REBOUND RELATIONSHIP & MARRIAGE
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My lost love of Evelyn leads us to the next phase of my life.
THIS IS THE STORY OF MY REBOUND RELATIONSHIP.
A MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER
As explained in the dating game I lost my true love Evelyn through immaturity and
stupidity on my part. I couldn't accept her as she was. I would pay
the ultimate price for not following my heart.
The most interesting thing is with all my dates; Principles, Beliefs and Values were paramount in our discussions and we spent hours discussing them prior to any serious encounters.
It is equally interesting that my second marriage to Jeanette also included in-depth discussion of these issues.
However these discussions were not a part of my short courtship with Noreen Anne Monroe.
After much reflection it is apparent that with Evelyn and former girl friends
they were not Catholic and I had no idea what their beliefs were so it was vital
Noreen was Catholic so I assumed she had the same values that I had so there was no need to test the waters. It is proof that I was still immature and remained stupid. Also Evelyn had primed me for marriage, I was a lost hopeless soul. Marriage was so strong I could taste it.
In my second marriage Jeanette was also Catholic but we discussed in depth our set of values because I finally realized just because you share the same religion doesn't mean you share common values and beliefs.
I broke up with Evilyn in the fall of 1959 and met Noreen in the winter of 1959/1960. The meeting was lost in the shadows of time but I think it was at church. I think I subconsciously wanted to forget. She was from Vancouver and was basically husband hunting. She was lonely and missed her family. She had no family inherited disease and was the first Catholic I dated. She wanted 5-6 kids and wanted to be a stay at home mom. I didn't dig much deeper than that assuming we had the same values.
We started dating but it wasn't like my first real love, it can best be described as a rebound relationship. It was comfortable but not intense. She threaten to return to Vancouver if we didn't get engaged. I guess I decided this is likely the best it gets. Naturally we engaged in a sexual relationship but it wasn't what you would call an enlightening experience. Her family were very religious people. Her mother passed the check out the mother test but she died in a few short years and Noreen was nothing like her mother. We had a very simple wedding as her family was in Vancouver. Before we go on let me be very clear she was a good mother to our children. She wasn't a good wife but I believed marriage was for better or worse, for life and you made the best of a bad situation.
We didn't have a honeymoon because we couldn't afford one. The first
realization that something was amiss was when I was informed sex is for procreation
only. This didn't appear a problem as she couldn't get pregnant for our
first year of marriage. We married July 13, 1960 and she finally got
pregnant June 1961. Our sex life started to drop off drastically but I
attributed it to the pregnancy. I think I heard every excuse know to
womankind. I am too tired, maybe tomorrow, not in the mood, etc. etc. I loved kids so
it was a small price to pay.
The second greatest revelation was that we were to practice modest in marriage. Just what does that mean, you say. Will it means changing in the closet or another room. Nudity just wasn't a part of marriage, I guess it inflames the heart, the desired to procreate when she couldn't get pregnant because she already was. This would persist throughout our marriage except during fertility periods. Naturally birth control was out but this was not a problem as we wanted 5-6 kids.
The Christian community spread the following beliefs and values;
Sex is for procreation only.
Girls were taught the principle of modesty in marriage.
Spare the rod and spoil the child.
Birth control is a mortal sin.
Public demonstration of love is discouraged.
Teen dating between Catholics is discouraged as it is an occasion of sin.
Had I dated Catholic girls I would have realized they also have serious variations in beliefs and values.
Now in all fairness Noreen was a great mother and house maker. It wasn't really a home because there was little intimacy between husband and wife. What I didn't realize was that a house to be a home must embrace love, and intimacy. A house void of intimacy is a spring without flowers. I came from a non-affectionate family, which I despised, but I didn't know how to change it. Noreen also was from a non-affectionate family but didn't realize it. We both came from a culture that believed to spare the rod was to spoil the child. My mother came from a Germanic background and used to beat us kids on a regular basis. Yes I mean beat and I argued with other women at church as late as 2000 that this was an evil principle. My father was from a Metis/Indian background and never raised his hand against his kids. I believed this spare the rod belief was anti love, an evil belief, but this I could change and I also never lifted a hand against my family. We also believed marriage was forever so you try to make the best of a bad situation.
