No further episodes of ‘plighting my troth’ (whatever that means) if I can help it

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.



12 responses to “No further episodes of ‘plighting my troth’ (whatever that means) if I can help it

  1. Well done and congratulations! You are so right about love changing form; just because you love someone, it’s no reason to live with them. Love and like aren’t always related, and then there’s that whole loyalty and honesty thing. Oh, but sometimes it’s a challenge!

  2. As my Brit dad used to say. Good on you! (Doesn’t quite translatate well in text). “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 [his], I trust.” Every day I cross my fingers that my own fortune will continue (2012 is 23 years) with my first and only and recognize that there are so many others who have had a different journey.

    • I have asked myself many times, Wendy, if I could have stuck the first marriage for keeps. But, even though there was nothing cataclysmic, I still think not. We were both just damn unhappy. We’d gotten together very young and we’d grown — in different directions. So, kudos to you and may yours go on for the duration. And it is so nice to see you here again. I’ve missed you and your wisdom.

  3. I had to laugh. When I read that you’d been married 25 years i thought “Wow — that’s a long time!” Then I realized that I am about 2 months shy of my own 25th. How humbling. Congrats again, you two.

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both, Ian!

  5. I didn’t realize your first marriage was so long. My first lasted 4 years. My second: 7. I’ve now been happily married 11 years. (Wow! I don’t even have 25 if I add them all up.) I have no love at all for my first husband. He has caused great pain to our daughter by his coldness and thoughtlessness. My second husband was a sweet fellow, but I would never say I still love him. I admire his intelligence and other things about him, but I certainly would not donate a kidney to him (my definition of love). But like you, I wouldn’t change anything, because all of life is a learning experience.
    I hope you guys had a wonderful anniversary and have many, many more.

    • It took me a long time to realize I still had love for my 2nd. I could frankly confess I was still attracted to her, but I hated her for a time. But, that was sorted through and now I feel great compassion for her since she is so crippled with MS. It’s actually very tragic and she doesn’t deserve that. Feelings, go figure. And yes, all life is a learning experience no doubt. And thank you, dear friend, for your well wishes.

  6. Congratulations! Seems like you’re set for the next 13 to be just as good.

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