While reading Neatherlands by Joesph O’Neil last night I got choked up and had to fight back tears. I get like that when the theme of broken relationships, particularly marital, comes up. After a separation where one character lived in New York and the other lived in London, the main character finds out his wife has found someone else. Any hope that this was just temporary is lost and the weight of it hits me hard in the chest. I don’t know why I am more likely to react to this scenario than I am to a child being hurt or dying but, while sad, those scenes don’t effect me as deeply as the dissolution of a marriage does.
I think part of the reason comes down to the numbers. 50% of marriages end in divorce but 50% of kids don’t die. Maybe it’s a statistical response to a much more likely scenario or maybe it is just a poke to a subconscious fear. While I know I am great for Beautiful and that she loves me I often feel like I’m the one in the relationship that pulled above my weight class. There is a CD I once made for her all about how I tricked her into loving me with songs like Wooden Teeth by Seabear (“We got married while you were still asleep“) or The Jayhawks I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (that’s right, it’s a Dawson’s Creek Fan video there, that’s how I roll). It is a running joke, that like all comedy has some basis in truth.
While I am not insecure about our marriage I do like being moved and effected by books. I like that reading something can touch a nerve inside and illicit an emotional response. I know that Beautiful is in love with me but I also don’t take that for granted. Love is not really the driving constant in a marriage I don’t think. But making sure that she knows that I appreciate her, that I see her, that I love her, and that she is the one I continually choose to live life with will go a long way in keeping her from waking up.