And she resents you for it.

This isn’t the life she’d hoped for. The one you’d promised her curled up in the sheets and one another on a Saturday morning when you were young and nothing else mattered.

She can’t want you now. Because the fire’s gone. Extinguished.

And the pain and frustration of that realization is almost unbearable for her. That you don’t love her anymore. That you don’t want her anymore. That she matters so little to you now that your job, or your friends, or your video games, or your drinking, or your golfing, or your TV watching, or whatever, has taken priority over her. You’re the person she chose over her parents. The person she trusted with the rest of her life.

Because you’d rather play Call of Duty or watch reruns on the couch, than tell your wife she looks sexy, than clean up the kitchen for her, than spend a couple hours making her climax over and over again.

Right now, maybe you’re nodding your head.

“Yeah, Matt. I would rather do something for myself.”

  1. You’ll regret thinking that.
  2. You deserve what’s coming.

What Divorce is Like

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, divorce and marital separation are the second- and third-most-stressful things that can happen to us in our entire lives, behind only the death of a spouse. But if she had died rather than leave you, you’d at least sleep at night dreaming of the good times together, rather than thinking about the new guy sticking his penis inside your wife and imagining how much happier she is now.

Do you like stress?

Divorce is bad.

Worse than I thought. And I’m relatively smart.

Especially if you’re a dad.

When you’re a divorced dad, no childless woman wants you. It’s hard enough being a parent when you love the child more than all other things on Earth. Imagine having to be a parent when you don’t love the child that much. And you’re asking her to do that after someone who lived with you for a long time, intentionally had children with you, then decided life without you was more attractive than life with you.

So, hope you wanted more kids. Because if you want to date someone, that’s what you’re looking at.

Good luck with that.

When you’re divorced, you have less money than you used to, so you can’t even afford to distract yourself from how shitty your life is now with small pockets of fun. You have to stay home where no one comes to visit you because all of your friends liked it better when you were with your wife, and none of your couples friends want to hang out on the weekend with the sad, single guy.

When you’re divorced, your kids are sad, and it’s mostly your fault.

When you’re divorced, the ONLY thing about your life that doesn’t change is all of the things you do now that push her away.

But once she’s left you, you’re not going to want to do those things anymore. Because the things you thought were bringing you happiness ended up bringing you the most misery you’ve ever felt.

When you’re divorced, everything is three times as hard, because you’re only half of yourself, and no one’s there to help.

If you do get divorced, I hope you have your family nearby. That will help. But if you’re honest with them, and if they’re honest with you, everyone’s going to be disappointed in you and miss when you were still a couple. They might even say so. That will make you feel bad and you’ll want to see your family less.

What to Do if You Want to Get a Divorce

You think it might be cool? You think it’s going to be a bunch of sex with hot strangers and parties and football with the boys?

Maybe it will. Maybe you really will like the single life better.

No one to tell you you’re making them feel bad. No one to interrupt you watching Thursday Night Football. No one to tell you you can’t order pizza from your favorite place. No one to nag you about your laundry or bathroom habits.

It will be just like high school or college again! Freedom!

You’re wrong. But you’re a guy. So you’re not going to listen to me anyway.

If you want to get a divorce, just go ahead and keep doing what you’re doing. Watching Bones reruns. Playing video games. Ignoring her.

But here’s the thing: I know you don’t really want to get divorced.

If you did, you’d have already filed.

You want to stay married. I’d like to help.

What to Do if You Want to Stay Married

First, evaluate your wife’s state of being.

If she’s acting scared and needy and clingy or nagging and begging for attention, that’s a GOOD thing. That means she hasn’t reached the apathetic stage yet where she’s highly likely to sleep with other men, leave you, or both.

If she’s acting like a different person. Quiet. Reserved. Doesn’t “bother” you as much about the stuff that troubles her, I’ve got bad news, man. It’s not because it’s no longer bothering her or that she’s turned a corner and understands you more now.

It’s because she doesn’t give a shit about you, she’s learning to do everything by herself as she prepares for her life as a single, divorced woman, and she might be having sex with someone else. If she’s not, she’s strongly entertaining the idea.

She’d rather pleasure herself while thinking about your friend or her co-worker or some blogger she’s never met than have you touch her.

Chew on that for a minute.

