I first heard the term in 1982 used in reference to trouble shooting R-390's. R-390's had electron tubes and when trouble shooting, people would often just get a handful of the appropriate tubes and swap them out one at a time. If it didn't work after swapping out tube "A" replace the original tube "A" and try replacing tube "B" and so on until you find the tube that needed replaced.
This is how I feel a lot of people go about in their dating. When you get tired of "A" or have a disagreement that you don't think is worth resolving, let's give "B" a try. If "B" doesn't work out, let's see how we get along with "C."
And so, we go through our lives looking for the "perfect" fit. Our divorce rates are at the highest ever because it's so easy to divorce and not try, to give up, to find someone new.
In case you wonder, I speak from experience...
In Feb 1982 at 18, I married Steve. Against my Daddy's wishes and with little knowledge of what a marriage required. We knew each other less than 3 months. After nearly a month together on leave (vacation in the military), I moved to Pensacola and he remained in Orlando. We rarely saw each other. After a while, I wanted to have someone around and I'm pretty sure he wanted the same. I began dating in Pensacola and I fairly certain he did the same in Orlando. In August of the same year, my Daddy filed the divorce papers for me. The divorce became final in February 83.
I continued to date until I met Mike in early 85. We married in May 85 and transferred to Guam where he was assigned to a ship and I to shore duty. He spent a great deal of time at sea. Enough time that on his visit to Australia he met a woman there. As for how I know, letters and hotel bills are not things you should bring home with you if you want to stay married. I felt like I had been given a get out of jail free card. I told him I wanted a divorce and we separated. I started dating again. The divorce was final in January 87.
In June 88, I met the kid's dad. We lived together for almost 2 years before we married in May 90. In December 90, I transferred to Japan. He followed in February 91.
Most of the time, it was good. As long as we were drinking and partying, playing games (cribbage, cards, yahtzee), things were good. We did have a lot of good times together. It wasn't all bad.
But when conflict came along, I clammed up. I'm a fight or flight kind of person. Passive aggressive in the long run. For the most part, I would hold my anger. I'll hold it until weeks or even months later, it all came boiling out. By that time, it was never pretty.
Marriages need to be built on trust, friendship, love, having something in common. When they are built on drinking, having fun, sex, etc, they tend to fall apart after a while if nothing else ever comes into the picture.
Time spent together helps build relationships. Ours? In the first 8 years of marriage, he spent three-quarters of it at sea. How we ever managed to have children is beyond me sometimes. He'd come back from sea and we'd have to start all over again it seemed. Me to get used to him being home again and not being "in charge" and "mom and dad." Him back to "responsibility" of husband and father again. It was as hard for me to let go as for him to take up the reins again.
After a while, it got old. He'd be drinking, whether to forget or to party, it was all the same by then. Me? I'd find a book, party, spend money. The spending money part always added to the fray.
Letting go and allowing someone else to help wasn't an option. I didn't know how and I don't think he did either. Counseling didn't help. You have to be willing to admit there was a problem in the first place. I knew there was a problem, I just couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We moved to England in June of 99. For the first time in my life I felt isolated. No friends, no transportation, two children at home who I had no idea of what to do with. I felt I was losing myself to the insanity. I slipped into depression and then bi-polar/manic depression.
I thought I could hold it together. I tried to hold it together. You can't do it by yourself. And slowly, it finished slipping away.
I gave up. I told him I wanted to leave. I told him I was taking the children with me. And we left. February 27th, 2000, the kids and I got on a plane back to the states.
I didn't look back. I was through. There had to be more than what I was living.
I can't say that it's been better all the time. In fact, things were hard a lot of the time. Things were different and strange. The divorce was final in December 2004. Just the kids and I.
As I let God come in, He has changed me, transformed me, taken me to a place I didn't know I had in me. I no longer have to be dating someone or married to someone to be complete. He is my provider. He is my strength. He has been my comfort. He brought us to a place where we are loved for who we are, not for what we can do for someone else.
He is taking me, us to a new place. And one day, He will send the right man, to be a husband, a father. Not necessarily when I feel the time is right but when He says it's right. Until that time, we are ok and that's good enough for me.
I'm through easter egging.
Edited: I attempted to email this post yesterday but it did not show up. I'm adding it with the appropriate time on it.