I was bemoaning the fact that breakfast is my most disappointing meal of the day with the old man the other day, and he responded with ‘that’s because it’s the only meal you can’t justify having wine with.’
‘True dat,’ as our son Kurt would say.
Equally, our marriage might be more pleasurable if I didn’t have to listen to the old man scrape his bowl seventeen times in search of every last oat at breakfast time, I remember thinking, although I guess that’s just the fuckery of marriage.
So while I suppose that I should be writing a tribute to my soul mate on the weekend of his fiftieth birthday, instead I’ve chosen to focus on why I believe we’re still together after thirty-four of those fifty years – an Everest of an accomplishment and in my book, a far greater achievement than reaching the big 50.
Especially when you consider what we’ve had going against us, as polar opposites in interests, personalities and idealism, the most diametrically opposing yin and yang you could ever have the misfortune to meet at a dinner party, with a child with special needs thrown into the mix.
Like any long marriage, ours has floundered on the rocks a few times, drifted uncertainly in wild seas before finally gathering momentum on a forgiving wave back home. And those battles have stemmed from the typical marital rubs such as money and kids and usually fought under the influence of alcohol.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve played the divorce card numerous times to get my own way, threatened to walk out, and each time the old man has responded in that annoying way my mother used to when she reminded me not to slam the door on my way out.
While he has never resorted to a dirty game.
The challenges of Kurt have come close to sinking us several times. Parenting is hard enough with a “normal” child, but the rate of divorce amongst parents raising ADHD kids is very high. The parenting manual doesn’t warn you that you may not agree on every parenting code or that when your child irritates the fuck out of you, one of you has to assume responsibility at all times.
But we’ve survived, fundamentally because I married a good man, so the durability of our relationship must prove that you don’t need to be chocolate box happy or have bells on it all of the time to stay together.
NC often comments on how much she has learned about relationships from observing us, her role models. She particularly likes our pet names for each other – “shit for brains” and “fucking knob”, on a good day.
But I guess that if it works, why fix it?