She needs to feel something. And every night you choose TV, beer, video games, whatever, over her. She’s given you a million and a half chances. And you just keep doing the wrong thing.

It’s not okay for her to go have sex with someone else. It’s not. I’m not defending her.

But it does make sense, right? When you process it in that non-emotional, logical brain of yours?

The thing we all crave the most is happiness. You make her sad. If you didn’t have children, money, real estate and family ties, she’d already be gone.

I can’t promise that if you do any of these things, she’ll forgive you. But I do promise you’ll give yourself a fighting chance to keep your marriage and family intact.

  1. Do not say anything negative toward her for an entire day. Once you pull that off, go an entire week. If you can do it for an entire week, you can do it forever. Say kind things. Not mean things. Every day. When you mess up, apologize. Twice.
  2. Hug her daily. Mean it. While you’re hugging her, ask this question: “What can I do for you to make your day better?” You’re going to want her to say have sex with her. But she’s not going to. She’s going to want you to clean the kitchen, bathe the kids and walk the dog. She’s going to want you to do those things so that she has time to do two loads of laundry AND maybe take a bath or whatever she likes to do when she has a precious few minutes to herself. Ask that question every day with love and sincerity. Do whatever she asks to the best of your ability, without complaining about it. Do that enough times, and she’s going to want you to have sex with her. And it’s going to feel like it used to. Yay you. You’re making progress.
  3. Flirt with her. Not pervy-douchebag flirt, either, unless she takes it to the dirty place herself. Send her a nice text once or twice a day: “Thinking about you. Please let me know what I can do to make your day better,” and later “I can’t wait to see you later. I hope you know how loved and wanted you are.”
  4. Kiss her. The really nice kind. The first-date kind. Don’t try to have sex with her. Do this three or four times per week. If she makes you have sex with her one of those times, it’s okay.
  5. Take one of her “jobs” away from her. The one she likes the least. You know how she always does laundry and you always mow the lawn? How she always does the dishes and you always take out the trash? Take one of those off her plate. Ask her which one. And take it. And work your ass off to do a good job. You’ll learn to respect how challenging her life is, how amazing she is at multi-tasking and time-management, and you’ll get another taste of how much shittier your life would be as a single guy doing all of this alone. Why should you take one of her jobs away? Because she does more than you do. And if you want a successful marriage, you have to give more than you take. You give her support. She gets more time to relax and feel good about her life. You get a happy wife who wants to have sex with you. The good kind of sex. Everyone wins.
  6. If you’re not exercising, start. You don’t have to be Adonis. You just have to not be a fat slob. You might be surprised how far 50 pushups, 50 sit-ups and 60 seconds in the plank position can take you right when you wake up, and right before bed. We’re talking 10-15 minutes a day, tops.
  7. Learn about your wife. Two parts. First, read a book about why women do what they do. There are several. You’ve probably heard of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I personally prefer How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. It’s a book that will gain fast credibility with you because the authors clearly understand why you do and feel many of the things you do. You’ll appreciate that they “get” you. And then you’ll believe them when they tell you why your wife does and feels the things she does. And if you have an empathetic bone in your body, you’ll instantly feel terrible for all of the pain you’ve caused the person you love over the years, and you’ll learn how to communicate in healthy ways. You’ll learn why you have the same fights over and over and over again about the exact same things. It’s NOT just you! It’s every couple. Everyone has the same natural instincts and tendencies and defense mechanisms that cause conflict in our human relationships. And once you learn what those are, you can navigate those waters. The “mystery” of women that you hear other guys talk about. It’s not a mystery. She REALLY IS different than you. Don’t treat her like a man. Second, learn about your wife like you did when you first started dating. Because she’s not the same person she used to be. She’s matured. Maybe she’s a mother now. Maybe she doesn’t like the missionary position as much as used to. She has different hopes and dreams than she used to. And if you help her achieve them? You can have a truly happy life and marriage. And that’s what I want for you. And for her. And for your children. And for your friends. And for your extended family.

Or you can just get divorced like me.

You can spend Christmas Day alone. You can never have sex. You can never have anyone there to listen to how hard your day was. You can do all of your laundry alone. The house is REALLY quiet when you’re folding laundry alone. You can pay all the bills yourself. Hope you’re good at managing time and money. You can watch movies and television shows alone. You can never see all of your old couples friends. You can clean the kitchen and bathrooms alone. Or you can let them get disgusting as a daily reminder of just how far you’ve fallen.

