|Me, wearing my mother's wedding dress, 10.23.82|
And I didn't understand why my loved ones weren't too thrilled...
I get it now.
And the very things that attracted me to him - his carefree attitude, his easygoing approach, his unencumbered life, his availability - were the things that ultimately drove me crazy. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but I'm super thrilled with what I received in the process - my three precious (uh, perfect) children and a crash-course on personal development. I hadn't really directed the play in my own life up to that point, and was punting the day I first married.
And then, over the years, things fell apart, despite my efforts to hold it together. Things fell apart and there was no ignoring it. And I fast-forwarded to this time now, 30 years down the road - and I so hesitated to sign off on the end of this marriage. I wanted to grow old together. It took me 4 years, 2 attorneys and some pretty awful ugliness before I could give up on this. I thought of my kids, being from a "broken home" and that pained me. I thought of them growing up and falling in love, planning and then starting marriages and what my legacy would mean for them. And I hope it means this: You cannot expect anyone to change and you cannot change anyone but yourself. Love yourself, be yourself and do not lose yourself. Identify, protect and make known what you value. And your covenant is shattered when your spouse doesn't behave married (take it from me, I tried, for eleven+ years).
I'm so grateful for do-overs. Grateful the kids are okay and doing well. Grateful for Shawn. It will be awhile before we celebrate 50 years together but there's two of us committed to growing old together. That didn't happen for me the first time and I am so over it. I didn't fail, the promises made to me were simply broken. I am so NOT ashamed, so NOT burdened by it. I accept what happened thirty years ago, because it is part of who I am, and I'm okay with that.