Now I will be the first to admit that given the opportunity & the right guy I'd love to give this marriage thing a whirl. That is my usual frame of thought on it. Lately as I'm watching my friends muddling through life and marriage I'm thinking that perhaps the single life isn't that bad (well with the exception of my clanging biological clock).
I have a friend S who I've known....forever. Its been one of those friendships that has weathered time and long periods of not being in each others lives but especially the last few years we've been close. Her mother was very similar in behavior to mine so she understands a lot of what I deal with. She was down her visiting with her 3 kiddos a few weeks ago and she took Princess Bear & I out to dinner. Watching PB with her kids was an absolute riot. One minute the were as thick as thieves and the next minute fighting like siblings. It was a great experience for PB.
I also know S's husband as we all worked at the same place around 8 years ago. For the most part their marriage was pretty good. Of course it had its ups & downs but they had pretty good communication & worked through things. He joined the Army several years ago and the kids are used to the military family lifestyle from what I've been able to gather. Now this is S's first marriage. She has 1 older daughter and did the single mother thing for a long time before becoming involved with and marrying G. I always admired the way she was able to handle the trials and tribulations of single motherhood especially with a mother that made life difficult to say the least.
Now this was G's second marriage. His first marriage produced 2 children (if you're keeping track thats 5 kids so far). Unfortunately the 2 boys from his first marriage are a complete mess pyschologically and developmentally. The boys moved in with S & G awhile back because the mothers rights had been revoked. Actually they had landed in foster care before G rode in on his white horse and rescued his boys. He then brought them home to S & the 3 girls and proceeded in becoming a father that went to work and came home and hid. S realized that the boys had some rather big issues that needed addressing and pushed G to make the appropriate appointments. These boys were a mess. Actually that is probably being kind to them. They were destructive as all get out and had no regard for S or the girls. They knew that S had no real means to make them listen and abused that fact for all it was worth. The Army was in the meantime sending G all of the green earth for training & school. S on a very constant constant basis let G know that she did not have it within her to take care of 5 children while he was gone. Now this might sound unfair but lets not forget the the 2 boys had no regard for authority and rules and were quite frankly a danger to S & the girls. Repeatedly S went to G and told him this was a BIG issue. Time and time again G ignored her.
S & G went on to become pregnant with their 4th child together which would have been the 7th in the house. They were both wanting a big family and happy about this. I remember talking to S and asking when she was going to the Dr to start prenatal care. Evidentally the Army policy is that you don't receive prenatal care until you are 12 weeks pregnant. I was horrified at that but S assured me that this was normal and in her previous 4 pregnancies she'd been healthy and had no problems so she wasn't worried. A few weeks later S had a miscarriage. I don't remember the last time I felt so bad for someone. She was having a horrid time at home because of the misfit boys and her husband was getting ready to deploy once again. Then out of the blue after 4 healthy non problematic pregnancies she miscarries. I will believe to the day that I die it was due to the stress at home from the boys.
Her husband deployed in Feb for a year and from the beginning it was a very rough deployment. She was dealing with the emotional and physical effects of the miscarriage. Then there the misfit boys as well as her oldest daughter about to graduate from HS and 3 girls 6 and under. That is a WHOLE lot to deal with. Her POS husband was distant most of the time and when he was around he was argumentative and hostile. Not at all sympathetic or caring like a good husband should be.
Time has been marching on and he has still been a grade A a$$hole. S was sure that most of this behavior was due to his diagnosed but untreated PTSD. In spite of it all she still really loved her husband and looked forward to him coming home so they could work on things. Throughout everything she stood by him, loved him and was willing to do the work needed to get things back to a happy and livable place for all involved.
I'm not sure when I started asking her if there was a possibility of him cheating on her. Since I'm very well acquainted with both sides of that story and everything she told me had warning bells ringing in my head I was pretty sure that was the case. S repeatedly defending him saying that he would not do that. Not only would he not do that to his wife but to his kids either. You see his father had been a cheating bastard and he knew what that was like. Now his father has gone on to have a family with the woman he stepped out with and G is now close to them but never forgot what his father had done.
Lets fast forward to G's R & R (for those of you not familiar with the military this is a break in a soldiers year long deployment for some Rest and Relaxation). S was waiting for G to get home on R & R so they could have a few weeks to work on their relationship. She maintained her thought that given time and work she & G could put their marriage back on track. Shortly before coming home on R & R G informed her that he would be taking the boys to live with his mother (another wonderful family trend as his mother is now raising all of her grandchildren). While S was somewhat relieved to not be dealing with the boys on her own she knew this was a bad sign for her marriage. At this point G came home on R & R and things went from bad to worse. He was completely distant and a really jerk. Again I asked S if he was possibly cheating and again she assured me that he wouldn't do that.
Guess what? He is doing that. The exact same thing that he thought his father was such an a$$hole for doing to his mother he has done to his wife and girls. Not only has he been cheating but he is ENGAGED to this other woman and is in marriage counseling with her. HELLO???????? Wouldn't go to marriage counseling with S who asked repeatedly but is going with someone who he isn't even married to????
There is more to this story and I'll try to tell it at some point in time but PB just woke up so I need to try to get her down. I just look around at my dear friend S watching her life implode around her and her soon to be ex and new fling flaunt their relationship and I can't help to wonder if maybe marriage is overrated.