A friend and I went to this new Tyler Perry movie last night. It is a story centering around four couples and their annual vacation together where they explore the question “Why did I get married?” If you want more details, you can read a synopsis: Why Did I Get Married? Anyway, it was a great movie-no language or sex, just pure movie fun—with a tremendous message. It made me realize what an excellent marriage I had. I also recognized that creating a strong marriage was, at times, hard work. Watching these couples struggle through insignificant to major problems reminded me how completely I was loved and was then able to love in return.
I got married when I as 19 years old, by one week. My parents wouldn’t allow me to marry at 18, so I waited a week after my 19th birthday to honor their wishes. What did I know when I was 18? How did I know that this man, seemingly so very different from me, was “the one”? Chances are, I didn’t really know; but, he was---“the one”. When Don and I got married, we registered for china and stoneware. One of the options, apart from traditional place settings, was to purchase a "completer set" which included serving pieces and various other miscellaneous dishes. Don used to get a big grin on his face and say that we must be each other's "completer set". How true that was.
Why did I get married? I don't know the exact answer to that question. I was in love, that's for sure. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person, but doesn't everyone? One reason I was so sure may have been because I knew how fulfilling marriage could be. My parents had shown that marriage was something to cherish.
Fortunately, I had an exceptional example of successful marriage from my parents. Mom and Dad weren’t afraid to argue in front of us (notice I didn’t say fight), they also weren’t afraid to apologize and make-up in front of us. I remember fondly the many times they were affectionate (and still are) and observed as they worked through very difficult times together. I hope my children remember that from my marriage. I hope they see that marriage is the most rewarding and fulfilling union one can experience and that along with great effort, comes immense joy.
I wouldn’t give up my 24 years of marriage for anything in the whole world. I don’t regret, and never have, getting married so young. Looking back, I am grateful for every year—every heartache---every moment of joy. So what does all of this mean to me today?
I liked being married, and I was good at it (I know my widow friends are getting tired of hearing that). I don’t mind confessing this out loud. I have the hope that I can experience the fulfillment of that sort of union again. At my age, I explore the idea of remarriage with open eyes. I don’t have a romanticized view of marriage, nor a stringent practical one. I am not looking for a prince on a white horse to ride in to sweep me off my feet. I don't need that at this point in my life (ok--so I never really needed that to begin with). What I am looking forward to is sharing life with someone—a companion—a friend and a lover.