It's time to be honest with you faithful readers. I got a divorce.
I know this must be shocking news for longtime followers. (Except for you haters who think I'm a prudish control freak, in which case you are wondering why my husband didn't leave me a long time ago!) But the truth is... I just wasn't ready for the commitment. I got hitched under less than perfect circumstances. I felt trapped, stifled, and I knew in the long run, as hard it was to make the decision, that it wasn't what was right for my husband or myself. My soul was dying a slow and miserable death. I no choice. It was sink or swim. I had to leave.
Almost 20 years later, I still feel I made the right decision. See, it wasn't Rex I left, or who left me. It was my college boyfriend. He loved me and was very good to me. But I simply wasn't mature enough for a long term marriage. I never should have signed the contract. From the very beginning, it simply felt wrong. And yes, it was wrong of me to say, "I Do".
I've been hesitant to write about my divorce. For one thing, it was so long ago. For another, I was only married for a year, and most of that time was spent shuttling back and forth to my parents' home in L.A..
I also felt awkward mentioning my first marriage because this blog is all about how steadfast dedication is what keeps a union strong - no matter what (I'm not talking abuse.) Being hitched is about looking past the physical and into your mate's soul. It's about thinking with your big girl panties on, even if they are just boring grandma briefs bought on sale at Walmart.
I still stand by these principals. In fact, I attribute much of my failure at my first marriage to why I'm so determined to make my ten year union with Rex so solid. I want to build on my mistakes. I don't want the easy way out when times get tough.
For the most part, I haven't wanted to leave Rex. But, as anyone who is truly honest about their relationship will attest to, there have been some very trying times. The difference between my first and my second marriage is that, unlike when I was a naive 21 year old, this time I got married with my eyes open. I was happy without a man. Rex simply completed me.
On August 26, 2000, I knew that I would never get stymied by the same emotional pitfalls that ended my first marriage all those years ago.
Ha ha ha ha! Did I have a lot to learn: Different guy? Check. Better situation? Check - by a landslide. But I was STILL ME. I still reacted to stuff the way I did back when I was a virginal 20 year old! (Yeah, I was a late bloomer.) If I didn't get my act together in my thirties, I wouldn't be surprised to be searching for hubby#3 in my forties.
According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, "50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, .
That's a counter-intuitive statistic, because whenever I talk to anyone about what they can't stand about their current marriage, I inevitably hear, "I would pick someone with Quality x next time."
Well, if Ms. Baker's statistics are accurate, someone might indeed get a new partner with that quality, but they would still have a greater chance of signing divorce papers!
I was wondering if any of you out there wanted to talk about divorce over the next couple of weeks. I've been reading a lot about it lately, such as Judith's Divorce Blog, and I thought it was worth a look-sky.
In closing, thank you to my first husband for genuinely loving me all those years ago. I'm sorry I was such an immature person. I never should have walked down the aisle - no matter what the "good reasons' were.
And to my current husband, who I'm still sometimes immature around, thank you for being you. So glad we're part of that 33% that are still standing! (Maybe it's because we don't forget to lie down a lot also.)
Til next time....
Posted by Andrea Frazer
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