Please fight for your life and family.

Like a warrior.

She’s worth it.

And so are you.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

…..

Like this post? Hate it? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling annoyingly far to the bottom of this page and inserting your email address under “Follow Blog via Email.” You can also follow MBTTTR on Twitter and Facebook.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Almost Stepdad

There are multiple ways to lose a child. To lose a parent. None of them are good.

There are multiple ways to lose a child. To lose a parent. None of them are good.

One of my best friends just lost two children.

Two little boys. The oldest, 5, and his younger brother, 3.

The kids are still alive.

They weren’t kidnapped.

But he lost them just the same. Because his adult relationship with their mother broke. Because of disagreements and friction and differences and misunderstandings that had absolutely nothing to do with them.

One day, a man had sons. Boys had a father figure.

The next day, they did not.

The five-year-old and my friend Randy were particularly close. The three boys—3, 5, and 34—would pile into bed together at the end of a long day and watch a football game. Or a race. Or a cartoon.

The boys’ mother owned a house adjacent to a golf course. Randy would take the five-year-old out to the 150-yard marker on the hole nearest the house each night, and the two would hit approach shots into the green and putt out, practicing, trying different shots, working on their swings and ball striking.

“He’s a little stud,” Randy told me over breakfast this past weekend in Columbus, Ohio. He beamed with pride talking about how awesome this five-year-old boy could hit a golf ball.

“His dad taught him well.”

How it’s Supposed to Be

I have a stepdad. A good man. A guy that did these EXACT same things with me.

Taught me to read. Taught me to ride a bike. Taught me to swim. Taught me how to kick, punt and catch a football. Taught me how to use follow through on my free throw shots in basketball.

He was the man I sat next to throughout most of my childhood, watching all those ballgames.

My biological father who I wrote about in The Champion is a fan of Chicago sports teams. The Bears. The Bulls. The Cubs.

But I grew up in Ohio since before my fifth birthday. With my mom. And eventually, my stepdad.

And when I was five and six and seven I was sitting on the couch watching the Cleveland Browns—the sports team I still love today above all others.

That was my stepdad’s influence. His doing.

My father probably felt a little knife twist anytime I’d mention my affinity for the Cleveland Browns. He had to know it was because of my stepdad.

I know I wanted to light myself on fire anytime my son mentioned Rich Guy’s name—the man my wife was sleeping with.

But my father respected my stepdad. Because he knew he was a good man. And that he genuinely cared about his son. His only child. Me.

In return, my stepdad never said an unkind word about my father, even though my mother wasn’t afraid to verbalize all of her frustrations with him in front of me.

In their own, unspoken way, these two men—my two fathers—had one another’s backs. On my behalf.

I recognized that same dynamic when my friend Randy spoke fondly of the boys he had spent so much time with, forming that special stepdad-child bond even though he and the mother had yet to make it official.

Life has a way of delivering really important people to us during critical times.

Like angels.

And while these friends, mentors, spiritual guides, guardians play invaluable roles in our life journeys, the end of those relationships can sometimes be a little messy.

Things always get a little messy whenever humans are involved.

The Loss No One Talks About

Divorce and broken homes are more common than ever. And there are more people on Planet Earth today than ever.

Which means this loss is being experienced by more and more people all the time.

I won’t insult the all-important biological bond that binds parents and children. My stepdad is one of the most-important people in my life. But he can’t replace my father.

On the flip side, I believe strongly that we choose our families. That some people are so important and special and spiritually connected to us that a new kind of family relationship is born.

You see it in relationships between adopted children and their new parents.

You see it in best friends.

You see it between coaches and players. Teachers and students. Soldiers. People united in crisis or tragedy.

Losing children this way must be horrible.

My home is broken. And I miss my son every day he’s not here. And I didn’t deserve to lose him. But I still get to see him. Half the time.

And, I must feel gratitude for that. No matter how bitter that pill is to swallow. No matter how screwed over I feel from my wife’s exodus the day after Easter just a little more than six months ago. I need to maintain perspective.

Because my friend Randy loved two children. Unselfishly embracing the role of stepfather. And doing a great job.

And now he lives alone again. No warm body in his bed. No children to tuck in at night or greet in the morning.

