An excerpt from chapter 4 of my book. Why I Got Married. I thought I’d post it on my blog after just celebrating 42 years of marriage. It would seem that maybe it was meant to be. But I think not drinking for the last 25 years was a big help.
“It just doesn’t make sense that my wife loved me so much and put up with all my bullshit. And neither did it make sense for that young, beautiful woman to be with a skinny, insecure nineteen-year-old like me. But I am beginning to believe that maybe it was meant to be. It seems the only way to explain why we stayed together, other than the love we had for our two children. (Our first child was a girl, and three years later, we had a boy.)
My daughter was born in June 1980, and as much as I loved my wife, I loved my beautiful baby girl even more. I actually saw her being born and remember being quite nervous the whole time, but after the doctor laid her down on her mother’s chest, seeing my baby lying there calmed me and filled me with so much joy that I cried. I also remember staring in wonder at the little miracle in front of me, too afraid to touch her but feeling proud to be her dad. Now, you would have thought that because of the way I felt that day and the fact that I loved my wife so much, I would have been ready to settle down and try to be a daddy, but you would have thought wrong. After only a few months of trying to be a good father and husband, something inside of me changed, and I’d soon find myself full of doubt and fear about my life.
I remember reluctantly getting out of bed one particular morning to get ready for work, and after standing up between the bed and the crib in the tiny little bedroom of our tiny little apartment, I turned to my right and looked down at my still-sleeping wife and then to my left at my little girl sleeping in her crib, and that’s when it hit me. Not only was I married and had a baby, but I was going to a job that I’d never really wanted. I had taken it the previous year at my wife’s insistence because it paid more than the garage did, but now, with a baby and expenses, I felt stuck there. I also felt stuck being a husband and father, and now it was all scaring me so badly that I was sick to my stomach. I just wanted to pack up my clothes and leave. The fortunate thing was, though (depending on how you looked at it at the time, I guess), that I wasn’t sure how I could ever live without them. And because I loved my wife and baby so much, I went to work that day to support my family. But when the weekends came, I would pretend everything was all right and run away from my fears by drinking even more.”