Marriage. The Webster’s dictionary defines marriage as:
a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law
(2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>
b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
What has marriage meant to me in the past, present and future. Ya know if you had asked me that question a few years ago, I wouldn’t have had a great answer for you. Growing up I didn’t have a positive role model for a good marriage. My dad was taken away from us at the very young age of 32, it’s strange to think I’ve been on this Earth longer then he was now. My mom never re-married and always told us girls that we didn’t need a man to make us a woman or a ring on our finger to make us complete. She wasn’t a man hater; she had a few boyfriends after his death and then a steady one for years, (who asked her to marry him many times but she always said no). Maybe it was because she just missed my dad so much that she felt she would be betraying him if she remarried. Maybe it was because their marriage wasn’t perfect and it turned her against the thought of being legally bound to another man, I don’t know. I do remember hearing and seeing them fight, a lot even though I was only 6 when he died. I guess that made an impression on me because I’ve never thought of marriage as a “lifelong” institution.
When I married my first husband, on the day of my wedding when my brother and I were standing in the front hall waiting for the cue to walk down the isle my brother Carl told me “You don’t have to do this brat, there’s your car right there we can make a run for it” and to be honest, my first thought was to run. My second thought however won out. It was “Well, if it is too bad I can always get a divorce”. How sad is that? That is what my thought was on the day I married that loser? I knew going in it wasn’t going to last, but I did it anyways. A part of me wanted to be his wife forever, but the bigger part of me (that would be my brain) knew a man like him would never be able to treat me like I wanted, stay faithful to me like I wanted or just be decent towards me. I was addicted to him, like a drug. And like all drug addicts, it came back to slap me hard, literally and figuratively.
(This is your brains on drugs) Remember that commercial?
When I married my second husband I truly did settle. I told myself all the time, “at least he doesn’t hit me”. I figured that was a plus. He was also a hard worker, and did what he could to support us. That’s the nicest thing I can say about him. In the back of my mind however I always thought, there’s always divorce. If it gets to bad you don’t have to stay, you’ve divorced once you can do it again. It took me 11 yrs to get out of that hell but I did. It took an additional 2 yrs to divorce thanks to the very backwater thinking legal system of Texas. I had sworn I would never marry again, simply because I didn’t want to divorce again.
Well, if you follow my blog then you know that I am again married. I recently celebrated my 3rd anniversary with my husband and I won’t lie, this road has been hard as hell. We have been thrown more curve balls and crap then I thought possible for two people to have. Between his ex (a huge factor in our fighting) and my ex (who thankfully now seems to have just vanished) and our financial situation which has lead to a lot of broken promises we have thrown the D word around more then once. Well, I have thrown it around, he has not. He tells me all the time he wants to grow old with me, to raise our combined kids and become grandparents together and live to be 132, him being 131 because he’s a year younger then me. It’s taken me a few years to realize that he is different. If I say I’m bolting because I’m tired of the crap and fighting and his ex wife, he doesn’t just let me walk away. He talks to me, not at me. He lets me know that he’s not going anywhere and he really doesn’t want me to go anywhere. It’s hard to change your way of thinking, especially if you’ve thought this way for as many years as I have. But it can be done with time and patience and a gentle loving slap across the head (figuratively speaking of course).
So now when I think of marriage I think of “til death do us part”. When some man hits on me, my first thought isn’t “Wow, this guy likes me” it’s “My husband wouldn’t like this at all”. When I’m at my breaking point with the world and I just want to throw the towel in I ask myself “If you did divorce him, where would you be?” and my answer is always “Without your best friend”. It makes a world of difference when you marry your friend, your lover, and your soul mate. I pray that all of our kids can find the kind of love we have. I tell my daughter all the time though, you can love a rich man just as easily as a poor man”.. I mean why not try to help her have an easier life then I have? I thank God for sending my soul mate to me at a time I needed him more then ever, before my heart hardened to the point I’d never love again. And to my loving husband Robert. I love you more today then I did yesterday, and I’ll love you more tomorrow then I do today. Thank you for staying with me, for not letting me self destruct yet again and for always loving me. I love you.