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I am feeling a bit wistful tonight, so please bear with me.  On this date 35 years ago the former Mrs. Translator and I were married.  I was 20 and she was 19.  We had both been in relationships before, but as soon as we met we knew that we were going to be special to each other.

I was at a friend's house one afternoon and a powder blue 1976 Camaro pulled into the driveway.  I do not recognize the car.  It pulled up to where my friend and I were and driving it was the most beautiful girl that I ever saw.

She was my "type".  Petite, with long, dark, hair that had just enough natural curl.  Her voice was not shrill, but not masculine either.  As Goldilocks would say, it was just right.  I was 18 and she was 17.  It was not what is termed "love at first sight", but we were immediately attracted to each other.

I had a steady girlfriend, but we were already growing apart from each other.  We dated for a while, but the new girl and I were hitting it off wonderfully.  My former girlfriend and I finally broke up and the new girl and I slowly became almost inseparable.  As the months passed, we soon learnt that we really were right for each other.

One summer afternoon on the front porch at my house I asked her to marry me.  She said yes.  Her parents were delighted, mine not.  Still, they knew that we were both determined to go through with it.

That was in the spring of 1976.  My parents and I took a trip from Hackett, Arkansas to Anchorage, Alaska by car pulling a travel trailer.  The Alaska Pipeline was under construction, and cars and trailers were in high demand.  We sold the car and trailer and made enough money off of the deal to fly back to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  My cousin came to pick up us, and brought her along so that we could see each other as soon as possible.  The three weeks of separation was horrible for both of us.

On 18 June 1977 she and I were married.  The ceremony was at Harvest Time Tabernacle (her parents' church), but it was performed by Roger Glover, my parent's pastor.  She and I came up with that approach to keep both sides of the family satisfied.  Then came college, and our parents helped us out until I started graduate school and made barely enough money to cover our expenses.

She also worked during college for a while, and then started her degree program.  She was a junior when we found out that we were going to have our first child.  Eldest Son was born (via Caesarian) on 08 May 1985 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Interestingly, he was delivered by now deceased Kossack William F. Harrison.

Dr. Harrison provided abortion services at the clinic where we would to for prenatal checkups.  It always amused both of us that the protesters, who were pretty much the same every time, would jeer at us when they saw us regularly and it was evident that we were not seeking abortion services.  

Over the years we had two more boys, all of whom have turned into fine young men now.  We were deliriously happy for many, many years.  Sure we had our ups and downs, but show me a couple who say that they have never had conflict and I will show you a couple who lies.  Very much for the most part we were very happy together.

Things got bad in 1992 or so, when I took a job in a distant city.  Long distance relationships are difficult at best, even though I would come home every weekend.  Loneliness sort of took its toll, and I strayed with a woman whom I met in New Orleans.  We carried on for quite some time.  Of course she found out, and forgave me.  I got a good job in southeast Arkansas and we bought a house and were a family again.  This continued for some time, and then I got another job and moved the the Bluegrass, where I strayed again.  This time it was just too much for her, and I do not blame her for wanting the divorce.

It was amicable, and we never raised our voices towards each other.  She was very fair in her requests, and so was I.  The boys were all grown by then, so there was no custody nor visitation complication.  It was pretty much money and stuff that had to be divided, and that is easier than dividing children, although I am sure that we would have come to a satisfactory arrangement if we had had to do that.

I called her today and wished her a happy anniversary, asked how she was doing after the total knee replacement that she had last Thursday, and thanked her for the happy Father's Day wishes that she texted to me yesterday.  She was actually leaving the grocery store when I called today, evidently recovering nicely.  She said that it was painful, but not anything that she could not handle.  I am very happy that she is doing well.  She is the mother of my children, and I shall always love her.

My advice to anyone in a relationship that she or he believes to be important is to resist temptation.  In addition, do what it takes to be WITH your loved one as much as possible.  I got so caught up in trying to provide for the family well that I took assignments far from home and that was a mistake.

