So far I'm 0 for 2 on this whole marriage thing, which is, at the least slightly irritating, and at the most unbearably heartbreaking. Most days I occupy a small bit of space somewhere between the two, because that seems to be the easiest place to fly under the radar. It's also where acceptance and new beginnings frolic exhaustively with denial and self hatred...an interesting little game of freeze tag to say the least.
In the past month or so, there has been a tugging in my spirit for some peace about my history with marriage. It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm dating whom I believe to be one of the most precious human beings on the planet. And it probably has something to do with the fact that I would someday like to have more children. And it might just have something to do with the fact that I truly believe I will be a blessing as a wife to the right person. And, while we're pinpointing...it just might have something to do with the fact that I've spent the last 2+ years studying the ins and outs of relationships and how to give and take and make things work.
But combine all of those desires with two very misguided marriages and you get a girl who is a little (VERY) gun shy when it comes to the logistics of "til death do you part." Is it really possible for two flawed human beings to stay together and do so happily for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES?
I went into both of my marriages with the best of intentions, but the worst of reasons. I was in love. Well....I was in love the first time. I don't really know what I was the second time actually. Stupid, definitely. In love? Not so much. But the first time, I married someone that I believed (and still believe in a different way) that I had a soul connection with. At the time, I would have said we were soul mates. Our journey had multiple twists and turns prior to our marriage, but there seemed to be some kind of magnetic force that kept pulling us back together. Our relationship made no sense, but at the time, I couldn't see NOT being with him. I loved him, and I don't really question that for a time in his life he really loved me. We were young and impulsive and knew nothing of shattered dreams and broken promises. Our world was filled with possibilities and plans and the naive desires of two kids who were oblivious to the harsh reality that they had everything to lose. We spent a small number of years fumbling our way through "marriage" and then a more recent number of years trying to figure out how to not be married anymore. And somewhere in the mess of it all, this person that I knit my life to, though he really hasn't changed all that much, has turned into someone that I kind of know but barely recognize. The pieces of our story don't quite fit together anymore, but our child shuffles between them as proof that at one point in time there was a story to tell. It's like when a word or a sound or a taste or a smell triggers a memory so poignant that you find yourself reliving it, and yet at the same time you somehow managed to forget that the memory was ever there at all.
And then, for some reason I can boil down only to brokenness, I remarried someone who 90% of the time I didn't even like. It's weird what pain can make you do.
So here I am at the most intense level of introspection that I think I am capable of about to dig into the history of marriage in order to learn more about what made it work, what made it fail, and historically why people got married before "love" got involved. This process involves a lot of google searches and a book that I am about to go purchase and read fervently with my highlighter poised and ready to go. I've already discovered that the concept of marriage for love is in its infancy while "hey, I'll marry her because she has a goat" is the more historically accepted measure of marital success. I figure somewhere in between those two I'll find a wealth of healthy building blocks for marriage, and hopefully a little bit of peace and healing.
Because if I'm ever to do this again and feel good about it, it can't be just about love. And lord knows there's no room in this house for a goat. So here goes nothing....
Dearly beloved, brace yourself for impact.