Thousands of years of experience in all cultures of the world has left us with one basic tenet for marriage – committment. The seven year itch, menopausal uncertainty, the instinctive proclivity of men to keep on ‘spreading their seed’ are, or were, all covered by ‘committment’. Settle down mate, think it through lady, the family unit becomes the driving force and anything attacking this should be repelled. If times are bad, they will improve. If love looks lost it will come back but not if you’re apart.
The Bunyip’s musings have finally prompted me to write a post I probably should have tackled some time ago. Last November I separated from my wife Jenny after almost 20 years of marriage. I don’t intend raking over the gory details for the privacy and dignity of all involved. Suffice it to say that no amount of ‘commitment’ can save a marriage when times remain uniformly bad for years on end.
The wash-up of separation has been the principal reason why my blogging efforts have varied between light and non-existent in recent times. Establishing a new life as a single bloke after 20 years of wededness has been quite an experience: I’ve set up a share household in one of our jointly owned rental properties, because it seemed a better bet than being alone and maudlin.
Maintaining a close, loving and supportive parental relationship with Rebecca also requires a lot of effort when we’re no longer living in the same household and interacting continually, as does rebuilding a friendship with Jenny, whom I still love deeply despite the increasingly bitter wasteland of our marriage. Along with the demands of teaching and co-ordinating Charles Darwin University’s new external law degree, there hasn’t been much time or energy left over for blogging.
For the crassly curious (yes Dave, that means you), there wasn’t “another woman” involved (or another bloke, as far as I know). I was momentarily tempted after separation to have a crack at a romance with Suzy Kruhse, whom I’d always worshipped from afar (and once upon a time long ago, not so far), but it wasn’t meant to be. Suzy remains my best and most valued friend as well as an occasional Troppo blogger. Fortunately, however, hope springs eternal for an incurably romantic, optimistic species like the armadillo. I’m in the early stages of a new romance that might just be “it” at last (assuming there’s any such thing). But I don’t want to jinx it, so I think I’ll leave it at that for now …