On the occasion of my first divorce (I hate saying that, it means I’ve had more than one) I went into counseling. I determined my sanity was at stake and didn’t want to be an island after the dust settled. Over the course of my marriage we’d been to counseling on several occasions. We never actually ‘finished’ counseling and each season of it ended the same way, with the counselor merely trying to keep us together, creating ‘distance’ from the crisis. It’s a clever method too, to bring folks down to earth after grievous confrontations. Sadly, it left me without solutions to long standing marital issues. In the end, the marriage died an ugly death. (Related post, Everyone Needs A Starter Marriage)
You’d be wrong to conclude this blog is about divorce. It’s not. Read on to discover how Dreams and Suits live in glorious harmony.
In response to the accusation, “You’re going through a mid-life crisis” my counselor enlightened me to such things.
When enough of life has been lived for a male to decide what kind of person he really wants to be, say, for the next 35 to 40 years, he’s ready to be man. Apparently men do not really become men until they’re between 35 and 40. Imagine my surprise, I was nearly 37.
This codification of manliness doesn’t occur while lingering in the idealistic, black and white world of the teens and 20’s,
it occurs after we’ve ‘fallen from grace’ a few times and realize why parole for prisoners is plausible, why kissing your neighbor under the seasonal mistletoe isn’t an affair (or even a prelude to one…no tongue though!), and why Wal-Mart can destroy otherwise successful mom and pop businesses by their mere presence, all without giving up our hardcore capitalist ideals.
The whole process is similar to going through your closet and deciding which suits to wear for the time being. (Related post, Soiled Animal Skins and Spent Bones)
The father suit fit best from the moment I was graced with my first child. In fact, it was the father suit that I wore during this period. I knew my daughter was growing up with an example of marriage that was unhealthy. The only way to change it all was to change out of the husband suit.
I used to dream about this stage of my life, arriving here with the wife of my youth beside me. I had no thought of the ugliness to come. My dream suit became rags.
Other dreams were now far behind too. Being in the ministry, having a singing career, seeing my children everyday while they grew, sending my daughter off to her first prom, all lost to me.
This all seems bad, doesn’t it? Remember, I said you’d be wrong to conclude this blog is about divorce. It’s not. It is really about having the courage to change and rewards for doing so.
In “Dreams Are Far Behind or What Suit Do I Wear Today? Part II”, you’ll hear of a “suit change” few people ever consider, much less even make. It touched my life personally, I’ve known this gentle soul since my college days.
Thanks for reading this far.