Thursday, August 15, 2013

marriage ...

  I've been married before.  But this is the first time I've been in a marriage.  I have been thinking a lot about the differences lately.  Not just in "then" and "now" but also in who I was ... and who I am.  I've come to the realization that I am a much better wife now, than I ever was before because of how much I have grown. Because of how much I have matured, learned, and experienced...

  I was 24 when I married the first time.  We were young, inexperienced at the whole "being married" thing.  We shared a house with five other guys ~ all single ~ and were the only married couple.  Three of them, including my spouse, owned the house.  My role as "the" wife and the only female in the house was what my dad would have called "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer."  I cleaned the house after each weekend long party and cooked all the food.   For our first anniversary, all I wanted was a divorce.

  The second time I married, I was 27.  Two years into our relationship, and a year after we married, I found out that he believed that the Bible said being married meant that the woman pretty much ceased to exist since the man was the head of the family and that two "became one."  I was only allowed to like what he liked.  I could only watch the TV shows or movies that he wanted to watch.  Listen to only the music he listened to.  Eat what he liked and how he liked it ~ no matter what.  I have always eaten my cereal dry, but because he thought that was weird, when I was married to him, I didn't eat cereal unless he was out of town.  When election year rolled around, we voted by absentee ballot.  He put them together and punched out both chads at the same time for the people or issues he believed in.  I had no say in anything.  I had no hobbies or friends of my own.  Because he read slower than I did, I was not allowed to read books in front of him, and for nearly eight years only read books on the sly, sneaking them to work to read in my car at lunch.  After almost twelve years together, nearly eleven of them married, I ran ... all the way across the country.

  I waited five years after I left him before I married again when I was 43.  It lasted less than two years.  He was emotionally about the same age as his tweenager son.  In the beginning, it was sweet seeing the two of them do things together, and how much of a devoted father he was.  But after we married and his son was just with us for the summers and school breaks, I realized that his childish need to show off and brag to his ex-wife was just more drama than I wanted to deal with.  Especially when he thought he could sneak her into the house to stay in his son's room after she became homeless.

  But now I am 51 and feel as though I am in a true marriage [defined in some dictionaries as being a close and intimate union] for the first time in my life.  A marriage where I am an equal partner with my husband.  A marriage where we communicate honestly.  Where we trust, compromise, agree and encourage each other.  A marriage where we write love letters to each other, look forward to spending time together, holding hands and just walking and talking.

  It hasn't been an easy journey between "then" and "now."  But it has been worth it just to have this man in my life.  Some might ask if I would trade all that "was" to have found him sooner, but no, I wouldn't.  We are here now, together, right when we were supposed to find each other.  Neither of us would have been ready for this kind of love, this kind of marriage, at any other time in our lives.

"For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, 
and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage."
~1 Corinthians 7:14 ~
NLT

1 comment:

  1. I am so very glad that you have found a true marriage. Not easily, not without personal pain - but with huge benefits.

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