I stood on the deck behind Randy’s townhome last weekend. The one he had to take off the market and move back into after vacating the house where his ex-girlfriend and two sons live. A bunch of people were at Randy’s with me, drinking beer, eating delicious food, telling jokes.

A lady named Molly and I were talking. She’s good friends with both Randy and his ex-girlfriend. On the wall of the little boys’ home hang photos of their little league teams.

Randy coached those teams and is in all the photos.

“There’s Randy! There’s Randy!” the boys always say, excitedly when they spot him in the photos.

“Those boys miss him so much,” Molly said to me in a quiet moment. “They love him.”

“We don’t have to talk about this if you don’t want to,” I said to Randy over breakfast. “Believe me, I know how unpleasant rehashing everything can be.”

“No, it’s fine,” he said. “You know, it’s funny. Not being with her isn’t nearly as hard as not getting to see those boys.

“I really miss them. They’re the best.”

“Do you think there’s any chance for reconciliation?” I asked Molly outside Randy’s house.

“I don’t know,” she said. “But there’s always hope.”

Author’s Note: A special thank you to any stepparents who might be reading. You’re doing God’s work. And I appreciate you. And for those of you who have lost children you love because of broken relationships with the kids’ biological parents, my heart breaks for you. God bless all of you.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Back to School

It's back-to-school time for my son. And it's back-to-school time for me. The excuses must stop.

It’s back-to-school time for my son. And it’s back-to-school time for me. The excuses must stop.

Today was my first day being a single dad on a school-day morning.

This meant dressing my five-year-old son a little bit nicer.

This meant worrying about whether he can effectively manage the hook fastener and zipper on his shorts to avoid stressful trips to the bathroom.

This meant wondering whether kindergarten teachers assign homework.

This meant revisiting when boys and girls started liking one another.

I want my son to do well in school. Both academically and socially. I worry about how much I’m not doing to foster his development on both fronts.

It all feels a little too big and too scary sometimes. With no one to talk to about this stuff. With no one there to read books to him while I fold laundry. With no one to clean up the kitchen while I give him a bath.

There aren’t enough hours in a day.

But that can’t be an excuse for lazy parenting.

School at Home

I finally feel like I’ve turned a page. Like I have finally arrived at a place where I can begin the process of growing accustomed to my new reality.

Half the time, I’m a dad. Half the time, I’m a middle-aged bachelor.

And I need to figure out how to achieve balance with all of that.

I’ve only cleaned my house twice in five months. Gross, right? I know.

I keep the kitchen tidy. I wipe the dining room table each night. I never let the bathrooms get disgusting. And I certainly spot clean if something is amiss.

But still. Twice in five months? It’s pathetic.

My garage door opener bunked out on me about three months ago. All I have to do is get the model number off the unit and call a local repair shop. Probably won’t cost $50 to fix. I have issues.

I still haven’t established a financial budget for my life.

That’s right. I bought a brand new vehicle without budgeting for it.

I. Make. Bad. Decisions.

I’m still not working out. It might be a figment of my imagination, but I think I look even worse when I get out of the shower than I did two months ago when I was feeling sensitive about it.

Do you know how hard it is to wake up an hour earlier, do a little cardio and lift a few weights?

It’s not. I have all the equipment at home in my basement. I used to be down there every morning.

NOT. THAT. HARD.

Yet, something stops me. Mental exhaustion? Depression?

I think it is simply a lack of discipline. For example, I’m at work almost every day. I do what’s needed. I don’t forget to pick up my son, or pay the day care lady, or to post as often as possible here.

I don’t want to be undisciplined. It’s no way to live. Because when you lack discipline, your responsibilities start falling through the cracks. And the consequences begin to pile up. And the stress emanating from all of those dropped balls is not something any of us need.

Moreover, there is a direct correlation between my reduced waistline and toned arms, and my self-confidence.

If I don’t get better at anything else, I MUST resume regular exercise. I must.

Because I’m a viable male companion when I look how I’m supposed to look. And the trickle-down effects of that could be tremendous.

Routine.

Discipline.

Increased energy.

Heightened mental aptitude.

Better sleep.

Enhanced confidence.

Improved attractiveness.

These are very good things. Things I crave.

What am I waiting for?

I honestly don’t know.

To Be a Man

What does it take?

