This is something I've spent a lot of hours thinking about recently. When we choose our partner, what matters the most? What seals the deal and makes us proclaim to our family and friends, "This is the one!"?
Wife #2: Is it love or is it timing?
Here's what happened to me ... When I met Husband #1, I was in my mid-20s. It wasn't a lightning bolt of overwhelming passion. It was a friendship at first, colored by my attraction to his dark wit and brainy personality.
To explain my thinking then, I have to go back a bit earlier. Two years prior to meeting my first husband, I had my heart broken. Really broken -- for the first time in my adult life. Up until then, I was one of those girls who was generally on the other side of the relationship equation. I left men before they left me. That's just how it was. Though I had had several serious boyfriends and countless dates, I never really fell in love hard -- until suddenly I did.
I thought I would marry that blond boy, have a slew of children with him, and live happily in love and lust the rest of my life. Apparently, he didn't see it the same way. Our intense but very stormy relationship didn't work for him. I still vividly remember the day he told me, "I just can't do this anymore."
Huh? What about those kids, the happy ending, the decades of super-charged sex? Not happening.
So I retreated to my apartment, got really skinny, and read novels for months. When I finally emerged, I met Husband #1. He stood out in the pack of my endless dates. He was smart and funny. Not really my physical type, but handsome enough. And he adored me, something I thought would never change. (I was wrong on that one.)
I desperately wanted the opposite of what had broken my heart. Instead of crazy chemistry, I yearned for reliability and devotion. Instead of the drop-dead gorgeous guy every girl stared at, I opted for cute and clean-cut. More importantly, I think I just wanted to grow up.
Husband #1 was the best match for me at that moment in time. I know it's not a romantic explanation of how I ended up walking down the aisle. But it is honest. And probably not uncommon.
We made a life together for years. We had beautiful children. But we both changed. What seemed like a good choice in my 20s felt like a tragic mistake by my mid-30s.
And then I met Patrick, Husband #2. The cruel irony for me was I thought that blond boyfriend had taught me all there was to know about heartbreak. I figured the whole tortured, I-can't-eat-or-sleep thing was in the rear view for good. (Yet another mistake on my part -- pay attention to automotive wisdom -- objects in the mirror ARE closer than they appear!)
Blondie was child's play compared to the suffering Patrick and I caused each other.
If my 20-something self had known that Husband #2 was out there, I would have waited. But I didn't believe what we now have existed. So I made the best choice I could based on the facts I had.
So here's what I've come to: my first marriage was about timing. That's not to say I didn't love Husband #1 and care deeply for him. I did. I'll always value that chapter. But in many ways, I made the decision based on the circumstances of my life at that time. And the circumstances made it easy.
With Husband #2, the timing literally could not have been worse. We both had spouses and young children. Talk about inconvenient. Still, we chose each other and then moved mountains to get where we are, despite the circumstances. And trust me, the circumstances made it almost impossible.
As it turns out, my second husband is my first (and last) true love.
|Wife #2 is a writer, mom, and expert on what happens when you scorch the earth and leave your husband. She and the love of her life (the guy she left FOR) spend most of their time raising their blended family of five kids and trying to avoid grenades lobbed by their ex-spouses. Her hobbies include reading, working out, and occasionally blowing off steam with faithful girlfriends who understand life is too damn short to be miserable!|