I sat on the deck of a cruise ship, reflecting on the thirty three years of my marriage. It was not mourning, it was trying to understand how I could have spent so many years with a man I never loved.
Objectively, the marriage between myself and Patrick was perfect. He didn’t own me or I him. If I wanted to cut or dye my hair, diet or not, he had no opinion.
We didn’t discuss anything of a personal nature with each other, save our children. And again, with a kind of distance, for we didn’t have that kind of possessive love.
We always presented a united front because we took our children seriously, as if they were a work project. And as a project, we did what was best for them.
We sent them to public school for the first year so that they would appreciate private school for the rest of their pre-college education.
We enrolled them in extra-curricula activities, and encouraged them in sports and healthy life styles. We ‘got rid’ of them, to put a negative spin on it.
I don’t think Patrick or I ever loved them any more than we loved each other.
However, if there was a book called “Good Parenting” we accomplished every chapter.
We subjected our children to no pressure. We brooked no arguments. We planned everything and made sure we took them to exhibits and amusements so they would have that perfect childhood.
We wanted them to be able to say; “Mommy and Daddy took us to…” “Mommy and Daddy did….”
so that they would have that fairy tale childhood.