Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 1:3 The Inner Yearning

Posted at 17:48pm on 9th November 2009

With two babies only a year apart in age, Meg is as lonely as ever. Will moving house be the answer? For a while it seems a possibility. But as James’ career ambitions take him away from home once more, it seems that only a new friendship might fill that inner yearning.

Catch up with this true story so far in Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning. It will be posted, in parts, two or three times a week. You may wish to subscribe (for a free prompt) to follow the story to its conclusion. Simply click on the button on the right.

MOVING HOUSE

We bought a house in a more rural area some months after Victoria’s birth, and converted it into flats for our own occupation, and to let to augment our income. As soon as my strength returned, I began painting and decorating, finding, to my surprise, a great satisfaction in doing so. For a while, James also became quite interested in a passive sway, as he project managed the conversion, directing builders, carpenters and plumbers with the various alterations, and gave his approval – even admiration – of my skills with interior design.

I began to think that I had misjudged him, realising that few men are able to coo and drool over a tiny baby, and that it was often only with the emergence of a toddler’s personality that a father felt able to engage. James was obviously no exception! And although he still spent a large part of his leisure time in the pub, it was plain to see that he enjoyed the moments he spent romping with our two babies, every bit as much as they did with him.

As my body began to heal, so did my mind. Marriage, motherhood and a move to a new house might just, I thought, be the answer to my inner ache: that unidentified yearning.

But I’d reckoned without James career and ambition. Within a short time his interest in home began to pall, and once more I was left to my own non-existent resources. Though a non-church-goer, my constant prayer was that my marriage might be happy and secure. It didn’t occur to me to doubt that God would hear me; nor that the desire of my heart would not, also, be his. He was soon to show me an answer. Though not in the manner in which I had imagined!

I was seated, one evening, before the coal fire in the lounge, following bath time with the children. Sarah, now three years of age, played happily on the floor, whilst Victoria, a year younger, was wrapped in a huge white towel on my lap. Suddenly, the door bell rang. With a vain attempt to smooth my unruly curls, I gathered up the baby and went out to the hall.

My visitor sported a clerical collar. The local Vicar, perhaps? Beyond him the November fogs swirled and eddied, creating a bright aureole around each of the gas lamps down the street.

“Come in,” I said, anxious to keep out the cold night air. “I’ve just bathed the babies. I don’t want them to get a chill.”

The Vicar stepped over the threshold and I closed the door hastily behind him. I led the way into the lounge and, with some embarrassment at having been caught in such a mess, pushed the talc, baby cream and other paraphernalia out of sight behind a cushion.

“Please excuse the clutter.” I waved him to a seat at right angles to mine. “Do you mind if I continue drying Vicky?”

My apology was half-hearted. By this time of day tiredness was the dominant feature of my life.

The Vicar, Charles something – that much I had caught as he came into the room – was sandy-haired and youthful. He seated himself between the lumpy cushions, appearing not to notice the tins and jars hidden beneath them.

“I’m quite used to it,” he said, jovially. “My wife and I have two about the same age. Girl and boy. We live just along the road – two down. I’d heard you’d not been well, so I thought I’d come along to introduce myself.”

We chatted for a while about this and that and then, regarding me candidly, he asked if James and I would like to attend a Guest Service in Church the following Sunday.

I pursed my lips. “Oh! I don’t know that James would be free,” I replied, aware that I sounded defensive.

It seemed churlish to leave it at that. “I do believe in God,” I continued, as if offering this man a donation. “But I’m not at all sure that James does. Besides -” the admission about James felt like a disloyalty “- I don’t believe that going to church is necessary.”

“Any more than going to visit your parents would be?” Charles quizzed me, with a teasing smile. “Surely, if you believe in someone, you’d want to spend time with them?”

“Well – yes. But I went to a convent school as a child, and I remember it as a lot of ritualistic pomp and ceremony. I mean – you can just as easily pray here at home – and I do! Or in a field, come to that.”

Charles concurred with a nod, and turned the conversation to lighter matters. I began to relax – almost to enjoy myself. He was amusing to listen to and easy to confide in. My defences down, I found myself divulging the highs and lows – mostly lows – of my life.

“James seems to have lost interest in me,” I said, suddenly aware that my present dishevelled state, and that of the room, must make this appear to be a perfectly reasonable reaction on his part.

“Actually, I’m not sure he ever was interested. We hardly ever went out alone, even when we were dating. And he works such long hours we hardly see each other. I love him so much, but I feel worn out. Two babies. No washing machine. And decorating this great place. Just look at the height of these ceilings, and all embossed, too. They take forever to paint. . .” My voice trailed away.

“I know!” Charles responded, ruefully. “Ours are the same. Look, why don’t you come round for coffee with my wife, Eileen this week. I’ll get her to give you a ring. She’s in just the same boat as you. I’m sure you’d have lots in common.”

God is good! After all the years of estrangement from him, and all the recent months of loneliness, he had been concerned and loving enough to place me only a few hundred yards from someone who was to become my closest friend. More importantly, he was to satisfy my inner yearning.

Now read on: In Part 2:1 of Demise Of A Marriage - Lost & Found, will Megan's new friend, Eileen, have the answer to her inner yearning?

© Mel Menzies - All Rights Reserved

Author of a number of books, one a No. 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV.

All proceeds from Mel's latest novel, A Painful Post Mortem, are for charities benefiting children worldwide. Buy a copy here and help raise cash for children like Rachel, overseas, or this project, 'drug-proofing' kids in the UK.


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