Not exactly our wedding, but I like the photo.
I’ve kind of hinted at the fact my matrimonial history has been a bit erratic. Well, it has and it hasn’t. Certainly not a textbook history of maybe how it’s supposed to work, but what the hell. It was what it was.
While not being especially proud of having stepped to the altar thricefold, I can honestly say that I’ve generally been in for the long haul. I’m put in mind of this because today is my anniversary. Wendy and I have been spliced now for 13 years. That’s pretty good, in my esteem.
It has a while to go, however, to equal my first marriage, which lasted for 25 years. My second marriage, I must confess, wasn’t quite on a par in terms of duration, since it was only 11-months long. But, I wouldn’t have missed that one because it taught me a lot – wow, it taught me a lot! And I am much better for what it taught me. And just to show that I’m not completely frivolous, we did do the ‘as good as’ thing for three years prior to the nuptials. Those were the best years. The married year, not so much. Go figure.
The wretched thing about being divorced is sorting out your feelings about the one you vowed to love, cherish, and periodically lust after.
Here’s how I wrote about it a few years ago:
On a dismal and damp morning, a week, a month, six months after the divorce, you awaken after a fitful sleep (all sleeps are fitful these days), and you realize as you’ve never realized anything before, that you are alone. You are utterly alone. You are isolated-sans companion-desolate-remote-detached-forsaken-solitary-solo-you-and-your-shadow-an-island, and lonelier than you could ever have imagined was possible.
Welcome to the world of despair. How could it have all gone so wrong? This isn’t what you’d fantasized divorce would be like. Your fantasy called for — after the unpleasantries of the separation period were completed – a bevy of ladies, young, exquisitely beautiful, and extraordinarily uninhibited. You would finally get to participate in ‘all tomorrow’s parties’, in which the strong drink would flow with no fear of a disapproving look; you’d live in a condo that would be a dream bachelor domain with soft Florentine leather furnishings, a king-size bed with black satin sheets, a bar stocked like an upscale liquor store with fine vintages, imported beers and velvet-on-the-tongue cognacs; there would be a mammoth ice-dispensing refrigerator, containing only T-bone steaks and lobster tails, sitting next to a Jenn-Aire range (both appliances in burnished stainless-steel; and parked in the driveway, next to the Range Rover SUV would be that ’58 Corvette you’ve always cherished.
I also wrote in the same treatise about sorting out feelings after divorce and that it doesn’t get better all that quickly, but it does get ‘different’. And different is good, and ultimately better if you play them old cards right.
So, my two exes are long gone from direct impact in my life. And I must be honest, in certain areas of who I am, I miss them both, for different reasons. I can honestly say, without fear of contradiction, that I still love them both. Love doesn’t go away when a marriage dissolves, it just assumes a different dimension. The acrimony is long since gone, and what you are left with is a certain ‘essence’ that’s difficult to define.
Wendy and I have now (this day) been married 13 years. Not quite on a par with the first time, but moving up. The virtue this time around is that we were both of an age to be realists in terms of expectations. And that’s worked. Has it all been swimmingly wonderful? Of course not. Have we periodically had doubts? Of course. But, it remains good – in my esteem – and in hers, I trust.
It wasn’t a ‘rebound’ situation like my second one, and we both had very distinct standards of what would work and what would be a deal breaker. We’ve held to those.
And I look forward to the next 13, in which case I’ll surpass my first trip around.