To be a man?

To be a father?

More than what I’m doing.

I can keep the wool pulled over my son’s eyes for a little bit. He’s five. He’s easy to con.

But it won’t be long before his powers of observation are keener than my ability to justify inaction.

I am that boy’s best chance to follow whatever path leads to success with life management, with health, with friends, with girls, with extracurriculars, and whatever else.

It has never been more important for me to walk the walk than it is now.

One of the things I miss most about marriage is that I genuinely like doing things for others.

I used to enjoy keeping the kitchen spotless or dusting surfaces because it made my ex happy. It lightened her load. I was serving a purpose. I was serving her.

I used to enjoy cooking meals. Large, made-from-scratch meals. I’ve made two meals I’m proud of since she left. Two. Both for guests.

The rest of the time, I’m whipping together quick things like breakfast or tacos or salads or mac and cheese, or something worse.

He deserves better. He deserves more. He deserves a father who never takes the lazy way out.

A father who does things the “right” way—the difficult way—in virtually all situations.

To see me walk the walk. All the time. Every day. In all I do.

What does it take for someone who knows what should be done to actually take action and do it?

What’s worse?

The lazy and ignorant person who doesn’t know better, or the person who’s well-informed, has a blueprint for success, and makes shitty choices anyway?

Me, right? I’m worse.

I think so.

I want to help people. I want to help people very much. But I can’t help anyone if I can’t figure out how to help myself.

People keep telling me I’ll be fine. That I’ve been through a hard time and should cut myself some slack.

Bullshit.

When it gets hard is when character is formed. Perseverance isn’t just about surviving. It’s about thriving despite the odds.

My son couldn’t work that little hook fastener on his shorts this morning. Instead of being cool and just finding him some different shorts, I chose to sort of let him sink or swim when he goes to the bathroom today.

He had trouble working the mechanism. I got frustrated with him because he quit when it got hard. Because he didn’t keep trying. Because he didn’t overcome.

What a hypocrite, I am.

But I feel bad about it. Which is why I know there’s hope.

I won’t quit trying to be better today than I was yesterday.

And I hope that’s an idea everyone can get behind. Just trying to be marginally better today at anything than you were yesterday. Constant improvement. In all areas of life.

Because children need us. Not just ours. All that look to us for guidance.

Not to spout off a bunch of hot air at them.

But to lead by example. To blaze the trail. To be someone they can emulate and be proud of.

Could anything be more important than that?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

I know a birthday girl. I just met her husband. I don't know if they'll make it. But I really want them to. And I believe they can.

I know a birthday girl. I just met her husband. I don’t know if they’ll make it. But I really want them to. And I believe they can.

I met a shitty husband last night.

And I liked him. First impressions go a long way with me.

And I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Not at all. But I do think he’s a shitty husband.

He’s 34 like me. He reminds me of me five years ago. He’s not a father, and that can be a disadvantage for guys from a maturation standpoint. Sometimes, you don’t really figure out what unconditional love looks and feels like until you hold your child.

And I think that revelation—that recognition of what it feels like to love something more than yourself—can be a very useful tool in a marriage.

Applying the Love for Your Children to Your Partner

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship for any reasonable amount of time understands the infatuation phase—while the most fun—can’t and won’t last.

Just the smallest amount of effort can do wonders for her emotional security, which is directly correlated to how much she wants your penis touching her.

Infatuation and lust will get you so far, then you’re inevitably looking to recreate that feeling with someone else sooner or later.

And sometimes, during the eternal pursuit of that next passionate romance, you just end up breaking a bunch of things.

Families.

Friendships.

Children.

Yourself.

But with a little self-recognition and awareness, we can combat this.

With the realization that the grass is most certainly not always greener—that there is no perfect partner with whom you’ll never have conflict or disappointment or hurt feelings or dissatisfaction—you can learn to stop trying to change your partner. Or change partners.

And you can start trying to change yourself.

There’s only one constant in the lives of those people you know who are constantly in and out of unhealthy relationships. And that’s the individual who keeps putting his or herself there.

They are the common denominator. And that cycle must be broken.

It can’t happen until those people learn how to be honest with others. And more importantly, with themselves.

Once we accept that it’s not going to be lovey-dovey happiness forever, we can move on to learning how to love in ways that matter. In ways that are sustainable.

