Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Adolescent Mind in the Married Man's Body

In an earlier blog entry, I described an affair I had during my first marriage. Some people might see that as the onset of the much-feared Midlife Crisis, but I don't. In fact, I think my affair was really a part of my delayed adolescence.

Let me explain.

When I was growing up--even well into college--I was painfully shy. I had a few good friends, but never really fit into a group. I tried to mask my shyness and get the attention I craved by being silly and a smart ass. (I still do, that, come to think of it.) What that meant is that I never dated. My first serious relationship was with my first wife. Then we married.

Due to that, I was even more immature and naive about relationships than I am now. I think that if I had direct experience in breaking hearts and having my own heart broken in the relatively less serious world of teen relationships, I might have not run roughshod through the china shop of my ex-wife's and son's lives. That affair was in part a way for me to experiment in the world of relationships and love. I didn't think of it that way at the time, but I wonder if perhaps it isn't true.

The experiences I had in hurting others through my first marriage have caused me to be a better husband who is much more careful with his wife's heart. It is unfortunate that I learned those lessons in my 20s rather than in high school.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Eimmas said...

Well there might be some truth to what you're saying...the first serious relationship one has or the "first love" of one's life may not always be the best fit for a lifetime partner. Unfortunately i don't think that's something you could know until you truly know yourself - which sometimes is a result of getting your heart broken and breaking a few hearts a long the way.

Affairs are tough - I think for everyone involved. It can take years to completely heal from it, I think. And I may know a thing or two about that, unfortunately.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous eimmas said...

Also wanted to add, that my mom told me not to marry the first man i fell in love with...She said I needed to kiss a few frogs before finding a prince. Don't get me wrong, she didn't want me to be a whore but I think she wanted me to go out there and experience life. I also think she didn't want me to make the same mistake she did - not date enough before marriage. My dad was my mom's 'first' and vice versa...He later cheated on her...

11:39 PM  
Blogger Lefty said...

Thanks for the openness and honesty in your sharing. Unfortunately, I think you're right, that the only way to know ourselves well enough to be confident we could be a good partner is to go through the heartbreaks, to experience life.

And, the past is the past, and I must focus on the present and future. I do, though, need to understand why I had such a serious meltdown. I betrayed almost everything I believed in--marriage, my partner, friendship, parenthood, my morals. Ugh.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

One final thought, e. Does that mean the old saying "love at first sight" is really just romantic b.s.?

12:57 PM  
Anonymous eimmas said...

I think the saying "Love at first sight" is BS.

Love is kind of like a plant - it needs care and nuturing. It does not exist without the time, effort, and maintenance put into it.

I think you can feel an immediate and strong connection and spark with someone at first sight but, no, that is nowhere near love. Anyone who truly knows love knows that it isn't butterflies in your stomach all the time - it can be sad and tough.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

A wise response.

12:31 PM  

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