I blame our divorce primarily on my lack of ability to be true to her.  The interesting thing is that none of those relationships started as sexual ones, but rather emotional bonds.  Those of you who read my regular pieces know that I classify myself as a hopeless romantic, and I have a NEED to be close to someone to share the secrets of our souls.  One of my friends studies psychology and he says that I am also an idealist, and that being both an idealist and a romantic is especially hazardous because not only do I have the need to be close, but also the tendency to try to help those with whom I am close.

I do not know about all of that, but I do know that I singlehandedly, or almost so, ruined one of the great romances of all times.  She really was devoted to me and our children, and I blew it because of being needful.  I should have resisted, but I did not.  Please realize that I did not say that I COULD not have resisted, but that I DID not resist.  There is a very large difference, and I am not claiming that I was a victim of my own psyche.  I made those choices consciously, not because of things that I could not control.

I know that this is sort of personal, but every 18 June I become very reflective of the negative consequences of my poor choices.  I urge those of you who might be tempted to consider carefully what will (not MIGHT) happen if you give in to those urges.  Even if your mate never finds out, it changes YOU, and not for the better.  If I am ever fortunate enough to be in a mutually loving relationship again, I know now that I will avoid situations and people (well, women) that might lead to such temptations.  It is not worth the damage to a good relationship to enter into another without being completely honest with your partner FIRST.  See, that makes it almost impossible because it is highly unlikely that one could be involved deeply enough with someone else to broach the subject before any bond happens.  I know that is sort of hard to follow, but I think that you get my idea.

This is indeed a cautionary tale, but the more important part of it is celebrating the most intensely satisfying years of my life emotionally, physically, professionally, and in every other manner.  I look back at those times very fondly and wish the former Mrs. Translator nothing but happiness and joy in her new relationship.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (22+ / 0-)

    a bittersweet day and night?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:40:08 PM PDT

  •  Just Wonderful To Read (8+ / 0-)

    I am 41. Never married. I've always thought I might be walking around and run into somebody. Engage in random banter. Think to myself I want to marry that women. It has not happened yet. But I hold out hope.

    I am jealous you had that. I have not .....

    And I know you care about your sign-off so this one time.

    Tommy

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:07:00 PM PDT

  •  Translator Here Is A Story (4+ / 0-)

    I've been in love once. I was at the US Open, I think 1999. Congressional. My client was a huge advertiser. We had a limo.

    As we left the place I went to a porta-pottie. As we stood in line this women walked towards us. She could command a room. My friend was like, "you need to get you one of those."

    I did nothing. Long story short I was the dick in the limo with my head out of it yelling. I had a hat on from an event she ran the week before.

    She got out of the car and came to us.

    For about six months, well as intense of a relationship as you can imagine.

    One night on a booty call she pulled out some coke. I'd done a lot of that before, not something I did at the time. Wanted me to do it off her naked body. I have issues with drugs ......

    I walked out and never talked to her again. I'd argue the love of my life, but that wasn't acceptable. In hindsight I wish I would have done things in a different manner, but it is what it is.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:19:01 PM PDT

    •  I have never personally used (4+ / 0-)

      cocaine, but have known several people who have.  I learnt that it is EASY to get way too much involved in it, and it destroyed the lives of a couple of folks that I knew.

      Six months is only the opening credits of the motion picture of life, to make a poor metaphor.  I think that you did the right thing, because you were honest with yourself and saw bad things coming.

      One thing that I did not explain in my rambling piece was the part about cheating "changing YOU" is that, even if one's mate never finds out, one has become a liar, and one who lied to her or his beloved.  That is not a good thing.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:24:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Am Done More Drugs Than (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, Lefty Ladig, Larsstephens

        any single person should do. Hard to pull yourself away from them. I did.

        Six months is like the intro to a movie. I am just a difficult person. She just took all of that about me and threw it back at me. She laughed and mocked me.

        That might not sound like something you'd like. I did. It was a first for me.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:30:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Humor is an essential part of a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Ladig, Larsstephens

          relationship.  The Girl and I laugh at (but with) each other about our little foibles.  However, we have never taken it to the level that you reference, and you are probably correct that that would not appeal to me, but everyone is different.

