Tuesday 5 March 2024

The sting in the tale

 My parents split up when I was about 16 - 17. I was the eldest of three, and working at Woolys. It should have happened before that. The marriage wasn't working and we were quite aware of the ongoing conflicts between the two of them. Mum only stayed there until we were old enough to understand what was happening. It was a relief when we moved out and didn't have to listen to the bickering, or indeed the long silences. 

All communications between the two of them ceased. He had to pay towards his children's upkeep until we had all left school. Mum worked part time at the Marmite factory. 

Dad found a job 100 miles away, and found lodgings with a widow who rented him a room. We lost touch completely. One day out of the blue I had a message from an uncle, dad's brother, saying that dad would be coming back for a visit, and would be staying in a hotel in the town centre. 

By this time, my late teens, I had had plenty of time to think about the break up and why things didn't work out. And now I am a lot older, I am fully aware of what brought the marriage to an end. We mostly heard about mum's side of the story, because dad was mostly at work, or out with his mates. 

I realised that dad's visit would be a good opportunity to maybe build some bridges, and have a good old catch up chat. Me and my sister surprised him with a visit at the hotel he was staying at. 

When you hear the other side to a story it puts things into perspective. Neither mum or dad were perfect. They were caught up in the moment when they got together. At the end of the war, dad in his soldiers uniform came home, bringing mum with him. 

A year or so after the hotel get together, we went with our then boyfriends up to the Wirral in the north west, to visit dad at his lodgings. He took us to his local pub where he hung out with his mates. I will never forget the smile on his face as he proudly introduced his daughters to the landlord. We got to know a bit more about him as he interacted with his friends. 

That was the last we saw of him. A year or so later we had a letter from the company he worked for saying he has passed away suddenly. We didn't go to the funeral. The letter also said that it was the tradition to have a collection at the steelworks where he worked, and the money would go to the youngest daughter. We went on the train to collect this. They sent a car to meet us at the station, and gave us a lunch when they presented the cash. 

Anyway, the last part of this story is by the by. I bring this up because there is always two parts to a story. A marriage that didn't work. There is no point in prolonging the misery when the best option is to part company and start afresh. Working hard to keep a marriage going may be the best option for those who are determined to ride the rough waves of conflict, in the hope that it will eventually smooth itself out. But we are only on this planet for a short time, and everyone has to make the decision on what is best for them. 

Forcing people to live together, whether it be a couple, a community, a whole country, or several countries, when they have nothing in common, is folly. Eruptions will break out. Resentment will rear it's ugly head. The stronger will lead to eradicating the weak. Those who have the most money will call the shots, and those who have the least will be trampled into the ground and obliterated. 

The internet, the main stream media, and any other media, are all money laundering exercises. The redistribution of wealth will see people who hate each other being forced to live with each other. That can only lead to resentment, fuelling riots, and a free for all. People can only be pushed so far. I will watch on the sidelines, as the whole fabric of society falls apart. 

There seems to be very little that the individual can do about it. But there is. Recognise that we are not masters of our own lives, someone will always be steering us in the direction they want us to go in. If you don't have a plan for the rest of your life, someone else does. 

These are my thoughts, now get on with your own life and make it the best you can.

Lots of love.   ilona 

11 comments:

  1. "But we are only on this planet for a short time, and everyone has to make the decision on what is best for them" Exactly, the words I used when, six months ago I left a relationship I was in. At 82 years old, how much time do I have left? I was not going to be unhappy for all of the days, months or years I have left on this place called earth.

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    1. You are a very brave lady x

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  2. I am a carer for my husband. We have been together for over 30 years and have many happy memories to share. Sadly, his mental health has deteriorated and now he has been diagnosed as bipolar. He takes a range of medications and sleeps a lot. But the man I love is still there somewhere and in my heart I can't walk away. I guess everyone has to make their own life decisions.

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    1. I wish you well. Make some time for yourself, give yourself some treats.

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  3. Well said Ilona. There are reason to divorce. I've been married 52 years and there have been good and bad times. Glad we weathered the bad times. Hubby had 2 strokes last year and that has affected his memory and decision making. Everything is up to me now. He needs me for everything. Sometimes I feel I'm living for another person and in many ways that is true. Occasionally I see the man I love with his humor. My thought on this situation is we took an oath 'in sickness and in health' and that applies now. I'm physically fit and mentally sharp with many hobbies but my 1st priority is taking care of hubby.

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    1. It is my understanding that if you are lucky enough to join forces with another, the secret of longevity is to both bring equal value to the relationship. My post could have easily been different if my parents had stayed together, but the love was gone. Best wishes to you and your hubby.

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  4. Tail, not tale.

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    1. Hey smart arse, my misspelling is deliberate. I told a tale, but you didn't get the sting, because you were too busy nitpicking.

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  5. My parents had a wonderful marriage and I grew up in a lovely, happy, secure home, and at the time thought everyone had the same sort of life!
    My husband and I have a great marriage too, but it took a long time for him to realise that his parents didn't really like each other much. His dad's favourite person was himself, and his mum's favourite person was herself! Husband thought his home life was normal, until he met my family and realised that his parents were odd.
    I hated going to their house, they didn't argue (well, not that I ever saw or heard), but there was no warmth there, they showed no affection at all to each other, or their only child!
    I'd been dating her son for six months before she even offered us tea/coffee, whereas in our house the first thing has always been "Tea? Coffee?Juice?"
    Husband's parents should probably have divorced as soon as their son was old enough to understand, but as his mother was extremely lazy, it was probably easier for her to stay in an unhappy marriage, and be 'kept'!
    They weren't even remotely interested when we became parents, and didn't show our son any affection, they were just very odd, cold people!
    It takes all sorts!

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    1. It takes all sorts. Thank you for your story.

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  6. Hi Ilona, love your wise words about life. For me it´s the first thing I look for when I´m reading your blog or watch your channel. Thank you for your thoughts! Best wishes from Sweden.

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