Since I was a
kid, one of my biggest goals in life has been to have
a 50th Wedding Anniversary. As a child of divorce
I was committed to "doing it right", working
through every disagreement and becoming stronger
because of it. It's with that mindset that Burgundie
and I got married at 21, and with that same
mindset that her announcement that she only "loved me
as a friend" devastated me. I mean,
never-saw-it-coming-2x4-to-the-face-rocked-me. But I
was young. I got up and tried again.
It was that same
mindset that I realized that Jess was unhappy in
LA and suddenly my childhood dream became secondary.
It's where Jess and I probably deviate from so many
people's ideas on life. The legal document and the
public scorn from dissolving it paled in comparison to
a life of unfulfillment for the person we loved.
Knowing we couldn't be what the other needed was
heartbreaking, but it was the truth. We made the right
choice and are still connected today... but add
another to the tally and the thought of a 50th Wedding
Anniversary was vanishing.
By the time Donna
rolled around I knew I was doomed. Was I
really gonna let someone I love go back to South
Africa just because we didn't want to get married?
Goddamn I struggled with it. I actually do value
marriage, and I did not want to get married
because her issues were gigantic... but the
alternative was heartbreaking. I did love her, and I
saw that I could at least help this woman stay in
the country (something Talya has also done with her
first marriage) and we both gave those relationships
everything we had. To date I've never given so
much of myself to keep someone alive, let alone keep
the relationship going. It's another well documented
story that I'm proud of for different reasons because
as far as I know, she's alive. Yes, it got that
bad. There was a world of potential, but with demons
so big they couldn't fit in any room. But now? I was a
three-time loser that felt he (nor were they) at fault
for any of the dissolutions. Try ever explaining
that to anyone.
did give me the benefit of the doubt, or probably just
enough rope to hang myself, but to their surprise
I never did. Common sense tells you "If this dude
isn't telling the truth? It will come up."
'Cause no one can tell a whopper of that magnitude
without it falling through. Talya gave me the benefit
of the doubt, with surely a bit of naiveté and
lovey dovey in her eyes... and then she met the exes
and also fell in love with what good people
they were. She was able to read Donna's emails to me
that aren't public. This guy really was telling the
truth. There were no betrayals, there were no huge
character flaws, these simply weren't failures in any
sense other than legal. They were the right outcomes
for the people involved.
Reading this must
seem bizarre to people that don't know me. That never
see how I interact with Talya or any of my
friends or family. I operate differently than nearly
everyone I know when it comes to relationships. Within
a couple weeks of even knowing Talya we were in
an intense conversation about why I felt we
wouldn't work out. She comes from a different world
financially and it's a world I will never be in.
Not being defeatist, it's just not a goal. Whereas
most people are only talking about fun stuff and doing
fun things a week or so in? I'm cutting all that shit
and trying to rip it apart. I don't even want to waste
my time if I can find red flags and cracks in the
foundation. I know myself so well the red flags
beat me over the head. I say all of this to
explain where I am now, with Talya.
To have gotten
through all those issues and get to this level of
peace? Means I will be connected to her for life. I
have never felt this and been wrong. When you connect
on this level, the connection doesn't expire. In the
past it has needed to be redefined and while that was
heartbreaking? They were products of the environment
and several things completely out of our control.
I know Burgundie has regrets, and I also
know had Jess and I not moved to LA? We would never
have had to face the issue of splitting up. The
romantics never want to admit this, but you need a lot
more than love to be happy.
I'm writing this
to let people know that Talya is fully aware of my
past. And how I feel about it, and how I feel about
her. For example, Talya is very close to her mother.
If we moved to the other side of the country away from
her mother? I haven't the slightest idea how she
would react, how our relationship would suffer, or if
everything would be just fine. I honestly don't know
that. I thought Jess would be fine, in the end
she wasn't. But I'm not moving, Talya ain't moving,
and her mother isn't moving. The issue won't come up.
