Eight years ago I thought my life was just beginning. I was standing in front of my childhood church wearing a white dress, my veil blowing in the summer breeze and ready to walk down the aisle to a man I had known for six years. And that day, everything changed.
I wish I could say it was the kind of love Hollywood movies are made of. A year later, I was standing in front of a judge ending it all. At the time, I thought I had lost everything. How could I ever love another again, trust again, feel again.
Over the last several years, I have learned a very valuable lesson… to love myself. In reflecting back on my courtship, engagement and marriage, I was taken aback by how many times I put my wants, needs and desires aside. I thought my life was complete taking care of another, worrying about another. There are certainly times in relationships where one gives more than they receive but the truly tragic piece of my love story was that I was always giving. Those who know me well, know that this is my personality type. But, what was my impetus for always giving more. Was it control? Was I trying to make it perfect so he would never leave?
This is my truth… my impetus for giving was based in fear. As a child of divorce, I thought I knew what caused the breakdown of a marriage. I had seen my parents fight about money, our home and the upkeep of it and about something as trivial as dinner. And so, I set out to right these things. I strove for perfection in our home, in my work and in myself. I tried to do everything in my power to make sure we wouldn’t fail. But we did. The reason my marriage failed was because I was acting to right the past.
At the time of my divorce, I had just turned 27. Those closest to me said I would be married again by 30. Here I am at 34, single. This past year has been a significant time of reflection for me. Figuring out what I want, who I am and who I want to become. Over the past month or so, I have come to the realization that once again I have let fear control my actions. When asked “do you want to marry again?” my typical response has been “I don’t know. I have been down that path before. Is it really worth it.” Or, “do you want children.” Again, my response is “I don’t know if that’s my story.” I have been afraid to say what I want as I fear that if I say it, and it doesn’t happen, I will once again be a failure.
So, today on this anniversary of mine, I am going to lay this fear of failure to bed. There is nothing more in this life I want than to fall in love with my best friend. I want a man who will make me laugh. Who when we are together, my cheeks hurt from all the smiling and laughing we do together. For as Rose Franken said, “Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.” I want someone to explore this amazing world with. Who challenges me. Who makes me see things in a new, interesting and different light. Who will be there when I fall and who will let me be there when he falls. And one day, I hope we will enjoy the joys of parenthood.
I am so very grateful for the failure of my first marriage. Funny to say that now but it’s the truth. He wasn’t the man for me. Do I still love him dearly? Of course and I always will. But I know there is something greater out there for me and I can’t wait to see it unfold!