Friday, July 11, 2014

Love and Marriage

What is love? Why marriage? What is a Soul Mate?  Hmmmmm.

I've been doing a lot of deep thinking and pondering about these things lately.  You see, I have had two long marriages the first to my High School Sweetheart.  I met him in my Tenth Grade World History class when I was a tender 15 year old.  I was probably one of the most naive girls in school, and when the teacher sat this young guy by me it was probably because I was quiet and studious and she thought I would be a good influence.  As it turned out, I was.  He had dropped out of high school and had just come back.  He was two years older than me.  Funny thing is, he wasn't particularly attractive at the time...kind of a gangly pimply faced guy who seemed shy at first.

Well, as I said, I met him in World History and he was struggling with some of his subjects.  It wasn't long before he asked me if I could help him with some of his "homework."  One thing led to another and just after my sixteenth birthday we had our first date.  Of all things my MOTHER suggested we go to the Drive-In! I was horrified.  This was my first real date and I was a "Church girl"...the thought of going to a drive in with a boy, any boy was just plain scary.  The funny thing is, I was so scared that I spent the whole evening polishing the door handle of his 57 Chevy convertible!  Aaaauuuggh.  I don't know if he ever realized how scared I was, but he did ask me out again.  We dated through the rest of High School.   I went to work for the FBI in June and we got married July 24th!  I loved him with all my heart and though it would last forever.

Fast Forward! It didn't.  Several years ( and four kids later) into the marriage, and after building a business with him, I found that he wanted an "open marriage" and had been cheating for years! I was devastated.  All I had ever wanted was to love and be loved.  This wasn't at all what I had planned.  The divorce was messy, and because of my naive self, I ended up having to start over from less than square one with four children!  aauuugghhhh.

I have asked several people lately about whether or not they had met/married their "soul mate."  The responses were interesting.  Some people really haven't a clue what that is.  Some have met, and lost as I did.  Some did marry their soul mates and are still happy.  Some are happily married for many years, know that someone else was their soul mate and yet have succeeded with a marriage with love and sharing without the intensity of the soul mate experience. what exactly is a soul mate?

The Urban Dictionary defines it this way:
A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet -- a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior. Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. And when you are not around them, you are all that much more aware of the harshness of life, and how bonding with another person in this way is the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime. You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful.
Sounds about right to me!

I had gone to nursing school after my first two children were born, so at least I had that to fall back on.  However, working as a single parent RN proved difficult at times, and I found that taking jobs that were a little less restrictive and flexible, and usually paid more, was going to be part of the program.

I stayed in Church and always knew that no matter what God was in control and I would come out all right.  There were times when I thought I would never be able to meet all my obligations, provide for the children and have a good life.  Somehow, some way, something always came along.

After my divorce, I had a lovely room mate move in with me to help with household expenses.  She was quite a bit younger than I and encouraged me to get out and start meeting people.  My first excursion into the "dating world" of which I had NEVER been a part was a dance (I wasn't even sure I knew how to dance) at Parents Without Partners.  I was a nervous wreck.  But, amazingly, everyone was so sweet and I danced all night! I felt like Cinderella at the Ball! OMG

After three months at PWP one night a tall, handsome man approached me from across the room. I had never seen him there before and he asked me to dance.  I will always remember how he looked that night....White hair and beard, extremely well groomed, a gray sport jacket and white turtle neck.  As we danced he explained he was a hairdresser.  He didn't look like I supposed a hairdresser would look! In fact, he looked strikingly like Kenny Rogers.

We danced all night and he invited me to Shoneys for coffee after.  I didn't get home until three AM!  The attraction was immediate and strong for both of us, and within two weeks he told me he loved me!  It is a long story after that.  We had a tremendous amount of fun together.  We sailed, we danced and he was so good with my kids.  He even offered to adopt all four!  Amazing.  However, we hit a wall on moral/religious values.  I have always been a person with very strong faith, and belief system.  We couldn't seem to work out all the differences.  I will always know he was my "soul mate" and I still miss him at times.  I hope that he is happy.  Whenever I hear one of two songs, I am taken back to 1982 and the love we shared.  The first is "Could I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life" (that was the first dance we shared together) and "I Hope You Dance."  He will always have a piece of my heart.

I didn't marry again until 1992, when a man in my Sunday School class asked me to be his wife.
I accepted, in spite of the fact that I didn't feel the "soul mate" kind of connection.  We shared church, healthy living and activities...I thought it would work.  Now, I am facing another divorce after 22 years of marriage.  Crazy, but the marriage has always been troubled, and in the last few years he has declared there is no God, drinks excessively and curses like a sailor.  I thought I could live with it, but I can't.  So here I am at 67-years-old facing yet another divorce.  At least it seems amicable so far.

So as I face the future, I wonder whether there could be love in the future.  I wonder what makes some marriages, happy ones, even though they are not "soul mates" work.  What about you?
Have you met your soul mate? Would you know it if you did? If you married someone else, are you happy? Do you wish you could go back and have a "do-over?"

Let me have some comments from some of you.  I would really like to delve into what makes a good marriage and whether meeting your soul mate but marrying someone else has made you miss something?

There is so much more I could say, but I really want to hear from you out there, but for now I wish you...



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