And just like that, I got married. Again. Two Sundays ago, on a gorgeous beach in Florida. And yes, this is marriage number 3 for me.
And for those of you who recoil or sigh at that statement and shake your head at me, please don’t. Trust me, with parents who are still rockin’ it in their 52nd year of marriage, I know what that takes and I know that I did not find it and/or nurture it the first 2 times. But that was not for lack of trying, hoping, investing, crying, stretching, and sadly, crumbling. So, spare me the judgement and lend me an ear.
Know this – all of that history is all right with me. I have absolutely no regrets about my first 2 marriages. None. I have an immensely stronger sense of self and my personal needs and my abilities because of both marriages. I know what I can give and when the giving has to stop. Now, I know how I need to feel, how I deserve to be treated, and how incredibly important my personal space and independence is to my overall well-being. Some women never learn these things or other personal pieces of information that appear in times of distress and personal struggle. I believe that woman is missing out on not truly knowing the most important person with whom she should have a relationship – herself. We are taught to be care givers; but we must remember to take care of ourselves, too. I learned that one the good, old-fashioned, hard way.
Probably makes me sound selfish, huh? Perhaps. Does that make me flawed? Of course. Just because I felt I worked hard at the relationships and felt that I was doing the best thing(s) at the time does not mean my actions were appropriate/useful for either of these gentlemen. I am certain they would say the same. So, I failed in those relationships, too; is that a fun feeling? Nope. But, now, am I ok with my flaws, with my failings, with those pieces of this life puzzle? You bet. Did that acceptance and resilience take some time to achieve? Absolutely. Was that part of the big-struggle-life-picture worth it? Yep. Completely.
And even better? I got lucky. The handsome man you see in this picture here is ok with my history AND my flaws, too – my inglorious impatience, my most-of-the-time perfectionism, my stubborn streak (pot calling kettle black there, for the record), my need for quiet at times, my personal sadness over failing at babies of my own that still surfaces every once in a while, my other sadness at the loss of relationships with 2 of the 3 stepchildren I raised for 10+ years, my need for stress relieving exercise regularly, and my ridiculous love of chocolate – yep, the list could continue. But now, because of where I have been, I can articulate those things for myself instead of hiding them. And fortunately, he is capable of seeing them for himself. What a great and wonderful connection.
(Heck, I figured I would be the dog lady – and honestly, I would have been ok with that, too. But this is WAY better.)
So, I hope what you see in this picture is pure happiness, rising from my life background. I am incredibly grateful – he brings me full joy, makes me laugh, listens when I need it, dances with me in the kitchen (yes!), supports my crazy ventures (yoga teacher training currently) and smacks me on the butt to make me smile. And, to top it all off, he is going to make me a full-fledged momma. That handsome Little Man in our arms? I have known him now for almost 4 years; he already calls me Mom. And soon, that will be the second, legally binding name I gain in 2016.
Every relationship is a chapter in life, and each chapter has at least one lesson. So, here’s to number 3, with thanks and appreciation to numbers 1 and 2 for helping me learn lessons and grow into this life and love of mine.
And, thanks for listening.