Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seven lessons learned from my EX sisters-in-law

Observe and stay quiet:
In order to get a fine picture of a marriage not meant to be, all I have to do is watch one in progress, and not say a word. I have two brothers and both are divorced at least twice now. The first wife for both was.. 'the keeper.' They were either too young or too dumb to realize it, though. I have always been observant of other peoples marriages because I've never seen a real good one up close. My mom married a long distance truck driver. That wasn't a good marriage. My brothers were both marriage-minded & fine marriage material. So I thought. After their first marriages ended, I realized.. every man has his dog days and every man has his pressure point. Being aware of this has helped me in my own choices of men. I don't judge harshly -men for being who they are, I judge harshly the women for making the choice to be with a man - not knowing whether his dog days are coming or have gone.. and not knowing his pressure point.

Everything is connected:
When you're in a committed marriage relationship, you can see the synchronicity of things. The mortgage, the car, the electric bill, the kids, the life insurance, the dog.. -Everything is connected. All you need to do is just stay in awareness of your connection and remain a part of the evolution of it all. When you remember that everything is connected, you resort to love only tactics to maintain that connection. One brother has maintained a hopeless connection to his wife for years -for the sake of his boys. And he's finally resorted to living in a hotel so he won't be provoked to hit or slap back, their mother.

Hate is not the opposite of love.. Nor is jealously. Fear is the opposite of love. I've got a combination of six nieces and nephews and 5 ex sisters in law. Like I said, the first two were the keepers, and their children were planned 'love' babies. Unfortunately, for the other 4 nieces and nephews.. they are trapped in the fear cycles of their parents. Homophobia (one SIL has a gay brother). Fear of separation and alienation from the children. Fear of child support. Fear of failure. Fear of condemnation..

Eyes can't see everything:
Eyes just can't see the other person because they know too much about him. Eyes interpret everything.. He's sexy. She's fine. He's broke. She's nuts! In order to really see you've got to look with your heart heart. Then you can truly see who you've got!

Man is poor, existence is rich:
The brother in the hotel? His soon to be ex-wife was born of wealthy parents. She grew up never wanting for anything. She has no sense of loss or lack. We weren't poor, but.. we grew up knowing that family is here to support each other in times of need. When our mother has a need, my brother has to banter with his wife to help meet it. She argues, "If we send money to your mama, we gotta send money to mine." What woman who is worth something does that?

You cannot love enough:
I realize that marriage takes more than a notion. I realize that you cannot simply have a good marriage, you can only strive to have a good marriage. Damn! With all this observing and listening I've been doing.. I was hoping to have a splendid marriage some day.. As soon as I find a splendid man to marry. That's the way it should be. Splendid. And in that splendor you learn the art of acceptance. Am I right? Then everything can be perfect.

Happiness is my responsibility:
I can only imagine the missed opportunities to perfect a marriage.. if a divorce happens. The Kodak moments, the vacations, the trials and treasures that might have been.. become extinct. A happy marriage is my responsibility. But if happiness cannot be achieved then I must leave and find happiness somewhere else. That's what my brother in the hotel is doing.


Greg Dragon said...

Sheesh sucks with the brothers, the woman who has to have equal gifts to moms is beyond ridiculous - and pretty typical. I have heard enough of the wife vs mom stories to scare me away from any woman who would do that but I guess sometimes this monster doesn't rare it's head until a few years into marriage... stopping you from reaching out to family is pretty much criminal.

The Fear quotient that you reference seems to be the basis of many marriages I see. When he tries to walk she will convince him otherwise out of fear of losing out on the assets and entering an unpredictable dating pool again. He sticks around because he fears alimony, child support and being frowned at by his church.

Its enough to keep a man single.