I really wonder at times what possesses humans to get married and try to live with one single human being for the rest of their natural lives.
It just seems sometimes that I must have been out to lunch when our creator was handing out some of the required tools needed to survive on earth.
It seems lately I have been reflecting a lot on why I would commit to entering a second marriage when at times I felt like I hadn't figured out what went wrong with the first one.
I know that getting married at 17 years of age was not the best decision I had ever made.
Having a child so young was a close second.
But at that time the prospect of staying in my abusive home with my mother seemed even bleaker to me.
I know my first husband and I had some things in common when we got together. I can also say that there were some good times when we were together; but somewhere along the line, I took one path and he took another.
It kills me at times to realize that I lost 15 years of my life in that marriage.
Reflecting on all the many would-as', could-as', should-as'. I think of all the opportunities I let slip through my fingers trying to make that marriage work.
I also think of all the precious time I lost with my boys; time I will never have back again because I was worrying about my everyday existence.
I would purposely work extra shifts to make more money and to avoid being home so I wouldn't have to deal with the arguments.
Now I would do anything to go back and do it over.
I would love to have my boys little again and hold them in my arms.
To be able to stop counting down to the time they would be grown and gone, and instead play with them again. Tickle them. Kiss them. Smell them. Love them.
I can't lay all the blame on my ex-husband, because I know I hurt him just as much as he hurt me.
If I had spent more time focusing on the good in the marriage then I would not have lost so much time with my boys.
The irony of all this is that if I had realized that then, well maybe the marriage would have worked out.
Now in my second marriage I do realize it.
That's the reason I think maybe I was meant to live alone.
Because I can't act like I don't know!
I know now that it takes two people to make a good marriage and two people to mess it up.
I had an argument with Mel today over something I don't even remember now.
I do remember thinking how angry and hurt I was and how much better life would be if he changed or if he did things differently.
Now thinking back, I realized that I have to do things differently too!
I keep living my life at times as if I was still a 17 year-old inexperienced young girl.
At times when my husband gets upset over something insignificant I can feel my insides cringe like the frightened little, abused girl of my childhood.
My husband is not abusive by any means of the imagination!
He would never hurt me, or anyone in our family. His only big faults are that he sometimes gets loud when he gets upset and is very stubborn! This is a negative trait he learned from his childhood. Traits he has been trying really hard to overcome because he understands how negatively they affect our family.
I have to remember that I am not that young woman anymore.
I am not helpless or out of control. I am smart, I have a life, a job, most of all I am alive and in total control of my life! What does this mean? It means I have the power to change my life anytime I DECIDE to!
90% of the issues in my current marriage have occurred as a direct result of trying to live my life today, as if I still lived in yesterday.
I once heard someone say," You can't drive a car forward effectible if your eyes are on the rearview mirror!
Can you imagine trying to drive 65 miles an hour down the highway while keeping your focus only on the rearview mirror?
We wouldn't get very far before we crashed, got hurt or killed ourselves!
Yet this is how most of us try to live our lives! Then we sit there and wonder why we aren't getting anywhere?
Why our lives aren't satisfying? Why we don't have all the material things in life we desire or the type of relationships we wish for?
Life isn't going to get better unless we decide to get "better".
Think about this, if every single person we knew changed to be exactly how we wanted them to be, it still wouldn't make a difference!
You know why?
If we don't change ourselves, we wouldn't notice the changes in them!
We won't appreciate it, acknowledge it or even bother to admit that it's happened.
So it won't do us one bit of good!
Funny thing about change is that once we start to change, magically everyone around us starts to change too!
Listening to my husband's voice as he talked to his oldest boy Jose made me remember all the wonderful reasons why I did make the commitment to try marriage again.
It also made me realize that my marriage now is only as good or as bad as I chose to say it is.
I think I will decide to have a good marriage! What other options do I have?
Divorce again and try again?
Sorry spouses aren't like shoes. You don't keep trying different ones on until you find the one you think is just right. You have to do that before you get married!
That was the mistake I made in my first marriage. I never stopped to think about the fact that this person would be in my life forever.
There are two reasons why finding out after marriage doesn't work.
For one, no matter how good that shoe is new, sooner or later it going to start getting worn, old and not looking quite so good.
This happens in all marriages. Think about this, everyone we know have qualities that irk us. Bosses, friends, co-workers all have habits that can get on our nerves.
Yet we go out of our way to ignore their quirks and focus on their good qualities.
Why can't we do this with our spouses? Well as we see fifty percent of people do, the other fifty percent?
They decide to throw out the spouse with the bathwater.
Again, I am not going to be hypocrite, since I too went through a divorce. But if I had applied this theory in my first marriage, focusing on the good, compensating for the bad, I know things would have been a lot different. Would this have made my first marriage successful?
I could spend the rest of my life kicking myself over my failed marriage.
Instead what I need to do is use those mistakes to help me succeed in this marriage.
Sadly people that get married a second time have only a thirty percent chance of success. Third marriages have only a ten percent chance of success.
Now I see why "disposable spouses" don't work.
We need to take time to reflect on the fact that when we point our finger at someone else, four fingers are pointing back at us. We need to deal with our issues, change ourselves, instead of trying to change everyone else.
The other reason it doesn't work to figure out your spouse after marriage is no one likes to buy a pair of shoes that have been overly used and damaged because the fit is not right.
I do not mean that because of some archaic religious view. I mean it from an emotional baggage point of view. When you marry someone you have to deal with the issues, your issues and the issues of any prior spouses that made an emotional impact on both of you! That is a lot of baggage to deal with on top of dealing with the new family, kids and everyday life!
The funny thing is my favorite pair of shoes is my old falling apart slippers.
No matter how ugly they are, or unfashionable they may be, boy do they fit just right!
I know no one else would be crazy enough to want to spend good money for my worn out slippers.
Yet I can't image getting rid of them for anything in the world.
That's how I feel about my Mel (minus the old and falling apart comparison!).
At times I used to think about how much easier it would be to start over on my own, but then I realize that I like my old broken in hubby so much better.
Another thing I realized was that my marriage was a three-way deal. It went from me to my husband and from both of us to God. I really don't want to be the one to have to tell the Big guy, that after I prayed to find an eternal companion and married him through a religious ceremony, I wasn't willing to put my selfishness aside long enough to make it work.
Wait correct that, it was a four way deal. Add our kids to that mix. Because we have been as honest as possible with our kids about why we got divorced the first time they came to understand the reasons and were able to heal as best as possible.
There is no way that a second divorce would be justified emotionally or realistically because as much as Mel and I have going for each other. The love and respect, the similarities in our likes and dislikes, our religious views and much more; the only way this marriage would not work would be through our own selfishness or just plain stupidity.
I for one (and I know Mel feels the same) plan on staying right where I am! It is nice to know that when the chips are down you have someone to watch your back. As an old cop you never go anywhere without back up! Also as any cop knows you better know you can trust your backup with your life, literally!
Well, Mel is my partner, my buddy, my lover, my biggest pain in the butt but also the one person I trust with my life and the life of my kids unconditionally.
A true partner, true Cop's cop.
The silly arguments and struggles are nothing compared to the good times!
Besides when all is said and done if I did live by myself whose clothes would I steal on cold winter nights anyway, who's debit card would I "borrow", who's blanket would I steal at night, who would help me coach the Red Sox and Celtics to another world championship, who would I cuddle with?
Besides Mel's the best at warming my side of the bed at night!
Yeah I know! I am spoiled!
Aren't I lucky?