          I am not sure that you are that difficult.  You would not know it from reading the almost one thousand pieces that I have posted here, but I have to force myself to be outgoing.  My personal nature is to be introverted and bookish, but that is a difficult way to make new friends.  However, it serves me well when those close to me are not available.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:35:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Often Mention Two Things (4+ / 0-)

            In college, in high school speech class, I was asked to give a talk. About what formed me as a person. I said I was 17. I had lived in six places. Military brat. I was used to being in a room and knowing nobody. I got used to walking up to a total stranger and saying, "hi my name is Tommy, can I be your friend."

            I can do that. But honestly I talk about myself, how I feel, in ways here I never even talk to with my parents. People here know more about me than my parents do.

            I am pretty closed off in my face-to-face life.

            When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

            by webranding on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:42:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for sharing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Translator, Larsstephens

    I lived with my love for almost 20 years; although we never married, I loved him deeply and totally. He decided he wanted out 10 years ago, and I agreed we needed to part. Nevertheless, hardly a day goes by that I don't think of him fondly, and miss him, and hope he is well.

    I'm glad you two are able to be friends today.

    Peace and warm wishes.

    •  Thank you, first, for the kind wishes! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Ladig, Larsstephens

      And yes, we are still friends, but not how it might have been except for my foolish actions.  Deception is a really bad thing, and I deceived myself before I deceived her.

      I am sorry that you parted ways, but usually it is necessary.  Here is something just for you, and I think that it will have deep meaning for you.


      Once upon a time
      Once when you were mine
      I remember skies
      Reflected in your eyes
      I wonder where you are
      I wonder if you
      Think about me
      Once upon a time
      In your wildest dreams

      Once the world was new
      Our bodies felt the morning dew
      That greets the brand new day
      We couldn't tear ourselves away
      I wonder if you care
      I wonder if you still remember
      Once upon a time
      In your wildest dreams

      And when the music plays
      And when the words are
      Touched with sorrow
      When the music plays
      I hear the sound
      I had to follow
      Once upon a time
      Once beneath the stars
      The universe was ours
      Love was all we knew
      And all I knew was you
      I wonder if you know
      I wonder if you think about it
      Once upon a time
      In your wildest dreams

      And when the music plays
      And when the words are
      Touched with sorrow
      When the music plays
      And when the music plays
      I hear the sound
      I had to follow
      Once upon a time

      Once upon a time
      Once when you were mine
      I remember skies
      Mirrored in your eyes
      I wonder where you are
      I wonder if you
      Think about me
      Once upon a time
      In your wildest dreams
      In your wildest dreams
      In your wildest dreams

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:01:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Peace... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, ZedMont, Larsstephens

    ...and blessings, Translator.

  •  I would have been married 30 years this month ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Lefty Ladig, Larsstephens

    ... but that marriage ended miserably after five years because our life goals were incompatible. No sexual affairs (that I know about, at least from my side), just a series of events that proved we weren't soul mates but got married for the wrong reasons. I've been thinking a lot about her the past few weeks. The last time I spoke with her was 16 years ago, when one of those bottom-feeders who buys old debt tried to make me pay off credit card expenses that my ex-wife ran up during our separation. It was long past the statute of limitations -- I had to contact several federal and state government agencies before the bottom-feeders gave up trying to collect a debt from me that I certainly didn't owe. My ex-wife, when I called her, seemed happy to hear from me until I explained the situation. That ended the conversation, as she wasn't willing to work with me on a remedy. She has since remarried and divorced again, and moved to a different state. I really think I will try and contact her again, with no agenda except I'm just wondering how she's doing. I hope she responds in the same spirit.

    Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me, "how good, how good does it feel to be free? " And I answer them most mysteriously, "are birds free from the chains of the skyway? " (Bob Dylan)

    by JKTownsend on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:11:14 PM PDT

    •  I am truly understanding (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JKTownsend, Lefty Ladig, Larsstephens

      your situation.  When she and I  were divorced, we agreed to cut up the credit cards and never to use the again, with one exception for me that I have never abused.

      I am sorry that  you two do not get along any more.  Teena and I still love each other, but know that we can not be mates any more.

      That is one of the nice things about our relationship.  We stay in contact, and wish each other well.

      She is having trouble accepting The Girl, but The Girl is having trouble accepting me.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:21:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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