...over the past week, you all may have noticed that my presence here has been very sparse. I am publicly apologizing to my co-moderators here on the board - jazzbo who knows the score, and JT who will learn soon. My situation doesn't appear to look as if I will be back to "normal" anytime in the forseeable future. I am in the most intense pain emotionally and intellectually that could ever be imagined, so much so that I honestly wish I could just die. I hope that I'm not going too over the top, but I need to vent my anguish publicly. The worst part of the pain is that it is essentially 100% self-inflicted. For the past 12 years, I have shared my life - such as it is - with the most wonderful woman in the world. Of those 12 years, we have been man and wife for 7 years, in May it will (hopefully) be 8. I can remember the day and time we met, where we were what she was wearing, and the student that got his lesson late because of her. In all these years, I have never strayed, although sometimes my mind has wandered. I've done things that I am ashamed of, and embarrassed by, that have caused her pain. She has endured my thoughtlessness quietly, almost without complaint. In my selfishness and obliviousness, I didn't realize I had caused her real pain - she never lost her temper with me, never raised her voice to me, although she did let me know I'd done her wrong. My reaction was to pay lip-service to it, sweep it under the proverbial carpet, and declare it "solved". A week ago, she finally complained, with the full force of 12 years of anguish, frustration, anger, bitterness, resentment, and howling pain - she packed a bag and moved out. There was no discussion, she showed up at a gig between sets and told me she was going. I won't lie and say I was unaware of any problem, she had just days before brought a rather personal (and not for discussion here, sorry) point out that needed my attention. At the time of her bringing up the point, I obfuscated, avoided, and generally was an @$$. But, I heard her loud and clear - and was moved, but not moved enough to address the problem immedately, or at least to acknowledge it's existance and make it known that an effort to correct it would be underway quickly. It would have been, but unfortunately I waited too long to let it be known, and now it appears that it may be too late. I made excuses, as I had for 12 years: I was tired, I was too busy, I needed time....excuses, not reasons though. Anytime the person you love brings something like this to your attention, it requires immedate action. She had brought these and similar concerns to my attention numerous times throught the years - all to fall on my deaf ears. So wonderful a woman, she deserves better from me, not so wonderful a man and not deserving of her. I didn't give it, and it may cost me more than I can bear to give. Some of you know me personally - at least via phone calls to Bass Central, a few of you have actually met both myself, and the much greater pleasure of meeting my lovely wife. You may wish to point out that I am a good guy, and not to be so harsh to myself - but hold that thought: Were I so nice, would I have mistreated the woman I love so deeply in such a manner? The point of this? Two things: 1) I may not be around much for a while. I need some time to reflect on my shortcomngs as a human being, and to make an attempt to salvage my marriage. If Paul feels the need to revoke my Moderator status for this reason, I will completely understand. I am asking for a volunteer to take my place, at least temporarily (although I cannot say for how long, I have no idea how long I will be dealing with this, it may be permanent). 2) An object lesson to everyone reading: Please don't take the ones you love for granted, ever. There is no "tomorrow" without caring for today, and you can never make the mistakes of yesterday go away once you've committed them. This is what will likely sink my marriage: Too many of yesterday's mistakes were repeated. It is important to plan for the future in any relationship, but you must never focus solely on that, you must take care of the here and now or that future may never come for you. I love my wife very much, and hope to eventually convince her that I can and will change my ways. I can only hope she will give me that opportunity. Please don't make the same mistake I have, please.