Sunday, September 14, 2014

Is Getting Remarried My Dream or Nightmare?

“Would you ever get married again?”

If at first you don't succeed, try try again!

People love to ask me this. Well, probably just in general, people love to ask divorced people this complex question.

Here’s the thing about me and marriage – I never pictured myself married.

For as long as I can remember, if I thought about what my life would be like when I grew up, I pictured myself writing. That’s it. No husband, no kids, no dog. (Maybe a hamster though.) I never pretended to be a bride. I never planned my imaginary wedding. I never started the description of a dream with, “Someday when I get married…”

My vision of my life as a grownup did change when I was 22 years old. I volunteered at one of the Paul Newman camps for children with serious illnesses, and for the first time I realized that I wanted to be a mom someday. (I have always adored children, but actually wanting to be a mom hadn’t occurred to me.) But, oddly, the husband/dad aspect of the equation still didn’t register in my mind.

It wasn’t until I started dating Max when I was 25 that it occurred to me that it was maybe a touch unusual that I’d never wanted marriage. I come from a family of long marriages, including my own parents who got hitched in 1970. (Rock on, Mom and Dad!) I honestly don’t know why I never imagined myself married.

But then then there was Max. He made me feel loved and unique and important. He was smart and funny and dependable. I wanted to be around him as much as possible. I wanted to create a home with him, and eventually raise children together.

It absolutely floored me.  For the first time in my life, I was imagining myself... married. The difference was Max, my first (and still only) love as an adult.

When you’re a grownup, you’re supposed to want to marry the person you love, right? 

When he asked me to marry him, of course I said yes!

Well, if there is one huge lesson I learned from the end of my marriage, it’s two people can love each other but that isn’t necessarily enough to keep a marriage strong and healthy. I think I intellectually always knew that but now I’ve lived it. I married someone who was not a good fit for me for a number of reasons beyond our lack of a sex life, but I guess I naively believed that love was enough. (You’d think that Patty Smyth would have gotten through to me, but apparently not!)

So, would I ever get married again? 

As what would have been my fifth wedding anniversary creeps closer, my short answer is:

 “…yes, I think so.”

I do still believe that marriage can work and be a wonderful gift. I want to find love -- who doesn't? -- and if love paves the way to marriage, I would be open to it. There are things I would do differently (read: better) if I were to marry again. I know plenty of people in perfectly imperfect marriages, and it just delights me that these two individuals found each other in this big, crazy world. Maybe my would-be husband is out there!

All of this said, just the way marriage was not my goal before I met Max, it certainly is not my goal today. I do not feel that marriage is the only way to show love and commitment. I do not believe that my life will be incomplete if I never marry again.

And I will never again believe that love would be enough to sustain a marriage.

Oh, and I'm never, ever, ever changing my name again. Case closed!

If you are divorced, how do you feel about getting married again?

P.S. I'm two-thirds of the way through my Dating Diet. I'm doing pretty well in some ways (home improvement projects are done, hair is deep conditioned) and not so much in others (weight loss! WTF!).

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  1. The boyfriend, who is also divorced with no children, and I sometimes talk about this and we're both on the fence. It's been roughly 2 years since our divorces and we're both still learning to stand again. I think we both understand that marriage isn't a necessity to be happy. Maybe some day I'll want to get married again but, for now, I'm happy where I'm at in life.

  2. That's wonderful Kat - you're miles ahead of where I was year two. I'd sworn of marriage entirely and was certain I'd end up one of those ladies who kept men at arms distance for the rest of my life. Of course, at year (WOW) almost 7 now, I'm happily remarried and our baby turned one two months ago. Marriage should never be a goal in life. It should be something you don't rule out - but not something you go looking for. That way, when the right situation comes about, you'll be more attuned to ensuring it's right then getting to the altar.

  3. I don't know if I would get married again. The divorce made me think that marriage is jsut not necessary nowadays. It also made me think about what love really means and how it is possible for you to know that this is a guy you want to marry and spend the rest of your life with...again...

  4. oh, and my dating diet is going well, too. I almost broke it last week tho.

  5. Nicola Vincent-AbnettSeptember 17, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    I did marry for a second time, to the first (and I suspect only) man I ever fell in love with, twenty-two years after we first met… That's romance for you. We dated for four years the first time around and we've been together 16 years, married for ten years and counting.

  6. You and I continue to be in very similar places in our post-divorce healing. I think it's good to have a realistic view on marriage.

  7. I absolutely love hearing how you've moved into a totally new and healthy phase of life after your divorce. It gives me hope!
    And isn't it shocking how many people really do consider marriage the goal? It makes no sense -- it's not like once you're married, anything stops. The love, work, and commitment only become more intense.

  8. Good for you! I have been doing pretty well, except for weight loss. Whoops.

  9. Wow, what a wonderful and super romantic story! Love it!!

  10. I'm glad to hear that Kat. You should have hope. You're certainly in better shape than I ever was, young, attractive, fun. There's a lot of good things coming for you.

    My husband often says of his sister's first marriage that she got married for the wedding...who the groom was didn't really matter. Of course in the end, it only lasted six months. You should get married because there's a partnership behind it. Because you've found someone you can't imagine living without.

  11. Go Kat! Go Kat! You are almost there on the Diet!
    Okay, so you just know I had to chime in as it has been almost two years since my divorce. I might actually have to look up the official divorce date...
    Anywhoo, my answer is Maybe. I guess it depends whom I am with and our situation. Something I have been thinking on and off about with my girlfriend (gulp! Did I just write that for the first time?). I guess I am at a point in my life where I don't waste my time dating. If it isn't going to be something long term, why bother? But what does long term mean? Does it mean marriage? Does it just mean commitment? I don't know. I guess we will have to see where things go. It hasn't been that long anyways. I think I met her a year ago and we really didn't start being friends until a few months ago.

  12. Congrats on your divorce and all the best for your future!
    I just added your blog to my Bloglovin feed.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Ohhhh Mike has a girlfriend! Mike has a girlfriend! (Seriously though, that's terrific.)
    I go back and forth between "is it even worth it if there's no 'real' potential" and "it's always worth it to meet new people." Hard to say...