A View on marriage

by Carolyn on June 25, 2009

reflection

Here is a question for you. How do you view marriage? Do you envision reckless love and passion all the days of your life? Do you envision shackles? Or maybe a friendly cohabitation which blossoms into more when desire bubbles to the surface? From my experience, men and women view marriage in very different ways. But I wonder how deeply being a child of divorce can also impact that view?

Can it make you absolutely determined to find your one true love, your soul mate; thinking it will guarantee you a lifetime of happiness? Can it make you hypercritical of potential mates; always watching for that one trait you refuse spend a lifetime overlooking? Or maybe it can give you a sense that divorce is survivable, allowing you to freely follow whatever path you feel drawn to. What factors might influence you to act one way or another?

I honestly don’t know. For me, during adolescence while hormones ruled, I had no caution when it came to the concept of marriage. Engaged at 18, I don’t think I had ever even thought about what marriage really meant to me. I was engaged again shortly after that relationship ended. And neither of those engagements progressed into marriages. During the first I was too immature and ill-equiped to participate in a relationship of that magnitude. During the second, I was far too busy damaging myself to pay attention. But you might conclude that with all the engagement rings and promises swirling around, that I thought of marriage as no big deal. Something that can be undone after all, so not really worthy of my full consideration.

Or could it have been something else? What if the failure of those two relationships was more closely related to a gripping fear of repeating my parent’s mistakes? Although the reasons I had always assigned make sense and I’m sure played a part in their demise, I now give more credit to the influence of fear. Because when I was engaged for the third and final time, I approached things more clinically.

Oh of course we had the whirlwind beginning as all romantic relationships do. But a couple of years after that I became much more objective. I remember wondering after every fight, if this was an issue that down the road could end us. I remember questioning after many happy moments, if this would be enough to sustain us. It’s not the dream of little girls who wish for a prince charming to sweep them off their feet and carry them to some remote castle in the forest. No, not the stuff of fairy tales. My reality. What I needed to do to make sure that my marriage fulfilled the view I had for it. for better or worse; in good times and bad; in sickness and health….forever.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn July 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm

From Jon on June 19, 2009

Carolyn,
I have known Frank for about 12 years. Strangely, he has never said one word about you. :) But I’ve come to realize he has many untold stories in his past and I always look forward to hearing about them. Reading Franks story about your history and your talent I felt I should see what you had to say.

I believe you and I could talk for hours about marriage/divorce. I too come from a broken home and until I was in my late 20s I was adimently against getting married. Now, a little more than a decade later I have an awesome wife and two children. I find my approach to marriage is completely different from my parents as well as my siblings. But I won’t bore you with details.

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2 Carolyn July 2, 2009 at 10:42 pm

From Frank Fradella on June 19, 2009

Jon is remembering things badly. I almost never called you by name. It was always just “Canada.” :)

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3 Carolyn July 2, 2009 at 10:41 pm

From Urchin on June 19, 2009

I saw, in another blog I stalk regularly called Post Secret, a secret that could be for any number of things.

“Just because you survive it, doesn’t mean it was ever ok.”

Not being a child of divorce, but hoping my parents wake up and get one, I found this particular secret very potent. I’m not sure what the writer actually meant by it, but I’m not sure it matters because it did speak to me. On many levels.

Having my own huge storage unit of issues (and back issues all on auto-subscribe) I can relate in a small way to always questioning “What comes next.” Before the relationship I’m in now I never wanted to be in one. I was in them, sure, but it was all half-hearted for my own reasons. I never seriously considered marriage, but I watched my friends get married, and now my brother in September. Three of my friends have since gotten a divorce, and I don’t know what to think about my brother.

I’m a huge fan of people doing what works for them.

I’ll say this again, because it still applies: I love how you explain yourself. Thank you again for sharing.

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