The flip side of commitment

Professor Bunyip blogs on the vexations of marital bliss, and quotes from Kev Gillet (a blogger whose work I confess I only monitor occasionally):

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 …

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards
2022 years ago

Hope everything works out.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Gee Ken, you’ve sure got me figured. As soon as I read that your marriage had busted the first thing I thought of was whether you’d been playing away from home.

Actually, I couldn’t give a stuff about your private life. But I do hope you manage to keep the blog going.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

And if you stop, both the Davids will come up to Darwin and shout at you.
Seriously, good luck. Tough times for all three of you.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

My sincerest sympathy, Ken. No wonder you had little time for the trivialities of blogging. I thought you’d simply had enough (of blogging, that is).

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Ken, good luck with all that shit, for want of a better word. Bestest.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

It was shaving the beard that gave it away…

After 20 years of marriage though, I hope you take time out to enjoy being single again. Don’t jump back in the pool too soon.

mark
2022 years ago

Good luck, Ken.

Tim
Tim
2022 years ago

Brave post, Ken. All the best.

John
John
2022 years ago

I’m sorry to hear this news. Best of luck with everything.

Gianna
2022 years ago

Good luck with the new romance, Ken, and hope you get your passion for blogging back fully soon too…it’s been good to see you back in action lately.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Good luck mate.

wen
wen
2022 years ago

Sad news, Ken.

Keep your chin(s)up.

X

bargarz
2022 years ago

Ken,
I agree with the above comments. It’s a brave post and many thanks for trusting us with your personal pain. All our words must sound like platitudes right now but I sincerely hope that you find your way out of this tunnel over time.

If anything, the response shows that your earlier and more optimistic comments about the Ozblogosphere hold some truth. :)

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. Bargarz has a point: it really does feel like I’m surrounded here mostly by friends, even though I’ve never met most of you. Mind you, I’m not so sure about Wendy’s double chin jibe. Do you think botox would help? After all, when you’re going into the meat market it might pay to do a passable imitation of a prime side of lean beef.

wen
wen
2022 years ago

sorry ken, not really a reference to your chin (S?) – it’s my favourite Aunty’s magical remedy for all unhappiness – guaranteed to get your mind off the main misery and onto another…:)

anyway, double’s okay – could be triple. Could be jowls. At least blokes can disguise ’em. I don’t have that option.

Gareth
2022 years ago

Hi Ken, I’m a bit late on the scene, but I’d like to add my voice to those above. I hope whatever needs to happen can happen and you maintain a loving relationship with your daughter and hopefully some sort of relationship with your wife too.

All our thoughts are with you.

Father Mork
Father Mork
2022 years ago

Ken – all the best.

Whatever the circumstances, it’s great (for us) to have you blogging again.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Whoops! forgot to change my handle back after my previous(facetious) post.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

Yeah, love’s equation is a tricky one, I’m always forgetting the remainders, or have contemplated a square root at the wrong time. There are generally so many xs in the equation that it is easy to get confused attempting to simplify to rudiments.

Mind you Love’s equation is a tricky-one, it takes more than 4-Unit Maths to figure the darn thing out. (I wonder when I ever will use the square-rooting of negative numbers skill)

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LovesEquation.html

Seriously though, hoping this is conveyed without the lack of sincerity of a form rejection latters e.g. “Best wishes, best of luck with their career …”. I do hope that both you and your family are able to get on with your lives and find a way to maintain a joyful existence.