I have a vivid memory of sitting at her parents' house and watching a Johnny Depp shoot-em-up movie. We were dating at the time. While the screen flickered on our faces like thematic machine guns, she turned to me, perked with enthusiasm, and with red sauce on the corner of her lip, she said those beautiful words that would've made any man fall in love with her. "I love pizza and beer."
I have those mornings sometimes. I wake up with the kids and put on an Academy Award-winning performance until they leave for school. As soon as my wife Lauren leaves to drive them though, all the adrenaline gets sapped out of me and I crawl back into bed.
Because guys tend to call depression by the names anger, irritability, stress, nights alone, promiscuous sex, pornography, masturbation, one-more-drink, most mislabel the deeper issue and, in turn, fashion themselves into ticking timebombs. Words like depression, anxiety, suicide simply aren't in the vocabulary of a macho-man, and internalization is all we know.
Like all good married couples, our biggest fights are about...well...nothing. They are simply eruptions of hoarded emotions mixed with a moment's feeling of hurt. It's like one of us chases the other deeper and deeper into a forest and then at one point, we both stop, turn around, and ask ourselves, "how did we even get here?"
When you first get married, love is shallow. After four years, you figure it all out. Just kidding. But, it really does get better and better. At least, that's been our experience. Today, January 31, is the four-year mark of our marriage, and I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than I did last year, the year before that, and before that and so on and so on.
three questions. one of you. Periodically, I will be asking a friend three questions about his or her experience with mental illness. This person might be a guy who deals with mental illness or someone (like my wife) who is a supporter. Over time, the 31U series will show how men of all sorts, with…