My Teenage Daughter’s Wedding Almost Caused My Own Divorce –
My husband required a visit to the emergency room this weekend to get stitches above his right eyebrow. It was another basketball injury, and it reminded me of the very emotional incident about a year ago when my teenage daughter’s wedding almost caused my own divorce.
It all started with a basketball game . . .
If you’ve been following along, you know that my daughter was married in high school. Her wedding was initially not supposed to be until August, but then I was basically blindsided by the wedding being moved up to March which gave us only about 10 weeks to plan the wedding. You can read all about that here:
This is Indiana, and in Indiana, there’s something known as March Madness or sometimes also called Hoosier Hysteria. Personally, I think the real March Madness is the absurd weather we sometimes get in March. Some years it’s perfectly nice, but some years we go back and forth between winter and spring every other day.
It’s mid-April right now, and we’re expecting snow again today. It was almost 80 on Friday. That is true madness! But for most Hoosiers, March Madness means basketball. All the big basketball stuff happens in March. The NCAA tournament, the Indiana high school boys’ post-season tournament play, and so on all happen in March.
But the most important basketball event in Indiana is the Randolph County YMCA Church League Tournament. The church league tourney is usually wrapped up early in March, but last year, some of the games were postponed because of one of the local high school girls’ teams going to the state finals.
Because the church league tournament was pushed back a few weeks, and the wedding was moved up by several months, my husband found himself in a little predicament. The day of the wedding was the same day as the church league basketball championship.
Fortunately, the championship game was at Noon, and the wedding wasn’t until 3:30 pm.
We first met at a high school basketball game – his game. Some mutual friends introduced us to one another, and then they ran off giggling, leaving us to stand there awkwardly. My husband is not a man who knows many awkward silences, but that was definitely uncomfortable.
He scored 29 points that night, so apparently, he recovered from our awkward encounter at the concession stand area during halftime of the JV game. How ironic though that it was with a basketball game that we began and from a basketball game that we nearly ended.
I was not at all mad that RiflemanDad went to the church league championship. I told him he needed to play because he couldn’t let the team down, and it wasn’t like the game was during the wedding. Since his sister saved the day by going to pick up the fried chicken for us in Muncie, he should have had plenty of time to get home and still get us all to the church early.
I was not at all mad about church league. I really wasn’t.
However, instead of taking his car, he took my van to the game. The rest of us could not start loading the van full of the seven or eight crockpots and all the other wedding stuff until he returned. The vehicle situation was still not a huge issue even though it put us a little behind.
I was not mad about the van. I really wasn’t.
He managed to make it back from church league with no injuries or anything, so that was good. I couldn’t help but be a little concerned all morning thinking about the year he took an elbow to his front tooth that resulted in a dead tooth, root canal, and concussion symptoms later in the day.
He has also broken his nose twice while playing basketball at various times. He broke off one of his teeth the year before I met him on the day before Thanksgiving when his face went into a bleacher while going for a loose ball. The incident that landed us in the emergency room late Friday evening was from his eyebrow colliding with the opponent’s forehead.
Thankfully, he made it home safely from the games.
On the day of the wedding, he made it home just fine, so that was a relief. I had a million things I needed to get into the van, so I started telling him what needed to go. And that’s when he informed me that he still needed to shave his head.
I had not yet been to bed because I was shredding pork, making cheeseball, finishing flowers, and working on the slideshow and music ALL NIGHT, and he went to bed at 9:30 pm the night before. I was a little mad at that point. Like seriously, he could have just shaved his head the night before, right?
I didn’t have time at that point to even have an issue with him still needing to give himself a haircut. I just let that go because it wasn’t worth a fight even though it was already 1:30, and we were supposed to be at the church at 1:30. I let all of that go because that’s just what you do when your husband does something really irritating, but you don’t even have time to have a fight with him.
I was pretty mad then, but I just let it go.
The kids and I started loading all the crockpots in the van. Fortunately, my husband is wise enough that he didn’t tell me the next part of the story, the part which certainly could have caused a divorce, until a few days after the wedding.
There was an unfortunate incident with the clippers, but thank goodness we had dog clippers.
When he got out the clippers and started shaving his head in our son’s bathroom, he took one swipe with the clippers, and they completely froze up. They stopped working. He was just standing there with a big strip shaved out of his head and no way to finish the haircut.
A normal person might have been frantic, but RiflemanDad doesn’t really do frantic. He started digging through the linen closet and found the really old clipper set that the kids kept because they sometimes use it on the dog. He finished shaving his head with the dog clippers. Then he loaded the rest of the stuff in the van without telling me anything about the clippers.
