In a matter of weeks, I plan to marry my person. I am blissfully happy. He and I fit in just about every way that I can imagine. We have a relationship of kindness, silliness and joy. When we hurt each other’s feelings, we apologize. And mean it. We do our best every day.
I’m totally in love, but perhaps even more importantly, I’m in like. I genuinely enjoy spending time with him. Life together is a “we.”
We knew each other for years before we discovered each other. And then we had lunch. The rest is kismet. We had lunch. We had lunch and confessed that there were potentially some feelings there. Mutual feelings.
I didn’t sleep that night. I walked around the next day in a daze. I was absolutely terrified. I took a walk, my thoughts jumbled and all over the place. I found myself thinking crazy thoughts. At one point, I was standing on the sidewalk, staring dumbly at the random sale table in front of me, and said out loud, “We could have thirty years.”
I nearly slapped myself.
I thought I had happily ever after before. Twice. How could I possibly believe in love, that soulmate, forever, fairy-tale kind of love? I felt like I was being set up for the world’s biggest fall.
And yet…we told each other we loved each other before we even kissed. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man before I even held his hand. The connection we had was based on years of being around each other. I was just me around him, no expectations or efforting, no trying to be someone more likable or attractive. Just me, doing my life.
I feel entirely clear in my being that I want to spend the rest of my life with this person. I want my life to be legally entangled with his. I want to have a ring on my finger that is linked to him, to us.
And yet. I have a hard time announcing that I’m getting married again. Again.
Just the words “engaged” and “married” are fraught with baggage. I have some shame at having been there, done that before. I have some idea that I’ll be judged, that I’ll be thought foolish that I’m daring to try again. That I’ve used up my chances. I’ve noticed I joke to ease my tension, as in, “Yep, haha, third time’s the charm.” Or I simply downplay my excitement for marrying this person.
When I was a young adult (a very young adult…) I never thought I would be tainted by the D-word. Divorce wasn’t even in the realm of possibility for me.
I was 20 years old when I first said I Do. We were high school sweethearts. We were good friends and cared a lot about each other. But alcohol was his other sweetheart and I quietly slipped down the priority list until, just before my 25th birthday, I admitted, I didn’t like who either of us had become. So I left and started the search for Love. And myself. Unfortunately, in that order.
I was about halfway into my 2nd marital endeavor when I finally learned just how wrong I’d been. How I’d been using relationships to try to prove myself lovable, worthy, enough. How I was actually still quieting myself, still putting someone else first before me then resenting the hell out of it. How I kept choosing partners that were not a good fit for me, which only exacerbated my feelings of not being enough, of there being something wrong with me.
And so I stopped. I stopped searching. I stopped desperately reaching outward to find myself. With the help of an amazing spiritual teacher, a great therapist and phenomenal friends, I started listening. To myself. To my heart. And I realized I was ok all on my own. In fact, I rather fancied myself.
And then I had lunch.
My person and I, we are a good fit. Sometimes eerily so. I couldn’t be happier to have a life with him. And we’ve both had prior lives, prior partners. I am 36 years old and my person is almost 45…neither of us got out unscathed.
And still, we’ve set the date. I’ve bought my dress (granted, an understated adorable grey knee-length, not a sweeping white gown). The invitations are (almost) sent. And I am so happy. Life has an ease and rhythm that I didn’t know possible. Some weeks are harder than others. We both get snippy when we are tired. He gets a bit of diarrhea of the mouth and I get my feelings easily hurt. And we work it out. We ebb and flow, with generally more flow.
We are keeping our wedding ceremony very small, just some family and a few friends. But our love and commitment are not small. And I want to shout it out, to invite the whole world to know that after many, many years of searching, I’ve come home to my heart.