1. Stop making it about you.

Stop asking why that person doesn’t make you feel the way they used to. Or why all of these things keep happening to you.

2. Make it about them.

Ask yourself how you can make your partner feel the way you want to feel. How you can make good things happen for them. Lead by example, even when it’s hard. Even when you don’t feel like it.

3. Choose to do that every day, forever.

The same way your parents did for you. The same way parents choose to do that for their children—even when they’re acting like little heathen assholes. THAT’S real love. Because it’s not about how we feel. It’s about the choices we make.

…..

Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.

…..

I’ve Already Seen This Movie

And it has a tragic ending.

That’s what I was thinking last night when I saw her being ignored by her husband. Literally, the entire night.

The birthday girl.

She looked magnificent. And I’m not sure he told her once.

She misses his company and attention because he has a pretty inconvenient work schedule. But I don’t remember him standing next to her.

I don’t remember him kissing her. Touching her arm. Whispering in her ear. Even just a nice smile from across the room to let her know how happy he was to see she was having a nice birthday.

I’ve seen this fucking movie.

I starred in it.

I played the male lead.

Because that was me. Not doing all of those things I so desperately wish I had the opportunity to do now.

I didn’t tell my ex how perfect she looked. Not enough. I didn’t make sure she knew—without a doubt—how much she was loved and wanted. I was too busy telling jokes and talking football with my friends when we’d all get together.

Guys, you have got to get better at this. I have got to get better at this, should I ever have the opportunity to try again some day.

Don’t do the thing where you ignore them all night and then try to have late-night drunk sex because you’re feeling horny. Please.

Just the smallest amount of effort can do wonders for her emotional security, which is directly correlated to how much she wants your penis touching her.

Tell her you love her. Whisper that you want her. Make eye contact from across the room. Smile. Touch her. Pay attention to her. Maybe when she least expects it.

Care about the things that she cares about—NOT because you give a shit about how her hair color didn’t turn out like she wanted or what color she painted her accent nail or whether she’s wearing new shoes or why she chose to carry that particular purse or handbag that night. Not because you like talking about the same things as her, because maybe you don’t.

That’s okay.

Care about the things she cares about BECAUSE she cares about them. That’s the reason to care. That’s the reason it matters.

Because these things matter to her.

This applies to her hobbies. Her hopes and dreams. Her career. Her passions and interests. Her stories about her friends or family or coworkers that maybe you don’t really want to listen to.

Fortify your relationship by doing the little things. Every day.

Do that, and there will be an every day.

Don’t? You might be sitting right here feeling sorry for a birthday girl who deserves the world and an oblivious husband who doesn’t know the damage he’s causing.

Tequila Makes Me Smart

Ever drink a bunch of beer and vodka, and then switch to a perfect salted-rim margarita on the rocks and start solving the world’s relationship issues with a fellow divorcee from Scotland in an open-air rooftop bar?

Me too!

Dear Jesus, you should hear me pontificate after eight or nine drinks.

The funny part? People think I’m smart! I con them with my above-average vocabulary and my cocksure attitude on subjects I may actually know nothing about.

I don’t know if any of this shit has merit. I don’t!

But, cocksure or otherwise, I do think I can identify the marital sins of my past. And I REALLY want to help men avoid going through what I’m going through. I REALLY want children to have the opportunity to grow up with both of their parents under the same roof.

This doesn’t have to be a pipedream. It doesn’t have to be so goddamn hard.

It just takes two people willing to give more than they take. Two people trying to out-give one another. Doesn’t that sound fun? Isn’t that something everyone can get behind?

My marital sins were on full display last night. The oblivious husband was me. And the birthday girl was my ex.

And it doesn’t have to be like this.

They are two good people. Two kind people.

She loves him.

And I don’t know for sure, but I just vibe that he’s a good man—a good man who loves her back.

And I know they can make it.

And I want them to make it.

And I believe if he only knew what I knew—felt what I felt—that he’d dig in and try his very best to make sure she felt the way she needs to feel for this to not fall apart.

Loved.

Safe.

Needed.

Appreciated.

Validated.

Respected.

Desired.

If they can make this happen, maybe I can be at her birthday party 10 years from now. Maybe she’ll be smiling. Maybe he’ll be smiling. Maybe it will be at one another. Maybe everyone who sees it will privately Awwwwww. And maybe they can be what the rest of us envy.

