Sunday, June 27, 2010

The second time around

When I tell people that I reconciled with my husband following our divorce and that we remarried, the first thing they always want to know is this: Are things better this time? Even though things got off to a rocky start at first, I have to answer with a resounding YES. And, now, on this, our second anniversary, my answer is still YES. We still bicker sometimes. We still occasionally drive each other crazy. We still both want different things from the other -- but accept the person we have. And we still do occasionally just want the other to stay VERY. FAR. AWAY. But my answer is still yes. Yes, things are better this time. Yes, things can improve even after a divorce. And, yes, people given a second chance will often not disappoint.

That is the big thing that I think about a lot. How I gave my husband a second chance. I wasn't so willing to do so at first, because my heart was not in the right place. But looking back, I'm glad I made that choice to give him a second chance. I look at how things might have been for me and my daughter and I am especially grateful that I made that choice. I believe it was the right one to make. And my daughter and I are especially grateful, because we got Jesse because of that choice.

I know a lot of people who think that once you divorce someone, you should NOT go back to them. You should move forward, not backward. But I believe that sometimes, a marriage to someone could be like a "starter marriage." And that by going back to them and giving them another chance, recognizing the mistakes made that led to the divorce and the time away from each other to analyze feelings and reexamine priorities are the building blocks of what could make the marriage work the second time around. I don't agree that when we divorce someone, we should write them out of our lives forever. Well, in SOME cases, that is definitely a smart thing to do. If the divorced spouse is an abusive or violent person, if there is too much danger in staying together or if there is a line crossed that cannot be forgiven, then, yes, I agree that they should be permanently written out of a person's life. But other than know, the heart is very resilient. Love finds a way to make things work. And that's exactly what happened for us. Love found a way.

As I stated, the beginning was a little rocky for us. I made it VERY CLEAR to my husband that we were NOT going to repeat the same mistakes made in our first marriage. This time, things would be different, and we would NOT do a repeat of the way things were with us in our first marriage. I was NOT going to allow him to treat me the way he did the first time, which led to our divorce. As his wife, I demand respect from him. I expect to be treated fairly and to retain my connections with family, even if he didn't like that. I also made it clear that if I ended up making more money than him, he would have to accept that. It's OUR money, anyway. Not mine, not his. It's ALL ours. And that's another thing, too. Everything is not "yours and mine." It's OURS. We're a team, we work together and we share together. We keep no secrets from each other and we are honest with each other about our feelings, even if those feelings hurt. And we talk about things, instead of bottling them up.

It took some time but things HAVE improved for us. In fact, he has spoiled me, and I smile when I think about all that he does for us and our family. He works really hard and he tries to make our lives as comfortable as it can be. I think about all the factors that contributed to our problems before and I am grateful they no longer exist. I am grateful for how things have improved, changed and developed between all of us. Sure he and I are still different -- we're like apples and oranges -- but the common ground we share is what brought us back together. And it's what keeps us together, too.

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