Monday, September 30, 2013

Sometimes divorce is like a dental crown...

Before anyone worries, no Bill and I are not getting a divorce.  I just wanted to post about a thought I had this morning with a friend of mine who is on her second marriage.  She told me she had endured 20 years with her ex husband.  They have five kids together.  My friend had put up with many years with this man and they tolerated each other; but it wasn't quite a good fit.

As she was typing this to me, I was suddenly reminded of the very first dental crown I ever got back in 2006.  The corner of my back right molar had fallen off.  My dentist told me I was in need of a crown to save the tooth.

The process of getting this crown was a real ordeal.  I didn't have to have a root canal, but I remember being in the chair for a long time with a prop in my mouth and a dental dam covering my lower teeth.  I came back a few weeks later to get the new crown put on.  I had driven over 100 miles because I had decided to have my teen-hood dentist do the work.  I was looking forward to getting the crown done and over with.  When she put it on me, it didn't fit properly.  She tried to shape my tooth more so it would fit, but it was hopeless.  A new one had to be made and I had to come back three weeks later.

When I finally got my new gold crown after six weeks of waiting, the fit was adequate.  But it was never quite perfect.  I had a lot of issues with debris irritating my gums.  I would scrub the area clean with an end tuft toothbrush, only to have my gums get swollen and painful again.

Finally, after five years, another dentist told me there was decay under my expensive gold crown.  I would need to have it redone.  I hesitated.  Getting the crown had been a major pain in the ass and cost me a lot of money.  But the dentist told me if something wasn't done, the tooth would get worse.  So I let her remove the crown, clean up the decay, and replace the gold.  Lo and behold, when she was finished, I found that my new crown fit much better than the other one had... It was as if it were my own tooth.  I don't have any issues with that tooth anymore.  And to think I had suffered with an adequate crown for five years when I could have had a crown that fit much better.

As I related this story to my friend, she caught my drift.  She had put up with her ex husband for twenty years.  The marriage had been adequate enough, but there was decaying chemistry.  They weren't a good fit.  Consequently, they irritated each other in much the same way my crown had irritated my gum.

My friend got a divorce, then married her second husband.  He's a much better fit.  They are much more compatible.  There's nothing rotten about their relationship.  They fit and are comfortable and functional.  Like the drilling, novocaine, and expense turned out to be worthwhile in my case, the divorce was worthwhile in hers.  Both situations can be painful and expensive, but in the long run, they can save something important... like your sanity or your tooth.  And that will make you better able to deal with everything else life throws at you.

I said I wanted to be more introspective today, right?  And I'm trying to feel better about all the dental work I'm dealing with now.

2 comments:

  1. I get your analogy. I hope not to have to go through a divorce, though it's definitely preferable to staying in a marriage that absolutely isn't working, particularly where kids are involved. When April and Andy got married on "Parks and Rec," Lesley Knope was opposed for a variety of reasons, but mostly beause they were too young. Ron, everyone's boss, told her that marriage is never more than a roll of the dice, and you just have to hope to get lucky. Now I'm basing my philosophy of life on sit-coms. It's better than basing it on soap operas or the Book of Mormon.( I'm reading your reiew next, BTW.)

    I think you can make obviously stupid mistakes in selecting a mate, but beyond that, getting married probably is something of a crap shoot. You can't foresee events that could conceivably alter who either partner becomes. or, even if you've dated forever, there could be things you don't know until you marry the person. But you can't let paranoia rule your life when it come to marrige or anything else. Sometimes you do, after getting to know a person reasonably well, just toss the dice and hope for the best.

    My mom has six siblings and my dad has nine. Neither my mom nor my dad nor any of either of their siblings or parents have ever divorced. (There ar a few on my dad's side who probably should, including my paternal grandparents.) Only one of the cousins has divorced so far, and quite a few have been married. The one cousin who divorced had a temple marriage.

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  2. I have one uncle who has been divorced twice. Other than that, everyone's stayed married. I do have a few cousins who have divorced, but only a few. We seem to stay married in my family.

    Divorce kind of sucks, but sometimes it really is necessary. I know it was in Bill's case.

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