I was perfectly happy by myself. I’d learned the difference between “alone” and “lonely” and was loving “alone”. I could read for hours. Hog all the pillows in the bed. Not have to make dinner by anyone’s clock. Walk to the beat of my own drum, when I darned well felt like walking. And remembered to bring my drum.
I don’t believe in marriage. There’s no freaking way two people can put up with one another for 60 plus years and not want to see what’s on the other side of the fence. And, people change. And if they change into someone you can’t live with anymore, I believe in choosing happiness over suffering in this life.
Engaged at age 18, my first marriage was founded on old beliefs that didn’t fit me, but I was too inexperienced and desperate to stop the process. He died from the drugs that drove us apart and by that time, he had a new girlfriend anyway.
I never recovered.
My second marriage came when I was a more mature 30 year old. However, I was about as hopeless as the frightened 18 year old me. I was taken in by a family that loved me and stood in as my “parents” when I got married. I knew as soon as I saw him that I’d marry him. I didn’t know we’d have 2 children and that I’d realize he didn’t love me. We were best friends and thought that was enough. Or at least I did. I was wrong.
I was far happier by myself, raising and sharing our kids and being buds with their Dad.
Meanwhile, somebody was waiting in the wings watching me. He was my ex’s drinking partner during my divorce and heard everything about me. We eventually worked together, he divorced his wife and I yelled at him for being stupid. I had no idea how miserable he was.
So we walked. We walked days, months and miles. We told each other our deepest fears, secrets, and stories. I purposely tried my hardest to scare him off. Once, we had a fight and I went chasing after him with pots from the kitchen. I have no idea what that fight was about and I think I woke up the neighbors.
I’m amazed at what he puts up with. He knows every terror. He knows I don’t cry (and wishes I would do that once in awhile, if only for my health!). He knows I want a new puppy. He’s known my children since they were born and they adore him. I, in turn, help him raise his son. He knows of my nightmares. He lets me hog the pillows and most nights comes home to no dinner because I’m still working, or am glued to my laptop or likely freaking out to meet a deadline. He’s learned to live in a house filled with books and usually 3 or more are near me at any given moment.
We signed a paper 4 years ago today. His parents and my two kids witnessed it. We went home and put Christmas lights up on the house.
This is no starter marriage for me.
Happy Anniversary, Eric.