Happily. Ever. After.

In real life, it doesn’t look like it does in the movies.

But it can be beautiful.

And I still believe in it.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

…..

Like this post? Hate it? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling annoyingly far to the bottom of this page and inserting your email address under “Follow Blog via Email.” You can also follow MBTTTR on Twitter and Facebook.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Sure, Marriage Sucks; But Does it Have To?

Do I still believe in marriage?

Do I still believe in marriage?

My neighbor Ryan proposed to his girlfriend this week.

She said yes.

I live directly across the street. So I’m going to have a front-row seat to their marital journey. From her moving into his house permanently. To the honeymoon period. To having children. To the seven-year itch. To whatever comes next.

I found out about the engagement on Facebook.

I “Liked” it. Then I typed: “Holy shit. Congratulations!”

I’m trying out this new life strategy where I try to be more honest—searching for freedom in truth.

So I asked myself: Am I really happy for them?

Do I really believe in the institution of marriage?

In Defense of Marriage

Conservative, Catholic upbringing aside, marriage does make some sense to me.

Here’s why:

1. A life partner

I don’t really like being alone. I think most people feel that way. I think we inherently crave human connection. There are many ways to achieve it. Marriage is one of those ways. I know what you’re thinking Person Who Hates Marriage. I don’t want some ball and chain tying me down! My friends, my family and my dog keep me company! Yeah, I get it. But, guess what? Someday you’re going to be old. OLD. And I don’t want you dying alone at the local Bingo game reeking of Ben Gay while suffering from gout and fibromyalgia.

2. A sexual partner

Having sex is important. It’s good for you. It keeps you sane. And it chemically and spiritually enhances your relationship with your partner. Sure, you can have sex with a bunch of randoms, if that’s your thing. But if you do that too much, you’ll just end up with bastard children and gonorrhea. And then you’ll die alone. With herpes on your mouth. It’s better to do it with just one person. More boring? Probably. But that’s why you practice often. So you get really good at it. So good that all other people in the world could never do it as well as you guys can. Then, even in your most hedonistic moments, the really selfish part of your brain will kick in and remind you that the hot person at work just isn’t worth it. You don’t need the guilt. And you don’t have time for bad lays.

3. An emotional partner

Everyone has a different childhood experience. But for the most part, we’re raised by parents in some form or fashion. They are the people who love us, and teach us, and provide for us, and care for us, and fill a million different roles as we mature through our youth. And then one day, maybe when you least expect it, they’ll be gone. It’s a hard time. And having a strong, loving, emotional connection with someone—someone you can count on to carry you when you’re too weak to walk, to hold you when you need to cry, to sit patiently when you need to scream—is a valuable thing. We all leave the nest. Well, not you Guy In Mom’s Basement. But most of us do. And there is wisdom in building a new nest. Otherwise, you might just end up flying from one tree to the next, shitting on freshly washed cars and singing for a mate who never comes.

4. A spiritual partner

I understand not everyone makes faith or spirituality part of their lives. I don’t intend to ever use this space as a means to preach to anyone. But I absolutely believe in a Higher Power. And I aspire to Christian principles, which I’d break down into a super-basic philosophy: Love people. Give more than you take. Don’t be a dick. I’m almost decent at two out of three. No matter what faith or philosophy you practice, some days are harder than others. Life gets in the way. We question things. We have doubts. We search for meaning. Having someone around to help you walk your walk is a helpful life tool. More importantly, if there are children, having mom and dad on the same page really helps establish whatever foundation you want your kids to have.

5. A parenting partner

Science supports the notion that having both a mother and father at home is a wonderful thing. Children are better off when they receive the daily benefits of both. And it’s invaluable for them to have their male and female role models show them what unconditional love in a family is supposed to look and feel like. Ever notice how kids who grow up with mothers or fathers who do something great, seem to make following in their footsteps look so easy? Happens in sports all the time. Great football player has kid that goes on to be a great football player. Successful attorney has kid that goes on to be a successful attorney. Famous politician has kid that goes on to succeed in politics. The list goes on and on. Genetics have a little to do with it. But mostly, it’s the example. The football player’s son knows nothing but how to succeed in athletics. The attorney’s daughter never dreams of doing anything but going to law school. The politician’s child never considers any career but public service. They have the blueprint. They follow it. Because they don’t know how to fail at those things. The same can be true of marriage. The same SHOULD be true of marriage.

