Will It Kill Me

by Chris de Serres

When you’re single you can do anything.  On weekends, wake up late.  Go to the gym at any odd hour.  Spend your money on frivolous things.  You could isolate yourself from friends and family.  Indulge in hobbies.  I could do what I wanted, within financial limits.  I didn’t have to worry about a family.  I didn’t answer to anyone.

In many ways, the single life didn’t work for me.  After doing what you want for years you ask yourself where am I going in life?  Why do I feel depressed and disconnected?  Where do I find meaningful connections or just meaning itself?

I turned to the mountains and rock climbing.  To climbing expeditions in foreign countries.  To big risk.  I got alot out of it.  It was addicting, this ephemeral thing that solitude, nature, and the risk of death provides.  It made me happier.  I found courage to pursue meaning.

I ended up finding someone.  We got married and had our beautiful daughter.  I know that I am a better person when I have a partner.  I have a reason to be even better for my daughter.  She needs to see and believe in a better man than I ever was when I was single.  I know I am better.  You have to be to maintain a marriage.

Being married is probably the hardest thing I have ever done and it keeps going.  A marriage can be a happy place, but it can be lonely too.  I can’t not give a shit like I did when I was single.  You are so close that words and actions mean alot to your life partner.  I’ve fucked up alot in this life and I expect to fuck up big in the future.  It’s part of living.  Personal disasters are inevitable.  That’s what makes marriage so hard.  Someone else has to live through your fuckups and you have to through theirs.

You try so hard to protect them but your children will experience the effects too.  I imagine i’m not the only one who finds a lifetime partnership incredibly hard to maintain.  On some days it seems like an impossible task.  You may be numb from anger or apathetic and not caring about anything.  I say this coming from the perspective that my marriage is a good marriage.  I can only imagine those who aren’t in one.