“This moment in time, on this tour, you know, I’m discovering a lot of new things. And to be 45 and doing that, it’s a mixture of pleasure and pain, I can assure you.” (Eric Clapton)
I’m not 45 years old, but this week marks my three-month wedding anniversary; cause to reflect on my current “tour,” remarriage, and to evaluate my experience thus far–as in where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
I remember back to the “good old days” of being engaged. I don’t know how it all came across in the blog, but the reality of it was not 9 1/2 months of bliss, carefree romance and starry eyes and nights despite the many great moments we shared. In actuality, it was the majority of one year spent getting to know one another even better, preparing to unite not just ourselves but our families, and of challenges, confronting issues and resolving them–and when you’re talking remarriage, you’re dealing with all of the aforementioned stuff to an even greater degree than a first marriage. In fact, there was so much to work through, #5 used to joke that marriage would be easy compared to being engaged and that there was nothing we wouldn’t know about one another by the time we got married.
I think I thought #5 meant being married would be “easier” and with less to work through than our engagement and that because we knew each other so well, there wouldn’t be any surprises or a period of adjustment to one another after our wedding. (You know, for being this old and somewhat experienced in life and marriage–having been married 20 years to someone else prior to marrying #5–you’d think I’d be a lot brighter than I am!) But boy, was I wrong.
I realized, again, that you never truly know someone until you live with them and in life, and especially the remarriage aspect of the unexpected one, it seems like there is always something to work through or resolve!
I’m a hopeless romantic. (I’ll confess that right here and now in case that has happened to escape the attention of anyone reading this blog.) I went into remarriage with my usual rose-colored optimism and romantic ideals of perfection. And while my remarriage is wonderful, there have been a few moments of challenge (if I’m being honest.) Moments spent in resolving issues. And the truth, in my experience and based on what I’ve learned from premarital counselors and others who have lived through or are living through the remarriage experience, is that approximately 80% of issues, conflict, and anything else that needs to be worked out can usually be related directly to money, children and/or former spouses. (Which shouldn’t be THAT surprising, since statistics show most first marriage difficulties arise over money and children, too.)
One day, in the middle of an “issue resolution” I joked that despite all the premarital counselor had tried to prepare me for, remarriage was a lot more difficult than I’d anticipated. That stopped #5 in his tracks. He looked at me in all seriousness and said, “Really? I thought it was going to be a LOT worse than this! I thought it was going to be much harder than this! I’m actually amazed at how well everything is going and how few problems we have compared to what I expected.”
That stopped ME in MY tracks. I was stunned. “Wait, you thought it was going to be WORSE than this…and you married me anyway?” I asked.
“Absolutely, and I’d do it again,” he clarified.
THAT sums up the remarriage experience for me, as well as the unexpected life.
It can be a stretch to feel like an old dog learning new tricks in your 40s. A mixture of pain, growing pains, as you learn and grow through the new opportunities you’re blessed with as well as plenty of pleasure, like when your new husband tells you, despite the challenges, issues and the work required to resolve them, that it’s even better than he expected, that he loves you and that he’d do it all over again. For you.
Second marriage moment #12.
“Forever can never be long enough for me, To feel like I’ve had long enough with you…Marry Me, Today and Every day, Marry Me…say you will.” (Train, “Marry Me”)
I love it when #5 hums, sings, says that or plays it for me on XM Radio “The Coffee House” channel.
The Unexpected Life.