The rumour mill is an interesting phenomenon – inaccurate as it may be, god knows, what churns from it is always so much more interesting than the underlying reality. Had it not been a difficult enough time in my life, I would have wished for the interesting stories that made it to my ears (and I have no illusion that some of the most amusing never got as far), to have been based in fact.
The honest truth is that the reality (as it played out) was way less interesting, amusing or exciting.
But, without further ado… yes, if you’ve heard – whatever version you got – after nearly fifteen years, we allowed the curtain to come down on our marriage. Why, for the purpose of this post, is really not that important (or any of your god damn business, really), but I had come to a conclusion that, while, in a situation like this, one loses a certain amount of control, what nobody can take from me is my control over the ‘how’.
Nee, ek is nie ‘n besondere mens met bonatuurlike magte nie: die emosies, seer, woede en ongeloof wat in omstandighede soos hierdie kop-uitsteek, is my ook nie gespaar nie. Dis seer – soms vrek baie!
Maar dan júís omdat ek g’n bomenslike skepsel is nie, het ek ook tot die besef gekom dat ek sekerlik nie kan verwag dat juis ék uitgesonder moet word om dié mees menslike van emosies vry te spring nie.
There’s nothing special about me – besides perhaps the awkward little sway I have in my walk, that always have people enquire about what the exact nature of the injury was that left me with the little ‘disability’.
What, however, have the potential to set me, my soon-to-be-previous wife, and our family apart – perhaps offering us the opportunity to turn this into something that closely resembles what I believe we all still feel for each other – is the way in which we choose to go through this process (painful, as it may be).
I care no less for my family and, as I fought for their wellbeing during my marriage, god knows, I’ll fight for their wellbeing during and after this period in our lives.
This morning, for the first time in 17 years, I wished a woman happy birthday, without having her in my life as either girlfriend, fiancée, or wife, and you know what – I realised that my wish for her (for the day and year ahead) has not changed at all from my wishes for her the previous 17 years.
I did not wake up wishing a bus would hit her, or that she’d have the most horrendous day ever! I still woke up knowing that someone I know (very well, albeit currently under strained circumstances) is having her birthday today and that I needed to congratulate her. I also had to ensure that there was a gift, from our children to their mother, and, as they are too young to pay for it themselves, I had to go out and buy it.
Guess what? Nothing happened to me for doing so! In fact, how small a step it may be, I felt proud of myself that I did it, and realised that, in doing so, I gave another step, albeit minuscule, on my journey – a journey in which I can still decide how I react towards the people and things along the way (especially those I care about).
While we may have made a terrible fuck-up of our vows, there are more to vows than just staying together (till death do you part) as husband and wife.
I had also promised to be kind.
To respect her.
To look out for her.
To take care and be caring.
To support and be supportive.
And to love – surely this has to extend beyond an intimate or romantic context.
So, while we may have failed in staying true to our vows in some respects, I cannot see why I cannot still honour my vows in respect of the above commitments I made.
She’s no less entitled or deserving of these, than the day I committed to them.
Ek’s nie ‘n spesiale, bomenslik goeie mens nie. Jirre, alles behalwe.
But, I just don’t believe I have to necessarily, let go of all of these things I promised to be and do, simply because “some part of the plan” didn’t work out.
Though extremely uncertain, I look forward to embrace the journey that lies ahead.
And I’ll embrace and follow it without the negativity that is often expected and ‘forgiven’ in a situation such as this.
We may have failed at some things.
There are others we can still succeed at.