Haunting holiday memories

Five years ago today I went on a loooooooong cruise to Hawaii via Tahiti with my kids … and without my husband.

It was my last travel junket as a magazine writer. Talk about going out with a bang.

My husband could have squeezed into the cabin too, but he had zero interest in joining us. He equates cruising with the seventh circle of hell.

He also didn’t love me any more, so the idea of spending all that time together in close quarters gave him the heebie jeebies.

I only realised that bit later.

He packed me off with a list of instructions on how little junk food the kids were to eat and how many books they were to read.

I didn’t miss him during the 18 nights we were on the cruise … something my mind glossed over because it was a little too confronting to face.

My husband grudgingly met us in Hawaii at the end of the cruise – he regards Hawaii as being the sixth circle of hell – and I noticed he didn’t make eye contact when he greeted us at the passenger terminal. Again, it was something my mind glossed over because it was a little too confronting to face.

I was on edge during our week-long holiday that followed, worried about not living up to his standards of parenting. Not having to deal with his disapproval on the 18 preceeding days had been so relaxing.

While we were there, we had another of our numerous stoushes over my predilection for “easy” holiday destinations such as Hawaii and Fiji. I noted on my blog during that Hawaii trip: “Husband is threatening to drag/fly us to Vietnam next time we have the cash (fortunately that looks like being never). His idea of the perfect family holiday is challenging yourself a bit. Sounds like a fabulous opportunity for some father-daughter bonding without Mum to me.”

I wasn’t prepared to give an inch on the Vietnam idea. I wasn’t prepared to give an inch on much at all by that stage.

I’ve since realised how much oxygen and attention you need to give love to keep it alive.

You can’t toddle off on an 18-night cruise without a backward glance at your husband and expect your marriage to stay the distance.

I still wonder when our failing relationship reached the point of no return.

Was it on Waikiki Beach?

Was there a point it could have been saved if we’d both started trying a bit more?

Is it possible to fall back in love again?

Should we have tried harder?

So many questions have become moot points. We didn’t try harder. We didn’t notice – or care – that we were reaching the point of no return.

I swirl the marriage vows around in my head and think how beautiful and important they are: “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part …”

We screwed them up.

Stupid us.

Are you divorced? Do you ever worry you didn’t do everything you could to save the marriage? 

Song of the day: Lenny Kravitz “It ain’t over til it’s over”






5 thoughts on “Haunting holiday memories

  1. All i read in this is you taking on too much of the blame for everything that helped end your marriage…
    There is reasons he couldnt look you in the eye when he met you in Hawaii…
    Far outweighs anything you contributed…
    Please, when you find you are beating yourself up
    for any part you had in it all, or when you find yourself thinking down that track, do something as simple as pull yourself up & think of a positive in your life now to counteract the negative…
    Living with a narcissist takes years to recover from, be nice to yourself

  2. Yep, what Megz said, too!

    After having two attempts at marriage with a 2 1/2 year gap then together for another 5 years, I was devastated to be told one night that “I don’t want to be married anymore”! I can’t recall whether “to you” was also added but neither of us has re-married after about 18 years. Not sure what that says about us really!

    Anyway, I was very angry for some time and only communicated by text or e-mail. Eventually our relationship became a friendship again, as it began, but I have never had an answer to “why” and, I must admit, it still bugs me a little….

    The thing is, if I don’t know the “why”, then I can’t do anything to fix it. Obviously it was too late to fix anything in our marriage anyway. I still wonder sometimes if we will ever have that discussion.

    Geez, that was all a bit personal! 🙄

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