Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marriage Reflections

Yesterday while we were with GF (for purposes of this post I will refer to him as Saul), he did something that was so perfectly HIM and what he would do I pointed it out and called it a "Saulism." He agreed with me that his buying three different burritos at the same time when he went in to get dinner was exactly something he'd do. We both laughed and appreciated his measure to save time by buying enough at once to take home and have for other meals/leftovers. I am glad that GF and I have reached the point where I know him well enough to predict what he'd order off the menu or how he'd react to a certain situation. To have gotten to the point where I recognize his quirks and accept them instead of being annoyed by them. This got me to also reflect on what I really valued about marriage to Husband #1 which was the commitment part through thick and thin. There were a number of times in my marriage where I could have thrown in the towel but I didn't. We hung in there and made it to the other side. It was worth that effort not only for the boys but ourselves as well.

When I first started to date after my husband's death, I heard from others how exciting it would be to go through the butterflies and anticipation of getting to know someone again. I actually dreaded that part of the process and if I could have would have fast-forwarded to skip it all. Having been married and survived many challenges within my marriage, all that new dating stuff just seemed like a lot of "fluff" to me. I wanted the substance of really knowing someone. So well that when the doctor comes to you asking what your husband's wishes for treatment would be, you know exactly what they are and feel comfortable relating that to the doctor. It is because you know that person intimately and have lived with them through the challenges as well as the good times.

I resisted dating and getting back out there because I wanted to go right to the solid predictability of what I'd had in my marriage. But of course, we all know that to get to that point you have to go through the early stuff so eventually I started to date because I was lonely and didn't want to be alone. And to be fully honest, I also missed the physical intimacy and sex. My husband was ill for a number of years and during that time sex was a pretty low priority for us. I regretted that after going a few years without any. I promised myself that in the future I'd never take a single sexual encounter for granted again.

It is difficult to date when you have kids and are an only parent. There are no alternating weekends off. So when I met the man who became my second husband and we seemed to get along well, I threw in the towel and stuck with him. I didn't date anyone else and married very quickly, I suppose in a way to cement the intimacy and connection I so much wanted. But a pairing between a widowed mom devoted to her children and a never-married 50-year-old man with very limited relationship experience was not a good fit. He wanted the excitement of the new relationship and I wanted the stability and security of the humdrum married life. I was willing to work through thick and thin. He wanted to be in control because he'd always been able to be. And there were issues between divided loyalty between a husband and the fatherless children from the previous marriage. Husband #2 often said he felt he was in competition with my late husband as well as my boys.

I just wanted my old life back - that of a middle-aged suburban soccer mom. And when given the chance tried to recreate what probably couldn't be, at least with the man I married. I try to limit what I post about Husband #2 out of respect for GF who reads this blog. I still feel tremedous betrayal and hurt over my divorce, although the shock has diminished. It sometimes amazes me that after such loss (a husband dying and the new one divorcing me so quickly) that I could ever experience feelings of love and romance again. But somehow life has gone on and a good, decent, kind guy has hung in there by my side for long enough a time to surpass the honeymoon period to get to that point that means the most to me - knowing someone more deeply and imtimately. This is what matters and is most important. To be able to nod one's head knowingly and smile because your significant other did something you can see him doing. And it is cute and funny and a good thing to have reached that place again.


  1. I am so glad you are finding your way along life's path and it looks like it is a good path.

  2. Thank you! We'll see what happens going in this direction.

  3. I love your blog, the whole theme of it, the writing, the honesty. It's great. I found you through "doublesifted" on Twitter, but in clicking around I feel a certain internet affinity. I'm sorry about your young widowhood -- I'm not widowed. But I am a remarried 40-something woman who now lives in suburban Chicago. I will add your blog to my favorites and begin rooting for you from afar (or possibly, from nearby).

  4. Thank you so much for your kind words. I needed to hear something positive today and got that with your comments. I hope you are enjoying and adjusting to living here - I love it so much, that is why it is hard to move away. Being remarried has its challenges too so I wish you all the best.