So I'm a guy with a lot of hobbies. I have a lot of friends both guys and girls, but for some odd reason bachelor party's and grooms suites have always been a place that I felt at home. I think this is part of why I love my hobbies so much. Generally, they are time out with the boys. There's something about shot gunning a beer, spinning 5 times around a 9 iron and racing across a field of cacti against one of the boys that makes you forget how serious life really is for a few minutes.
Let's take another look into me: I am 25, have a great high paying career that I am passionate about, I love my God and family is the most important principle in existence. I am also recently divorced...from my life time sweet heart that I met at church during middle school. We dated in high school but broke up for many reasons. We both went off to enjoy our high school lives as friends and eventually left for college where we experienced and learned all of the things that a young single co-Ed might experience or learn in college. With that being said, we hung out one time over Christmas break my sophomore year of college and had sparks at first sight. (Little did we know, we were both rebounding off of flings that ended badly for the both of us.) After that first night over Christmas break, we all but moved in with each other immediately. It was basically just a blur of swedka, parties and sex. literally. for days on end. Things were simple, neither one of us had any serious inclinations towards school or careers and we pretty much lived for good times with each other. Fast forward a few years of actually living together, I have graduated, proposed, landed my dream job, worked two years of an awesome internship and am waiting for my bride to be to walk across the stage with honors and tons of job prospects as an elementary school teacher. At this moment, I realize that we would be getting married exactly 14 days after this moment.
To keep a long story long, we had the biggest over the top wedding you can imagine: 400 people, a 22 member bridal party, over a year of stress, $80,000 and a week long honeymoon in Mexico waiting for us on the other side. We would come home from Mexico to close on our first home together, a new 3200 square foot beauty 5 minutes from our families and the homes that we grew up in-the perfect place to start a family in. Our days were spent planning our next vacations, picking out kids names, going to the lake on our boat and hanging out with our awesome group of friends who were all married around the same time that we were(hence my likeness to grooms parties.) We had what all young married couples want- couple friends who were always down for a new adventure or shenanigan; people to share the trials and tribulations of being young and married with. We had the world by the short and curlies and had the Instagram pics to prove it. What could possibly go wrong you might ask?
After a year and a half of marriage, she was starting a new semester at school, I was gearing up for peak season at my job, we were both working 60 hour weeks and not making time for each other during the week. Ever since I was a little kid, my hobbies were always my stress reliever. So naturally when the weekend would come, I would always want to plan duck hunts, mountain bike days or day trips to the track to ride dirtbikes. I would always be polite and ask my wife if she had anything planned before I would make plans for my hobbies-I thought that I was being a good husband by asking her before I made plans. In reality what I thought was polite was taken as something more along the lines of this: "do you have something planned? If you do I'll come but I'd much rather go do man stuff with the boys".... Of course I didn't realize this until it was too late.
Fast forward to November 2015. I am laying on the couch waiting to have surgery in the coming days after a motocross accident the weekend before. It is getting late and my wife is still not home from work with dinner and fresh ice for my cold therapy machine. I am depressed as I could tell after my injury took me out of work and out of my hobbies that my wife was emotionally checked out of our relationship. When she came home, I told her that she was really making me sad and that I wanted to know what was wrong so that I could fix whatever was wrong. It was at this point that she told me that she no longer loved me, that she didn't think she ever could love me again and that she wanted to go learn to be independent and pay bills all on her own. People reading this should know that my wife lived an extremely sheltered life as an only child with a dad that loved her far more than he loved himself(she did not know how to pump her own gas until 3 months into our marriage; this threw up major red flags in my mind before marriage but I pushed them to the side because she was the girl I had dreamt of my whole life. Literally.)
Disclaimer: this sounds like I neglected her a lot, readers should know that we did go out to eat 5 nights a week and spent every moment that I wasn't working or riding together. We had our nightly ritual of eating dinner then coming home and singing and dancing in the shower before crawling into the bed to binge on our chosen show of the month. While I could have spent more time with her, that wasn't the issue. In my eyes, our life was absolutely perfect in every way all the way up to the night that she broke the news to me that she wanted out.
The next three months would be the toughest of my entire life up to that point. I was glued to the couch due to surgery (or depression, I'm not totally sure, the line got pretty blurry around Christmas), my wife was living at her parents house and I was all alone in our house that we bought together, surrounded by wedding photos, cute pillows with our wedding date and reminders everywhere that I was absolutely alone. I would skip church because I couldn't bare all of the questions from the congregants about "how is that beautiful bride of yours?" I spent these months talking with our pastor, her dad, my dad, my brothers, my boss and everyone in my life that I respected. She shut all of her friends out of her life and devoted all of her time to school and after school programs.
