I have been married twice, my first marriage lasted 21 years. My second marriage is in its 21st year as I write this. While it is easy to say I wish the first one had never happened, I won't say that. For one thing I would not have my three wonderful children, secondly, everything that happened to me up to now has led me to exactly where I am today. Changing anything would change everything. Besides, there are lessons to be learned from every experience in life. Plus, I just published a post about not looking back with regret.
|With my mother and grandmother
My uncle, my mother's younger brother, was giving me away, my father was on sabbatical in Harvard University. Both my sisters were living in Canada. Of my three brothers, the older refused to attend the church on religious grounds—he was then agnostic, or atheist, or both. The two younger ones planned to attend, but the older of the two slept late and missed the ceremony. The groom's family lived in London and the only representative from there was the best man, a college friend of the groom. The entire wedding party was about forty people; we took up the first two rows of pews in a beautiful old granite church that could have seated close to a thousand.
|Beechwood Avenue Church
We were having the reception in a function room at the Airport restaurant,. We were booked on a flight to London, departing at 4 p.m. There we had planned a second, dinner reception, for my new husband’s family.
|the island of Jersey, off the coast of France
The rest of our two weeks went fairly well, apart from a bout of food poisoning that I suffered and many bouts of sickness my husband suffered, due to the fact that he sat up almost all night, every night, watching the Olympics live from Mexico, drinking the duty free alcohol in the tiny bar of our bed and breakfast hotel. That should have been a sign to me, as to how the rest of the marriage would pan out.
That marriage lasted almost twenty-one years, despite the fact that I was miserable for the last fifteen of those years I really did try to keep it together, until I didn't. I had promised myself that my children would not grow up in a broken home, as I had. I am still not sure if I did them any favors by sticking to that promise. I did learn a few lessons along the way. Do not tolerate control freaks was the main one. Mental abuse is still abuse was the second one. Watch out for gaslighting. Finally, love cannot exist without trust and respect. You can read here about my somewhat unusual divorce.
My second wedding, twelve years later, was a whole lot different, and a lot more unconventional. If this sounds familiar, I touched on it here in a previous blog. Fortunately, the marriage was also a whole lot different.
I had only known Larry for four months and eighteen days, but I had fallen in love with him the first time we spoke on the phone, before ever meeting. We first met on a dating website. Within a few weeks Larry had moved into my home. Then unexpectedly, he lost his job. He was not just without income, he was without health insurance. The company I was working for at that time did not offer cover from domestic partners, only for a spouse. We talked about it for a few weeks and as his job search was proving fruitless, we decided the answer was that we should get married.
|Travis County Court House
|yes, this is the actual number
Larry drove me back to my office. I even managed to do some work that afternoon, but my head was filled with the events of the day, or at least the events of my lunch hour. Shortly after 4 p.m. I emailed to my boss, saying something to the effect “I got married at lunch time, so I think I will leave early and spend some time with my husband”. And I left. The next morning the news was out, many of my colleagues came by my desk to congratulate me and question me. Most of the men said “the next time I get married, that is the way I will do it”.