Ok, being a geek and a loser during my formative years, I'm skipping the first half of this writeup, (which means I had no real relationships up until,) and skipping straight to

Late Teens

At this point in my life, I wanted a relationship badly. But whenever I got into one, it was very easy to start finding reasons why it was stupid to continue. This era SHOULD have instilled a fear of commitment in me, but because of my "being a geek and a loser during my formative years", fears of being alone had priority.

Early Marriage

Yes, I was victimized by my community and my hormones. Growing up in Utah, where the community's average marrying age is 21, I married right on time. I married, in fact, the first woman who really hadn't completely conflicted with me. I knew something wasn't right from day one, however, and as a result desperately avoided the issue of children. I got a sick feeling whenever the issue arose because I knew things would need to be worked out between us more, first. We were always friends, but NEVER lovers. That would have been ok, hypothetically had I already had a few great lovers. Seeing as my wife was VERY low on the chronological list of lovers in my life, I always felt like I'd missed a part of my life. Which got into the workings of our marriage, and broke it up after two years. I always felt trapped over the course of this relationship. I'd never thought it was even possible that I would divorce. So when things went bad, they went really bad. I would go into this spiral of depression, not knowing what to do.

Post Marriage

Yes, congratulate me, I was a statistic at age 23. Having been completely deprived for the two previous years spawned an unstoppable hedonistic impulse. Luckily, I found the best among the first few. Here is where, once again, wisdom takes a back seat to love and hormones. I found the love of my life, and we headed off to CA to make our fortunes together. This relationship was wildfire, with fierce highs and despondent lows. My gut reaction to problems in the relationship was abject terror, yet because I never felt trapped in the relationship, it always gave me time to think things over and realize just how special this particular relationship was. So just as I started to turn in, I'd realize what potential there was for riding things out and being back with my love.

Pregnancy

Since meeting my love, I'd wanted to start a family with her. We agreed on almost everything, we were passionate, everything "worked". It was time to move to the next level. So, we conceived a child. From the moment this happened, everything changed. We were tied together completely. When she has mood swings (and believe me brother, you ain't seen anything until you've lived with a pregnant woman), it's easy to handle them, knowing this too shall pass. It's extended my limited patience, quite possibly an inherited trait to prepare me for dealing with my children.
The point of this node is, I've reacted differently to bad times differently depending on how I viewed the relationship I was in at the time. During the early years, conflict was a sign of incompatibility and meant it was time to move on. During my bad marriage, I "needed to keep things together", and because there wasn't any way out, I wanted one. And after meeting my true love and conceiving a child, I want to make the best of conflict and come out stronger. Proof of a gradual process of maturing, I suppose. Heck, at this rate I'll probably reach the emotional maturity level of an average fifteen year old soon.

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