“Why would you do that to yourself, again?!” my client said to me, with a look of shock and surprise on his face. “Didn’t you learn your lesson the first time?” he questioned, just days after I announced my engagement to my soon-to-be second husband.
Typically quick with words and hardly ever at a loss for them, I sat there befuddled. I quickly wracked my brain as my extremities started to feel that quick rush of adrenaline – the kind where your legs go numb and your hands start to tingle. Instead, however, I found myself literally stumped for a quick-witted comeback or way to defend myself.
And that was just the beginning of the attacks I took from my fellow divorced community each time I’d share that I was planning to wed once more.
I can’t say I don’t fully understand this reaction. For anyone who has gone through a divorce, especially one with a child in tow, the idea of remarrying someone new and starting from scratch to build a new life together can seem about as attractive as running back into your ex’s arms doused in gasoline as he strikes a match.
Divorce is intense. It’s earth-shattering, mind-blowing, and humbling to no end. You can multiply all of these feelings by the number of kids you are dragging into said divorce and it just gets harder and harder. Yet even though I failed at my first marriage, even though we fell apart, even though divorce sucked the life out of me, I was damn certain of one thing:
I wasn’t done with love yet.
I hadn’t had my happy relationship ending yet. I hadn’t yet been loved the way I needed to be yet, so I wasn’t going to give up. I wanted love. I wanted my daughter to witness love – the kind of love that nurtures and grows and forgives and makes the world brighter.
Was I scared when I first met my fiancé? Absolutely. I wasn’t exactly out searching for a date and still couldn’t imagine letting someone new into my life just a few short months after ending my marriage. I wondered if this could even turn out to be something real, when almost everyone around me who was going through break ups and divorces were swearing off love forever.
But then there are relationships like the one my fiancé and I have fostered and grown over the last few years. One that moved slow and steady, in a way that only two people who have experienced divorce can move. It was as rife with excitement, love, and deep-rooted connection as it was teaming with the lessons learned in our past marriages. It was centered on always doing what’s best for our children every step along the way.
It was everything I knew would come to me one day, and then some.
So for everyone who wonders why, or criticizes my decision to give this whole marriage thing a sequel in the history of my life, I ask you this – why not?
There are two types of divorced people in this world. The ones who sign their divorce papers and spend the next however many years feeling sorry for themselves and swearing off love, and the ones who recover and vow to take the lessons they’ve learned and turn them into something worthwhile.
I am getting married again because I am the latter. I am someone who accepts the lessons my failures teach me, learns from them, and then channels that newfound knowledge into making lemonade from my lemons. I have always been this way, and always will be.
I am getting married again because I believe that love is the most beautiful thing on earth. When it’s real, its soul-quenching powers can change your life. I knew early on in my first marriage that things likely wouldn’t work out, almost as much as I knew that I would one day be loved how I needed to be. I committed myself to love instead of running away from it, and the universe cooperated fully.
I am getting married again because I deserve to be happy.
I deserve to hear a love song and feel as if the words were written for me, by my beloved. I deserve a chance at having a life-partner; a man who completes me where I am incomplete, who balances my imperfections and loves me regardless of them.
I am getting married again because my daughter deserves to see me happy.
There are many people who argue that you shouldn’t have relationships post-divorce until your kids are grown and out of the house. AREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?! What does this show our children? That we should sacrifice our love and happiness for them?! Absolutely not. I am a better mother now that I am truly happy. I am a better everything because of it, and this rubs off on my child. Children become what they see, and my child has witnessed one hell of a fighter in her mother – the kind who won’t settle for less and chases down her happiness like the last pair of discounted designer shoes at a department store sale.
I am getting married again because I was lucky enough to find the person I am supposed to “do life” with. I am getting married again because I didn’t let divorce break me. And I wouldn’t give that up for anything – not for any of the loud-mouthed clients in the world.
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For everyone who criticizes my decision to get married again, I ask you this.
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