During the 1960's the husband was not allowed in the room during the birthing process. You were restricted to sitting in the halls or waiting room. When I enquired I was told it is hospital policy. I viewed this as another policy to destroy family bonding. It became an impersonal process. I remember when you finally got the babies home the bonding process started. You would strip the child naked and count the fingers and toes and check ever square inch to make sure everything was ok.
Raising a family was the light of my life. We bought our first house, a
large house built about 1910, after living in small rental houses. I
recall it had a small den with a fireplace that I built two fish aquariums with
a 6 foot connecting tunnel over the mantel. As a family we, all seven of us, would
cram together in that small room to watch TV. It took about a year before
we were comfortable living in a room by oneself. The little kids wanted to
spend some nights in their parents bed when they were afraid, like during
lightning storms, but this was discouraged by Noreen. Snuggling was a very
natural thing to do in the animal kingdom but not in the Garneau house.
I remember sneaking upstairs to have a quiet, relaxing bath. Within minutes I was joined by two or three naked little kids jumping into the bathtub. At the time I was slightly annoyed but these were among some of my fondest memories. I remembered my own father, spending an hour at a time, in a locked bathroom to read the newspaper, for some peace and tranquility. I remembered my pledge not to have a non-intimate home, so most of us never locked the bathroom door.
We had a lovely large back yard and I tried to produce as much fresh vegetables, free from chemicals, as I could. I trench dug, placing manure in the bottom and you wouldn't believe the crop. Trench dug means three shovels deep. However the next year we had the most significant crop of weeds. The lesson learned is don't used non-aged manure. One year there was a contest to grow the biggest tomato from a new hi-bred seed and I was determined to win. I think the prize was $100.00 which was a significant sum in those days. Will I started the plants inside to gain a head start on the competition. I transplanted to the out side against a warm south facing garage. The plant grew 6 feet tall. I watched for the best early tomato near the base and picked the rest so the plant would focus on my prize. I religiously fed the plant collected rain water. One day I returned home from work to harvest the biggest and best tomato I had ever grown, it was perfect. When I got home it was gone. My heart dropped into my stomach. I went searching and found my little girl in this beautiful little white dress with a big patch of red tomato color stain on her front. I remember being very angry but on seeing her all I could do was hug her. She had no idea she had done anything wrong. Which in reality she had done no wrong.
We had a differing view of our place in society, Noreen believed one should
strive for the best and most. Her father was a top of his class an engineer
who became a teacher. Her brother was a priest on his way to become a
bishop. I however believed comfort is good enough and
family, friends and a modest home with modest vacation was just wonderful. I was
fully aware that too rapid advancement means you had to compromise your family
life. I know I was a disappointment to her because I didn't want to be a
doctor, lawyer or an Indian chief. She started to idolize priests
and other professional people. Her second marriage was in fact to a former
Priest Theologian who was also a University Professor who has since deceased. But that is getting ahead of
I bought a 9' x 12' tent and all the camping equipment along with a 1957 Chev. station wagon. The kids and I all enjoyed the vacations but I suspect Noreen didn't, but she didn't say too much. I rented a cabin at Lac La Nonne, by the year, for a modest sum, my parents had it previously and had furnished it. Our friends had a cabin on the same lake and life was good. Mostly the kids and I vacationed.
We joined Church discussion groups, created a floating parish of young people, determined to create a better culture. The only problem was culture is based on a strong family foundation and this we didn't have. Most clergy believed we were the ideal family but they couldn't or didn't want to see beyond the veneer. We often had three or four priest theologians visit at the same time. The discussion often centered around pedophilia in the clergy and alcoholism. The Vatican and bishops were fully aware of the problems but were unable to correct the problems. They were totally unaware of the troubles affecting the underpinnings of marriage caused by wrong beliefs. These were not scriptural beliefs but instructional church beliefs. We discussed birth control, spare the rod philosophy but not intimate problems. Don't get me wrong we had some great times, drinking homemade wine, eating modest homemade tidbits, products from the garden, singing and laughing a lot. This was likely not a good move with Noreen's predisposition to priests and more professional people.