I built up a lot of resentment over the fact that she was living with her parents in a loving home where she had a dog, parents, warm meals and free laundry service while I was stuck at our home alone waiting for her to make her mind up about whether she wanted to try to make it work or file for divorce. She said she moved out so she could see if she missed me or not, but how could she really know if she missed me or not if she was in a comfortable place where her parents were taking care of her every need. I still believe that if she would have been in my situation, we wouldn't have been in limbo for 3 months and that we would more than likely still be together today. I take full responsibility for the issues that I caused in our relationship but the pain that she put me through for those three months was something that I didn't think that I could forgive.
A big part of the problem was an idea in her head that she could find a better life elsewhere; that she could be married to someone else and be deeply in love each and every minute of every day. The Nicholas Sparks kind of thing. Now I'v only been married once and it wasnt like a fairy tale most days so I can't speak here with certainty but I can tell you this- from the outside looking in on other marriages, no one has that. If you are single while your reading this and think I'm wrong, see our Facebook/Instagram/wedding pics then come back and see me. The grass always looks greener and that's part of what made this whole process so hard. From the outside, our grass was the greenest and everyone we knew believed it. It was so green that even I, in my ignorance believed it too. My wife didn't come with an owners manual, I tried to learn everything on the fly and over 6 years we were together thought I was pretty successful right until I realized that I apparently wasn't.
Maybe my situation is extremely unique. Maybe I really was delusional to believe that the life we were leading was real. Maybe she just lost her mind and things weren't as bad as I feel they must have been in hindsight. But I can tell you this: having the one person who knows you better than anyone in the world tell you that they no longer want to be a part of your life is absolutely far and out the most devastating pain that I have ever felt in my 25 years on earth. Situations like this are why guys end up like Barney Stinson.(if you don't know who that is, please turn on any wifi enabled device, slap yourself in the face and find out.)
There are a few lessons that I learned through this process that I feel obliged to share with other people in hopes that they may avoid having half of their life and self image being cleavered away from their being when they are in their so-called "prime.":
-Love your women-let them know that they are the most important thing in the world. This can't be done with words alone or cheap thoughtfulness like leaving notes in their car for them to read when they leave for work. It is done with your time. Date your wives. Don't say "date night" then ask what she wants to do. Listen to her and know something that she would enjoy based on what you learn about her and plan something. Then say something like "date night tomorrow night. Don't make plans, dress warm etc..." Hell, you can even write that on one of your sweet nothing notes you leave in her car for extra points but the important thing is to give her your time before you give it to your personal outlets and that you show her that your listen to her when she talks about her desires.
-Value her opinion- in my situation, my wife had never paid a bill once in her life or gassed up her own car prior to our marriage. Because of that, when it came time for finance, I subconsciously blew her off. What I thought was me taking over duties to make us better actually came off to her as "your stupid so I will deal with it."
-stop with the porn
Girls-understand that guys aren't like girls when it comes time for hobbies. Little girls play with doll's and play house growing up. So marriage is exactly what little girls dream of as kids. Boys play baseball in the yard, ride bicycles, go on hunting trips with their dads. This doesn't mean that you need to find a boy that played house a lot growing up, it just means that you need to understand his need for hobbies; they challenge him, scare him at times, give a sense of adventure and and something to work on for the sake of accomplishing something that isn't a career requirement.
Everyone: stop having these big stupid weddings. Go alope on the beach with your family and your pastor. I promise, the perfect dresses and flower arrangements aren't going to make your wedding last any longer than it should. See the December 2015 edition of the Knot where you can find Mary and I's wedding featured. It was a blast, don't get me wrong but it was 80 grand spent on one day with people that we still haven't seen since he wedding.
-love yourself above all. Part of why I was so blown away by this whole situation was because I genuinely was happy
In the mean time, I'm gunna go back to my newly acquired pin ball machine that resides in the living room of my new downtown condo with my IPA of choice and my camo crocs; there are some perks to being single again. Good luck to those of you who still have your eyes set on a huge "knot-worthy wedding" and fairy tale marriage. I sincerely hope that it works out for you. Any single lady's that would like to show me what true love looks like, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
The above story was what I accepted for 5 months. I found at yesterday she had an affair and got pregnant. Fucking skank broke me.