The long haul

“If you change partners every time it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then I don’t think you get the richness that’s available in a long-term relationship.” — said Jeff Bridges.

 

And if you would have said this to me ten years ago I might have blew it off, turned the other cheek, said this statement wasn’t how I felt.  But I am a much different person today than I was then.

Today I am a 49 year old woman who has been divorced twice .

I have studied my relationships , the ones of my parents, my grandparents, my friends and family and I have a much different outlook than the one my younger self had.

Here are a few things I have learned, a few things I wish I could tell my younger self and a few things I will remind myself of in the future should I ever be blessed enough to find love again.

  • It’s coming around again, Carly Simon said it best in her lyrics.

    Pay the grocer
    Fix the toaster
    Kiss the host goodbye.
    Then you break a window
    Burn the souffle
    Scream the lullaby
    I know nothing stays the same
    But if you’re willing to play the game
    It’s coming around again.
    So don’t mind if I fall apart
    There’s more room in a broken heart
    I believe in love, But what else can I do, I’m so in love with you.

*Marriage is hard work, we are two different people with different values and morals and thought processes , it’s not about being wrong or right, it’s about trying to understand the other person’s point of view to the best of your ability, it’s about having an open mind to change.  It’s about caring enough about the happiness of someone else to make your very best effort every single day .   It’s knowing that there are going to be ruff patches where you want to pack up your pride and humility and run for the hills…and it’s about staying through all those moments until it comes around again, it’s about having faith that it will.

 

  • It’s in the struggle that we appreciate the good times.

*Marriage is a lot like life.   If there is no struggle there is no appreciation for the smooth sailing.  Struggle shows us our strengths, you want to learn what someone is made of- pay close attention when the going gets ruff.

*It’s a lot easier to carry a load of bricks when there are two of you .

*Learn your partners strength’s and weaknesses , then learn your own and then learn to weave- to weave them together to build something so strong it is almost unbreakable.

 

  • Don’t draw lines in the sand.   It is easy when you are young and have the world by the kahoona’s to say what your deal breakers are and let’s face it most of us have the same one.   IF THEY CHEAT IT IS OVER.  And yes, I believe that an emotional affair is still an affair.

*Let me tell you what I have learned, life is hard, marriage is a thousand times harder than you ever imagined and sometimes cheating happens, I am not condoning it, I am not saying ” go out and cheat and expect to be forgiven.”     What I am saying is that sometimes the worst things happen, but before you throw it all away find out why, try counseling, dig deep within yourself and your partner , do the work and then decide.

Some of the strongest , most beautiful , longest marriages I have been blessed to witness and watch are ones where a partner or both have at one point strayed.   They are not for the weak, to recover from something like that you have to be willing to take a long hard look at yourself as well as your partner, to dissect your marriage , look at it lying in pieces and then gently handle each piece as you put it back together.

 

  • Passion fades, be sure to like the company you keep

*I believe that intimacy is crucial in a marriage, I believe it is the only thing that separates your relationship with your partner from a friend , or a roommate.    That being said , I will be the first one to tell you that I miss the companionship and friendship from my marriage far more times than I missed the intimacy when we were together.   It’s imperative to hold the one you love in high regard as your friend also.    Intimacy is fleeting and so many things can happen to take it away from us, when that happens you best like the company you keep .

 

Yes, this is my list, a list from a TWICE divorced , Twice failed wife.  It is also the list of  lessons learned from those failures, lessons learned from watching some really horrible relationships and some really amazing ones.

I wish I could go back and implement the lessons I have learned in to a few relationships, a marriage .   That is life I guess, you can’t go back to a life once lived and live it differently.

You can however take the lessons you learned and carry them with you in to the future, you can share what you have learned with others in hopes that the world will someday turn the clocks back to the way it used to be, when couple’s stayed together, worked together , fought for each other , protected and respected each other…in hopes that my Children and my Grandchildren will learn not by how I lived, but in the mistakes I have made and the lessons I have learned.

 

 

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