We went out on trips to the mountains with her priest friends and she went on a skiing trip with her male teacher friend. I admit I spied on her for the first time to see if they were being intimate, which they were. The fact that they spent time alone in the mountains questioned who was the father of one of our children. I went to her teacher friends house to find out from his wife what gives. She was not a happy lady and was open to a retaliation affair. After a little hugging and kissing I decided this was not the best way. She had enough on her plate as she suspected he was being sexually intimate with his own teenage daughters as well as having affairs. Folks in the church were beginning to talk about some of her relationships and although not verified some of our other children were questionable. I still believed Marriage was for better or worse and forever. These allegations were not raised during the divorce proceedings.
The marriage began to unravel, we had different dreams and expectations, I was prepared to tough it out no matter what but she was not so inclined. Noreen had decided she wanted a divorce and unknown to me an annulment and asked me to leave. I believed one should not stay where one is not wanted. I first stayed at one of her priest friends place but decided this was not right so moved to an apartment. I gave her child support before the court judgment was made.
I gave Noreen our home with only about a $3,500.00 outstanding mortgage, our car, our collection of antique furniture and I departed the marriage with only the shirt on my back. I accepted the move to Calgary in 1975. This was the loneliest, darkest period of my entire life. My previous marriage of 15 years was annulled in 1975 by the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.
An annulment by the Roman Catholic Church is to make or declare void or invalid a marriage.
I later learned: A
marriage is a commitment made between a man, a woman and God.
It’s true “No one can make a claim to the right to a nuptial ceremony,”
In the past this was called ‘Getting Churched’ or ‘Confirmation of a Marriage’ or a ‘Formalization of a Marriage’.
In fact it was and is a public acknowledgement of a Marriage.
This fundamental Principle has been tested in Civil Law as well as Cannon Law and upheld.
An annulment is the process by which a church effectively declares that a marriage never took place.
First a valid marriage assumes both parties accept the roles and responsibilities of a marriage.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. Common Law Marriages are acknowledged in Civil Law but are likely not acknowledged in a ‘nuptial sense’ as one or both don’t want to make a public declaration. If one or both are of a fertile age, but do not want children it’s likely an invalid marriage. A marriage of two people of the same sex is valid in Civil Law but not in a ‘Nuptial Sense’, it’s a Union but not a Marriage.
These and other criteria of marriage are best served by pre-marriage counseling to try to minimize annulment.
A true marriage is, or should be, the biggest decision of one’s life; however this is not always the case.
We are driven by physical attraction, something we like to call love or soul mates.
With a greater than 50% divorce rate surely speaks to a lack of understanding of love and/or marriage.
In other wards an annulment is a declaration by the Catholic Church, in Rome, that the marriage union never had the binding force that characterizes marriage from their point of view. I had not initiated the annulment and was never offered the right to participate in the process. However I did participate in a civil divorce in 1975. I had, and still believed, marriage was for life, for better or worse. Annulments doesn't void or invalidate the children of that union, but only because, in my opinion, it would conflict with civil law.
The court awarded her alimony and child support but I gave her more than the court award which I found out later could not be claimed for taxes. She was still not satisfied and wanted more hardly leaving me with enough to live on. My world had crumbled and I was given a choice to move to Toronto or Calgary with my work. Calgary was the logical choice if I ever hoped to spend any time with my kids. I took a high-rise apartment within walking distance to work. It reminded my of a cave dweller, after leaving my large home and treed yard and garden, which I gave to my Ex. I populated my cave with plants and used a foamy for a bed. I did buy a chair and a TV table.
Noreen would later move to Calgary and marry a University Professor who was a Priest and Theologian. Alimony could stop and I could begin a new life. Noreen could fulfill her dream of marrying a more professional and prosperous man than myself. Shortly after her marriage my career took off and within a few years I was making a lot more than her University Professor but the price to pay was a broken family and much more business travel away from home than was in my old plans. I was fully aware that advancement required family sacrifice.
Go to Midelife love when I crawled out of my deep pit of despair.
GO TO MIDLIFE LOVE
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