And if for some reason in ten years Talya and
I decided to move to Italy or some shit? We'd do
so being fully aware that it was a risk. When Jess and
I came out to LA in 2000, there was a chance that
I'd want to stay and Jess would want to go back. We
talked about it ad infinitum and we jumped with all
the faith we could muster. And we are here today.
I don't think that relationship was heavily
flawed because of it, I think that relationship was
put in an environment that lacked the support she
needed and it was something I simply couldn't
provide. She has everything she needs now.
I have so much support, we actually feel like
we're stealing. Like we robbed the support store.
Every single family member on both sides and our
closest friends (which include exes). Hell, even
Talya's ex who I clearly have a few issues with
told me on the phone the other day that he loved the
proposal video. Every single aspect of our
relationship floats to such an extent that we are able
to deal with an intense amount of drama outside
of us. We do so with giggles and love. If we get
attacked we defend ourselves and end it with a hug
toward the attacker. It's the feeling I'm sure many of
you have felt in your own lives that when you feel
good about yourself, you're able to help others? We
feel like two parts of one unit that energizes each
other to go out and spread more smiles. We spend a
ridiculous amount of time together and we simply mesh.
No other way to put it. All of that being said? I
would never want to take Talya away from her family
because I realize now that they provide things
I simply can't. For some women who aren't as
close to their families this may not be true, but in
this case... it is. I know that. I had no way of
knowing it with Jess until 4 years in.
The thing is?
Several couples have been through this and have
incredible relationships after a marriage because they
loved each other enough to let go. It's slightly
unconventional, but it's not delusional. Thinking that
love can be wrong feels delusional to me. All things
are possible through love, you just have to put the
other person's best interests at heart. I know of a
couple where the guy went into the marriage fully
knowing his wife didn't want children, although he
kinda did. In the end, he felt he loved her enough to
be OK with that. What happens if in a few years he
regrets it and feels his life would be unfulfilled if
he didn't have children? That's a pretty big one. Does
she say "you made your bed, now lie in it" or does she
let him go? She would then have to defend what she
feels is a "failed marriage" through no fault of her
own. There are no easy answers here, especially when
religion isn't involved. As I said in a song during
If you both
believe in Jesus, you'll probably work it
But if she
believes in Buddha, well, the outcome is in
If you both
believe in love I guarantee you it will
Love is just
a dreamers dream a fractured fairy
I'll believe, again...
Part of me envies
the religious because it trumps all "self". Only
part of me envies that however, but that's
another entry. Point being, if you take out religious
and social dogmas? You're left with love and doing
what's best for the other person. Interesting to think
about. Funny what power religion and society holds
over our happiness, isn't it?
Thankfully, I am
in the city I want to be in, both Talya and I are able
to make money and pursue what we love in this city, we
have family in this city for support, and we both
share the same yearning for children and our own
family. To say I've never had a situation like this is
to say the least - and that's just the boring
logistical shit. The interpersonal stuff between us is
a given, which is why our families are so
So, uhm, yeah -
that's why we're getting married sooner (December
28th) rather than later. LMFAO. It stands to reason it
would take me over 1500 words to get that across. :-)
Now about that 50th Wedding Anniversary...
unfortunately I dreamt as a kid that my death-date was
July 13th, 2057. Seems I'm off by a few years, doesn't
it. Then I met a couple in their mid-80s that inspired
me to push past a date I've held onto for easily 25
years. Talya's maternal grandparents. They are far
funnier than this clip shows, but that's because the
really funny stuff is so personal. This is how
they talk about EVERYthing and EVERYone at ALL times.
They are what my radio character Lester was with his
grandson Johnny. Old enough to not give a shit... and
have been married for over 60 years. They are the
standard-bearer for me and Talya for years to
mom does the multiple name thing with me, except
there's usually 2 dogs and a cat thrown in there as
well. LMAO. Love it.