That said…

Why Marriage Sucks

1. You can’t control the other person

Lisa at Lessons From the End of a Marriage says it better than I can here. It doesn’t matter how much you want it. It doesn’t matter how against divorce you are. It doesn’t matter how committed you are to making it work. If your partner changes his or her mind? You’re finished. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go straight to your new home. It’s quiet. You won’t get laid. You’ll miss your kids. And it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than just rolling doubles to move on.

2. It fails half the time

I still can hardly believe this is true. I NEVER thought I’d be a party to divorce. But life is slowly but surely teaching me to expect the unexpected. Some of the very best people I know in this world—people I admire, respect and aspire to be—are having a lot of marital problems. One of the side effects of getting divorced is that everyone you know starts to tell you their most intimate secrets. I know of about 10 marriages that have either flamed out or are on the rocks as I type. Will Ryan and his fiancée be among the half who fails? I don’t want to believe it. But I know better than to rule it out with conviction.

3. You trade in YOU for WE

This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But often, it is. People lose their identity. They stop pursuing personal passions in the interest of compromise. Before long, when the relationship goes through a dip or sours completely, the resentment builds. Because the pursuit of dreams was sacrificed for the other person. The other person who now treats you with cold indifference. We are inherently selfish beings. The best of us find ways to put our partners first. To serve others. To think about and care about more than just ourselves. To love. But when all the lights are off and it’s totally silent and it’s just you and your thoughts: What do you want? What do YOU want? If the answer to that question is not morally reprehensible, there’s a strong argument for pursuing it. With vigor. And in many instances, marriage is a roadblock.

4. Bad sex, or its first cousin who lives at my house, no sex

This is an inescapable part of the human condition. No matter what anyone says. I’m right about the following: You WILL take for granted things and people in your life. Things and people that you shouldn’t take for granted. You’ve already experienced it. With your partners, and your health, and your cars, and your TVs, and your jobs and a million other things. An unfortunate downside of marriage is that the sex often gets stale. Now, I don’t believe it has to. And we’ll probably get into this some day in a future post when I’m feeling much more feisty and brave. But with A LOT of honesty, an adventurous streak, and a burning desire to get REALLY good at one of the best things we humans get to do, I believe two monogamous people can have an amazing sexual relationship. I know you want to, ladies. All I have to do is check out the Fifty Shades of Grey book sales figures. And your partner? They want that too. They just might not know how to get there. But there’s a way. Like salsa dancing! Except they probably don’t want to go salsa dancing. But they do want to have an amazing time in bed. Put a little thought into it, why don’t you? Because bad sex and/or no sex is one of the sure-fire ways to make your marriage a statistic of the bad variety.

The Final Analysis

Listen, I don’t know if I’m ever getting married again. On paper, I’d like to.

But I intend to spend the coming months and years doing a lot of soul searching about what really matters in this life and to what extent marriage should be part of the equation for me.

We live in a cynical world full of cynical people. People that will tell you why marriage is awful, and predict doom and gloom, and how there’s no God and that we’re all going to get cancer and die if climate change doesn’t kill us first.

And I won’t live like that.

I won’t echo that chorus.

I kind of hate marriage right now. Nothing has ever felt like this. Nothing has ever robbed me of the spirit and passion for life that I always remember feeling prior to a couple years ago. Nothing has ever felt this horrible.

But I also won’t sit here and tell you that it’s impossible.

Nothing is impossible. Except me getting laid, apparently.

But, seriously. It can be done. It is all the time. Just look around at those beautiful couples married 30, 40, 50 years. They’re out there.

It wasn’t magic that got them there. It wasn’t luck.

It was love.

The real kind. Not the bullshit kind from those lying, evil and soulless romantic comedies.

The good love. The gritty love. The no-nonsense love.

The love that says: “I CHOOSE you. I DECIDE every day when I wake up to love you. And I will make that same choice every day, come Hell or high water, forever.”

Two people doing that? They’re going to make it. Give me that, and you’re damn right I believe in marriage.

Toss in some blindfolds and ice cubes in the bedroom, and these two souls might even enjoy the ride.

Tagged , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: