Eight years down…

by Carolyn on October 20, 2009

I grew up as a child of divorce.  And then I got married.

October 20, 2001

October 20, 2001

October 20, 2001

October 20, 2001

That’s a big deal.

Lots of children of divorce are petrified to get married.  Scared to repeat their parent’s mistakes.  Others think nonchalantly about marriage.  It’s something that can be undone, after all.  And then there’s lots of us somewhere in the middle.  Knowing that we never want a divorce, but also knowing all too well that it is an available option.  Being hypercritical of our potential mates and yet willing to walk the gauntlet when we find someone who passes inspection.

My husband and I decided to get married after dating for almost a year and a half.  Yes, you read that right.  We decided.  No exciting, romantic or surprising proposal. That’s not really either of our style’s.  Neither of us are overly emotional or romantic.  We are more practical.  Realists.  We fit each other that way.

I was married eight years ago today.

I remember feeling so nervous yet so completely sure.  I remember thinking that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man but if by god something were to happen to us, as long as we didn’t have kids I would manage okay.  That’s probably why I didn’t want to start our family right away even though he did.

I remember wondering if I’d gotten a sign.

The day before the wedding; after spending the day running around the entire universe.  After completing all the final checks with the caterers, reception hall, florist, photographer, musician, travel agent, decorator and disc jockey.  I had just enough time to run home, get changed, and speed relentlessly drive to the church for the rehearsal.  I walked into our apartment (which looked like a tornado had hit) and knew within two minutes that something was wrong.

I hadn’t received my usual greeting at the door.  My cat was missing.  My beloved little house cat that never went outdoors had escaped in the bustle of my husband loading his car to the gills with wedding stuff to bring to the reception hall.

To say I was devastated would be an understatement.

I called the pound sobbing.  They closed in 10 minutes (the same time the rehearsal was set to start) but said they’d stay open until I got there.  I raced.  But she wasn’t there.  I showed up at the rehearsal almost an hour late, with red swollen eyes and a very apologetic fiancé.

After the dinner, my husband along with his groomsmen went searching for my cat.  Calling ‘Nhala!  Nhala!  Here girl!’ Can you just picture this group of manly men?  I packed my luggage as we were leaving immediately after the reception for our honeymoon, chose some of my favorite pictures of Nhala for my mother to bring to the pound for me, and left for my mother’s house to spend the night.  I showed up on my mom’s doorstep.  Still crying.

The phone rang shortly after midnight.  My now husband’s joyful voice sang out “She’s baaaack!”  He had left ribbon (my cat’s favorite toy/food) hanging out the patio door and a few minutes earlier had found her sitting in the middle of the living room snacking on the ribbon and giving him a look that said “What?”

Eight years later, I can say that I have become so enmeshed in my marriage that when I think about the possible dissolution of it, it’s not my children that I think about anymore.  It’s me.  I wouldn’t survive it.  At least not with my soul intact.

So after eight years of being married to this man, ten years of being a couple, I can’t help but wonder how we’ve done it.  Why has this thing called marriage worked for us?

I can only guess.

We say how we feel.  We don’t run from each other.  We work hard, fight fair, play nicely and often find ourselves enjoying a good laugh together.

We know we can be ourselves and we’ll love each other anyway.  Being together is comfortable, like putting on a favorite t-shirt.

Here’s to us!

Us now

Now

Eight years down.  Only a lifetime to go.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tammy October 21, 2009 at 7:37 am

Here’s to you, indeed. Happy Anniversary!!!

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2 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Thanks Tammy.

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3 Bernita October 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

Carolyn,
Just beautiful…you have such a way with words…Happy Anniversary for the rest of your lives. Love you both so much, miss you even more.

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4 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Do I ever miss you!! Thanks Bernita. And thanks for sharing that day with me!

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5 Stephaine @ Geezees October 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

Happy Anniversary!
I hope your love lasts an eternity!
.-= Stephaine @ Geezees´s last blog ..Personalized Gifts for your Bridesmaid, Sister, and Best Friend =-.

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6 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Thanks Stephaine and welcome! I hope it does too!

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7 Peggy October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Happy Happy Anniversary!

No one ever gets married thinking they’ll get divorced. I’m a child of divorce a few times over (dad is on wife #4 and mom is on husband #5…I guess my parents like being *married* ;-) )

My daughters and my stepdaughters have both seen their parents’ unions dissolve. And if you talked to all four girls, they’d all agree that all of their parents are in much better places. And it hasn’t deterred any of them from getting married. My youngest step daughter got married in August, my oldest daughter was *supposed* to get married on Oct 17, but US Customs changed those plans (still happening, just in Ireland now!) and my oldest step daughter is getting married July 16, 2010. My youngest daughter keeps telling me she’s waiting a few more years…she’ll be 22 in 2 weeks…

Blessings for a lifetime of happiness with your husband!
.-= Peggy´s last blog ..October 20th Guest of Honor ~ Jennifer Newcomb Marine, Kellie and Kathryn ~ The Stepmom/Mom Relationship =-.

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8 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Thanks Peggy. It’s always an honor to have you stop by. I agree with your daughters and stepdaughters. I would never have wanted my parents to stay together for my sake. They are much better off where they are in life now. And although I didn’t get married thinking I’d get divorced, I have to admit that for me, I did *think* about divorce in the weeks leading up to my wedding. Not that I thought I would get divorced, just that for me divorce and marriage were kind of welded together in my psyche. Weird, but true.

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9 Sara October 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Congratulations and happy anniversary!

Eight years is no small feat, so clearly you two are doing something right.

Keep up the good work!

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10 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Thanks, Sara!

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11 Melissa October 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Awe, that made me teary eyed. How beautiful…
.-= Melissa´s last blog .. =-.

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12 Carolyn October 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Thanks Melissa!

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13 Yaya October 22, 2009 at 6:31 am

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!

Congratulations!
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..The Toothbrush Dance =-.

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14 Amanda October 22, 2009 at 10:24 am

Happy Anniversary!

I am 5 years into my marriage and feel the same as you in all respects. As a child of divorce marriage was a HUGE deal for me and I don’t think I could survive it disbanding.

Laughter is surely the best medicine in a marriage and understanding your differences too and that men or women are ever going to change!!

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15 Carolyn October 23, 2009 at 7:10 am

Thanks Amanda! I agree – trying to change your partner rarely works. ;)

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16 Urchin October 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Congratulations to you and yours!

Not only are you married, have stayed married, but by all accounts that I’ve read you’re in a GOOD marriage. It’s a beautiful thing, and that you’ve shared so much with us is a testament to how happy and comfortable you are. I can only hope that maybe eventually I’ll be there too.

Thank you. For sharing. For loving. For just being you, masks aside or included, I’ll take ya either way :D

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17 Carolyn October 23, 2009 at 7:09 am

Thank you, Urchin (hugs)

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18 Millennium Housewife October 23, 2009 at 7:22 am

That was such a gorgoeus post, I’m so glad you’ve been able to make marriage mean a different thing to you. Over from SITS, enjoy Chicago!

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19 Carolyn October 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Thanks! I’ll be stopping by your blog very soon.

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20 Robyn October 25, 2009 at 12:27 am

Happy Anniversary! You guys look like a happy couple!

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21 Carolyn October 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Thanks Robyn! We are.

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22 Angelia Sims October 26, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Carolyn,
Wow! That was beautiful! Congratulations! You both look so good and happy. I, too, was scared of marriage and knew it was easy to dissolve. I am divorced twice now. I am a diffrent person nowadays. I have learned a lot about myself. I don’t believe in divorce unless it’s abusive and the abuser refuses to get help (my 2nd marriage). I feel like I am who I am today because of those experiences. I still believe in marriage and hope to be married for life *this time*. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story.
.-= Angelia Sims´s last blog ..Today is proof.. =-.

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23 Carolyn October 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm

And thanks for sharing yours, Angelia! From what I’ve read over on your blog, your marriage is definitely headed in the direction of ‘forever’.

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24 hayley October 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm

So wonderful Carolyn! I hope you had a lovely and romantic anniversary… coming from the childhood that we both had, these milestones mean SO much. xoxo
.-= hayley´s last blog ..Falling, falling, falling… =-.

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25 Carolyn October 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Yes they do. Thanks Hayley!

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26 Tammy October 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Great post, wish we had known each other longer so I could have been at your wedding. You two are truely a great couple and great friends.

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27 Carolyn October 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Thanks Tammy. It’s funny to think that we didn’t know each other then, isn’t it?

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28 Laura A November 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Happy Anniversary!! It was 5 for us on Oct.15th.
Kudos to you for rising above and choosing to conquer the deamons that can and do plague grown up children of divorce. You are an excellent champion of the cause!!
Be Well All Ways,
LA xo
.-= Laura A´s last blog ..Survivor Step Mom : The Ultimate Challenge =-.

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29 Carolyn November 10, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Laura! It sure is difficult for us ACOD’s to jump both feet securely into marriage, isn’t it?

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