You know what I think is funny? When middle-aged or older people tell me "Don't ever get married." "Don't do it, it's a mistake." "You'll regret it."
Just because you regret it doesn't mean I will.
I can't pretend I don't regret marrying X. But what I find funny is when people say these things to me and I tell them, "Oh, I'm divorced. But I'll marry again," the look on their face is almost worth carrying this disgusting title around. "There's no way, how old are you?" etc. are the kind of remarks I'm used to getting at this point.
I regret my marriage to X. But that doesn't mean every marriage ever after is going to suck. Humans have this fear that if one time means something bad, then it will EVERY TIME after. That's ridiculous. If we ACTUALLY believed that as humans, we would NEVER have sex. No one's first time was great, and if they tell you it was, they are LYING. It is awkward, sometimes painful, embarrassing, and weird. So if it was bad the first time, why do we do it again? Because somewhere we know it'll be better after some practice.
While I don't think anyone should have to deal with getting married more than once, as I find it an awful ordeal to go through, marriage does take practice. Perhaps I have a unique advantage going forward in my current relationship because I have some prior experience. My relationship with Alan is not at all like that I had with X, but I still know how to anticipate some of the changes marriage will bring should we ever reach that point. I also know how not to force and rush anything more than he is ready. I'll admit that is a harder task and I'm not great at it, but I'm certainly trying a lot harder than I did with X.
Regardless, I find it so sad when people try to "warn" me about marriage. Even with such a traumatic experience with my past marriage, I still have hope to marry again someday and truly be happy with my mate. Why? Because I know that the problems from my past marriage weren't due to being married. They were due to the fact that it was a bad relationship in the first place. With the fact that X was manipulating me the entire time to get what he wanted out of me. Marriage itself wasn't the problem.
I've always tried to stress to people that I don't think everyone needs to get married. I don't think it's for everyone. Like most everything else in life, it's a personal preference. It's sad that our society still thinks people have to be married to have happy, fulfilled lives, to have children, to live together, to have a home. Sometimes adding that extra burden of "responsibility" is enough to break and destroy otherwise happy and fulfilled relationships.
But I also don't think that marriage is "archaic." I remember many times feeling exasperated trying to explain to people that I think it's necessary that marriage is still a component of our society. I don't have to think something is necessary and think that everyone has to do it, those things do not go hand in hand. But I am tired of people poo pooing on my continued desire to marry, to have a wedding, to do all the stuff I want. It's not archaic. It's an old tradition, sure, but it's one that has persisted, both across time and generations as well as across cultures and societies. Sure it's not always defined the same way, but it's there in some form or another. And I think that makes it worth while. It's something I believe in, and nothing you can say will change my mind about marriage. I believe that standing up together in front of everyone to profess our commitment to making our family and future together is amazing and exhilarating, and I believe that it's beautiful. I believe everyone should have that choice also (that's my political interjection).
I'm sorry that your marriage ended, and I'm sorry if your divorce was long and drawn out, and if the kids are thrown in the middle of it. I'm sorry if your ex is an alcoholic who tries to turn your kids against you. I'm sorry your ex had an affair. But that doesn't mean every future potential will do the same to you, and it certainly doesn't mean every potential mate I ever meet will do that either.
Marriage makes things harder, make no mistakes my friends. It's not easy, but if you are truly committed to one another and your future together, it won't break you. It will be harder until you're used to it.
Just like when I got my car. X's car was a manual too, but the shift was really soft, as was the clutch. (JUST LIKE HE WAS IN BED OMG. BA DUM PSHHHH.) When we bought my car though, the clutch and shifter were much more resistant and strong. At first, my limbs were sore after a few days of driving it around. But in a few weeks, I realized I didn't notice it anymore, and I was starting to develop just a bit of muscle in those two limbs. Marriage will be much the same. It IS different than living together and dating, I assure you. You might think "Oh nothing will change," but everything does change. But just like learning my new car, it eventually gets a little more familiar. Maybe not easier, but you know you can handle the load. That period of adjustment is what X never made it through. He always was way too lazy, if something was too much work, he didn't want to do it. So he gave up. But please, dear readers (all 5 of you), don't give up. Once you have committed to each other, stick it out. Sure, we all make mistakes and sometimes, no matter what, you just can't make it work.... but at least wait longer than 10 months. Wait until you've gone through that adjustment period. Get help. See a counselor. Really commit. Marriage is hard, but it is totally worth it. I've never seen the other side of that period personally, but I cannot wait until I do.
P.S. Guys, I know you're out there reading this, my stats show I have hits and readers.... post some comments! Ask me questions! Share your experiences or just tell me how flipping awesome I am! I know you're out there reading, but it means so much to me when I hear back. :)