"What is the secret to a successful marriage? Don't get divorced."
-- Olivia Harrison
I've been thinking about Olivia's wise words, spoken to camera when she was asked how it was that she and George Harrison stayed together when other rock and roll marriages failed. She spoke these words after talking about his well known infidelity.
As she said, "Women liked George. And George liked women."
Her voice cracked, yet there was strands of love in those words. We move ahead. We persevere. For better, or for worse.
Scott and I have been together for 14 years now, and are approaching our dotage together. Both of us were married twice before, he to a childhood sweetheart who cheated on him, and then to a woman who used to make him sleep in his car.
I got married the first time when I was 24, and did so simply because everybody else was doing it. Two months after we said our vows, my husband cheated the first time. Needless to say, that marriage didn't last long, about six years. Marriage number two followed quickly. I was smitten, then made pregnant three times, then left for an old girlfriend.
When I met Scott, we both realized we were the same. Beautiful losers.
.He is wonderful, and loyal, and funny. He also suffers from debilitating depression. I am loving, and loyal and funny. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, which leaves me homebound most of the time.
What a pair. And what a life we've had. While our first marriages were worry free -- except for the infidelity part, and the sleeping in the car part -- our marriage has been challenging. Ten years ago, our lives were hit by what I can only describe as an economic tsunami.
Since then, it's like we've both been clinging to parallel trees, waiting for the murky water to subside, hoping the water snakes didn't nibble off our feet.
Digging out has been tiring and destructive. Life has aged both of us in entirely different ways.
When I get stressed, I spend night after night wide awake, my mind racing. Scott hits the Scotch hard, then passes out and starts to talk in his sleep. He leaves me spellbound, as I try to figure out what he's talking about. One night, he sat up bolt upright.
"Fuck off!" he screamed.
I nearly had a stroke.
Lately, he's been going down a rabbit hole, playing video games for hours while I try to amuse myself talking to The People of the Blog, or helping Jennette with her cancer. It's been the toughest patch yet, and the first time I wondered if we could keep it together a minute longer.
Recently, I started to recognize that feeling from long ago, the loneliness of the long distance wife left constantly on her own. I spend day after day trying to keep busy, working at my ghetto little job, talking to the dogs and Dr. Oz. We used to have breakfast together on Scott's days off, now, I eat alone at my desk.
It's a bitter pill to swallow living together clinging to parallel trees, with hands that are numb from the cold, feet that are swollen from being in the water too long, surrounded by snakes and alligators.
But I'm older now, wiser.
I want to be Cher in Moonstruck, when she slaps Nicholas Cage, and screams, "Snap out of it!"
So last night, I grabbed Scott by the collar and dragged him out of the rabbit hole. For the first night in ages, we sat together at the dining room table instead of eating random food from our laps.
We drank some wine, and had a long talk.
I felt that connection again.
That's the power of a good relationship. It's easy to short circuit, but it's nearly impossible to break the connection.
I think the dogs knew something had changed. Finnigan was jumping up on both of us while we shared kitchen chores.
A bright spot. That's all I was looking for, a bright spot.
Today, we made breakfast, and talked some more. Then we went to Jennette's to help her move some boxes. This afternoon, I made him muffins. Tonight, he'll make me dinner, and we'll watch the Oscars and make fun of the dresses.
In just a day, we made our way back to each other again.
It's like Olivia says, everything will be okay.
Just don't get divorced.