Hoosier Girl accepted the challenge of being hostess of Fun Monday this week. Her challenge to us:
Love and Marriage. What do you consider important to a good marriage or relationship? Tell a story of something endearing about your marriage or your parents' marriage. Include any wedding pictures or images of love that remind you of what a good relationship should be.
Both my husband and I have been married twice. We both were just 20 when we made our first vows (to other people). Oh, the things you do when you're young and sexually frustrated... Neither one of us were virgins when we made our first marriages, but there was the parental cloud of disapproval hanging over us. So we both did what they thought was appropriate and married our partners.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I can't really speak to Darling Man's first marriage. He's told me some things about it and honestly, it never sounded all that great. Like most of the good times happened before the ring hit the fingers.
I have lots of pictures from my first wedding that I treasure, but the one picture that absolutely sums it up for me is of my first husband sitting next to the rector's desk just before the ceremony. He has a worried look on his face and on the desk is a sign with a big question mark on it. I don't know what the sign says, but every time I see that picture I think, what were we thinking????
Both those first marriages lasted about 7 years before dissolving.
But I think we both learned a lot. About what we wanted in a partner and what we didn't want in one. Mostly what we learned was that we needed someone who would let us grow and be the people we were meant to be.
In spite of those conclusions, we both made bad choices a couple of times for different reasons and learned even more. I was involved with an alcoholic. He was involved with a woman who couldn't settle down. There were others, but those were the relationships that made us realize that we were doing it again - settling for less than we wanted.
Darling Man and I met at work. We were friends for several years and talked to each other about our latest relationships and how we enjoyed or disliked them. I found out that DM had worked for my father for a few years and I never knew he existed. He didn't know that I did.
And one night, at a friend's party, we looked at each other and suddenly thought - Why not him/her? I went home with him that night. Technically, I suppose that's sleeping together on the first date, but in reality, we'd been dating from a distance for quite some time.
So why does it work? We don't always like each other, but we always love each other. I give him space to be himself and he does the same for me. We have the same basic values. We are honest with each other. We laugh together (a lot). We create things together (including our son). We are in the same business and can understand what frustrations and triumphs are and what they mean. We forgive each other, cry together, and celebrate the little things like a good meal, a funny movie, or our son's accomplishments.
In the end, I guess it's true - Love is a friendship that has caught fire.