The Road to Sing Sing

I mentioned this quote in a comment yesterday, but thought it worthy of its own post. Prior to d-day, MC’s intentions were not good, were not honorable. I do believe his intent now is to be a healthy and safe person, man, father, friend and husband. At the end of the day, however, it takes so much more than good intentions.

The tragic evils of our life are so commonly unintentional. We did not start out for that poor, cheap goal. That aim was not in our minds at all. Of all the men who land in Sing Sing, who ever made Sing Sing his ideal? Not the ultimate intention but the means and the methods used lead to our Sing Sings. Thatโ€™s why the road to hell is always paved with good intentions and that is why I am not celebrating high ideals, lofty aims, fine purposes, grand resolutions, but am saying instead that one of the most dangerous things in the world is to accept them and think you believe in them, and then neglect the day-by-day means that lead to them.

Ah, my soul, look to the road you are walking on! He who picks up one end of a stick picks up the other. He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the ends. โ€“ Harry Emerson Fosdick

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5 thoughts on “The Road to Sing Sing

  1. TL, you are in such a difficult place – emotionally and physically. What can I say? How can I help? If you can’t work it out then I am in a poor position to suggest any solutions or offer any platitudes to alleviate the pain. But as David Foster Wallace suggests – “In the day to day trenches of adult experience, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance.”

    You have turned to Harry Emerson Fosdick, a Christian pastor who has articulated what is important for you. I had never heard of him or Sing Sing but I have done my research and read all of ‘The Means Determine the End’. I have to bypass the religious aspect but his words offer a wonderful understanding for all of us who have accepted our unfaithful husbands’ pledges to change.

    So it’s not MC’s intentions or goals that you are concerned with. You share them and welcome them. What you doubt is his ability to do the day-to-day things that will lead to these aspirations of being a good husband, father, friend etc. I get that. Especially as we have had our trust betrayed – it’s another layer of difficulty. But what has MC shown you till now? Is it enough?

    You cannot rescue him from himself. Only he can do this. But, I came to your blog via a letter he wrote to you as an apology for what he had done. It was so moving. Both my husband and I were in tears. It was the best example of remorse that I have ever come across. No blaming anyone else – just placing himself at the centre of the catastrophe that is his life and how this has impacted upon you. For so long he had managed to hide this from you. Now, the reality cannot be denied.

    You fear moving away with him but equally fear being away from him. What would you prefer? Some space between you and him? Or are you afraid that he would revert back? Can you live with this constant fear? Or, do you feel that you have something that is at a vulnerable stage fpr both you and him and you would rather share this? Only you know.

    But you can never control outcome. Joan Didion Says “Life changes fast; Life changes in the Instant”. Perhaps that’s what we all have to confront. Everyday. We go along, living as best we can and then wham – something pulls us up short. No matter how sensible we think we are or what plans we have made; life will do as it pleases to us.

    Are you prepared to go with the flow at the moment. Stay close to MC? You love him but is your relationship good enough to stay? Or is it bad enough to leave?

    Bottom line. You are placing a bet. All trust is a bet. We never know if someone might let us down. But look at the odds. Has MC done enough to increase his odds?

    Stay or leave – neither option is attractive UNLESS he really can be the man he wants to be and he is prepared to do the daily things that get him to where he wants to be.

    The stakes are so high.

    You must take the action that feels right for you now. It may not remain right but it’s the only option unless you want to stay in limbo. Nothing is written in stone. You can change your mind. Even if you’ve uprooted and travelled a million miles – you can still change your mind. If you decide to a form of separation – this can be reversed. The point is TL, you know your destination and you will know if you have boarded the wrong train.

    I hope I haven’t made matters more difficult than they already are but I couldn’t remain silent. You and MC have really helped me in my marriage and I am grateful to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much. I’ll write more later, but I just wanted to say thank you for this very thoughtful, very beautiful note. I just cannot even explain how much it means to me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TL – I don’t know what’s happening here but there’s a technical glitch that’s recording me as anonymous! I’m not anonymous – I’m marriage recovery!!!!! And I’m afraid I’m no geek so I may remain anonymous for ever!!!!!!

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        1. Oh MR, I thought it might be you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!!! You know what is funny, being Jewish, Christianity isn’t really my thing. And, yet, there are certain theological/spiritual teachings that resonate. I just have to look beyond the Jesus stuff. Anyway, I am going to give my thoughts in a new post. Thank you so much for all of your support. We really appreciate it.

          Liked by 1 person

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