Today my wife and I celebrate 22 years of marriage. Yes, we’ve had our trials, and hardships, but together we’ve seen each other as partners and friends. We’ve endured through my wife having an emergency appendectomy, endometriosis, Lupron treatments, and numerous nutritional allergies. We’ve also endured through my hospitalization for a stress-induced heart attack, migraines, arthritis, and eventual weight gain that seems non-reversible.
However, I feel that I can’t fully celebrate today without fully disclosing how we got here. You see, my mother knew my wife before I did. When I asked mom about her, mom’s answer was, “Stay away from her. I’ve put too much work into getting her to join the church for you to ruin it.”
My mother and my wife both worked for the same small town community college when I became a piece of the puzzle. I wasn’t even looking for a new girlfriend – my last girlfriend had become my fiance’ just before dumping me for another man after I caught her cheating on me. I was open to making new friends, but had huge guards up against starting new relationships. So, imagine my surprise when she kissed me as I left her home after avoiding one of my mom’s Super Bowl parties.
There is more that I should share about the relationship between my mother and myself. It literally goes all the way back to my first girlfriend. Every relationship that I’ve had with a girl where my mom became acquainted with her ended with my mother deliberately destroying the relationship by any excuse she could manufacture. One girl was from the wrong side of the tracks (never mind that in our own home town my family was also from the wrong side of the tracks). Another girl was the daughter of my mother’s high school rival, and my mother had never learned to bury the hatchet – unless she was literally burying it in someones back. Over the years, I began to suspect that my mom either didn’t consider me worthy of them, or she didn’t want to ever see me happy.
And now we come to the point where I recently tried to repair my broken relationship with mom. In only the second phone conversation I had with her, mom asked me if my wife and I were still together. Please remember – my mother spent about 30 years as the wife of a minister of a Christian church, after getting the divorce from my dad that she so desperately wanted. Most Christians would applaud a long, stable, happy relationship. But, in only our second phone conversation, my mom asked me if my wife and I were still together. When I told her we were, her reply was, “Oh, that’s too bad.” I knew right away that this spelled the doom of our reconciliation, but I gave it another two months just to be sure.
When I told my wife about that conversation, my wife’s reply was, “That BITCH!” My wife knows everything about the history between me and my mother, particularly since she met me.
As much as I love my wife, and wouldn’t trade our relationship for anything, I feel that I owe all of my former girlfriends an apology. None of them deserved to be treated the way that my mother treated them. Each and every one of them still holds a special place in my heart.