There’s that funny post going around Facebook sometimes where the dad sent the mom photos of the little boy with a strip shaved out of his head the day they were supposed to have family pictures. The mom starts cussing him out by text. Then he finally tells her it’s just a filter and sends the picture of the son with his hair still fully intact. Well, my husband almost did that to us before the wedding, except it wasn’t a filter, and it wasn’t a joke!
He almost did that to his hair, for real, and it’s a good thing I didn’t know about it that day. It is humorous now, but it could have very well caused a divorce on our daughter’s wedding day.
You can find other posts about the wedding, the events that led to the couple being married in high school, and links to our frugal wedding DIY’s on our wedding page.
No part of this was hyperbole, EXCEPT the mention of divorce.
Obviously, as you can tell we did not get a divorce. Thankfully, since I didn’t even know about the clipper incident until days after the wedding, I didn’t even know I should want a divorce.
Folks, I’m just joking! We DO NOT fight that way. You cannot fight that way and maintain a healthy marriage.
We do not throw divorce out as an option even when my husband does something ridiculously annoying. If divorce is put on the table when there’s a conflict, there’s no possible way to resolve that matter or future issues. No one can feel safe in a marriage if they believe divorce is the potential outcome of hashing out concerns with each other.
You have to be able to be angry with each other without fear of divorce. You have to be able to discuss your differences without fear of divorce. To have a healthy marriage, you have to feel safe enough to say, “We have this issue, and we need to work it out,” without being worried the other party will threaten divorce.
Threatening divorce is a form of abuse. Threatening to leave when your spouse is doing something super annoying is a form of abuse. Withholding affection when your spouse is doing something that rubs you the wrong way is a form of neglect and abuse. Giving someone the silent treatment when you are angry with them is immature and a form of emotional abuse. Two people CANNOT build a healthy relationship if one is always afraid the other will walk away when there’s conflict.
Marriages have conflict, but if the relationship is the top priority, you tackle the conflict and move forward without withholding affection and without threatening to leave. Love is a choice, and you make a choice to love your husband even when he thinks the exact moment you’re supposed to be at the church to get ready for your daughter’s wedding is an appropriate time to shave his own head.
[Disclaimer – Matters of safety are an entirely different ballgame. Where abuses and addictions are involved, the offended party must remove herself/himself for his/her own safety and should not return as long as a threat to safety exists.]
My daughter’s wedding did not almost cause a divorce because we don’t argue that way and never have, but all other events and statements are completely accurate and unfortunately not even exaggerated.
The stitches incident this weekend gave me a new appreciation for injury-free games on the day of the wedding.
On Friday evening, RiflemanDad played in the Randolph County Coaches Clash. This is a pretty cool event where the coaches from each of the five county high schools duke it out for the win. Because of the way the brackets were drawn, we knew we would have to play three games to win it all.
About halfway through the first game, my husband’s eyebrow collided with another man’s forehead. Because he took the force of the hit right on the brow bone, it split right open and left puddles of blood in a trail as he exited the gym. It was obvious right away that it would need stitches. The gash actually split and formed a Y.
There wasn’t a trainer present when it happened. The host school let us into the trainer’s room, and we went rummaging through their supplies to try to find any way to temporarily patch it up enough to go back into the game. I attempted to close it with butterfly bandages, but I could only find a place to put one.
Adding anymore was impossible because one side would have to be on the eyelid. There was just no way to seal the three parts of the cut without covering the eye with those bandages. I did rinse it really well with peroxide though, and the bleeding had slowed by then.
Since we couldn’t find a way to close it ourselves, we decided it would be better to just go on to get the stitches before it got late in the evening. As we were walking out of the school, another school’s trainer arrived and heroically offered to patch it, so my husband could finish the games. The rest of the team did a great job, and they won the first game while my husband was being patched.
The trainer did an awesome job of taping it with these strips.
He was able to play two more games, and our team pulled off the victory in the championship.
We then waited about three hours in the emergency room to get it stitched. It was midnight before we were finally home, and BullseyeBubba had a track meet very early in the morning. Everyone at the hospital was extremely kind and courteous, but obviously, the man who just needs stitches and thought he was okay to play two more basketball games after the injury is not considered a high priority when there are patients with actual pressing needs.
It’s healing nicely, and he still went to Old Man Open Gym on Sunday afternoon and played for two hours because “no one at the hospital told him he shouldn’t play with stitches.” (I’m assuming he should have had some restrictions with the stitches, but they probably didn’t think it would do any good to tell him not to play when he had already played two more games with a gaping head wound before coming to the hospital anyway.)
It was an unexpected detour for us on Friday evening but really just an inconvenience at the most. Can you imagine if something like that had happened that morning on the wedding day? Thank goodness these seven stitches were not on his face for all the wedding pictures! If he had ruined the wedding pictures with stitches, I might have had to reconsider my policy on threats and ultimatums while fighting. Just kidding!
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