Yes, I have been married before. I married the love of my life, the man I wanted to have kids with and the one I knew would help me make my dreams come true.
Don't we all marry the man of our dreams? Don't we search and search and search... for that ONE?
I was sure I met him when I was 16. "I got lucky!" I would say. Not many girls around me knew for sure they would marry their boyfriends but I knew! I was certain he was the one. And he was! He proposed 4 years later and we got married shortly after. The relationship had its ups and downs, like everything in life, but that didn't worry me. He was it! We could work through anything, do anything together, conquer the world!
I sound naive don't I? Well, I was. I was very much in love but I also turned my head to many things that would eventually break us up. Then, I believed I could carry the weight of the marriage on my shoulders. That I could fix anything, that I could make us happy, that I was the glue, that I would forgive anything, that I would stay and suffer if I needed to because this is what I was supposed to do. I wasn't told any of this, I simply was determined to be married once. No divorce, no messiness, just him and I FOREVER!
Let's just say it ended shortly after. Let's leave the details of "why" for another day, and let's focus on the fact that I quickly realized I would not deal with ALL, I will not accept ALL, and I sure as hell was not meant to suffer ALL. This mind set didn't come quickly and I definitely stayed for many things that I now wouldn't tolerate but, it was all meant to happen for a reason. With this epic fail, came growth, understanding, self love and a journey of discipline. I took on so many responsibilities at such a young age that I forgot about the most important piece of it all... me.
I believe being married once has brought me wisdom I never thought I needed. Being married once, and failing at it, showed me what I need to work on a personal level. From the day I decided to get a divorce, I have been on a long journey of self discovery and growth. And I haven't stopped. I look back to the day I got married and I remember how happy I was, how excited I was and how ready I was. Marriage was the goal for me then. Marriage was the gold metal, the trophy, the reward for waiting. The title was mostly desired to me and the image... the image meant everything. Little did I know, perfect marriages don't exist and to make it to even a fraction of perfection you need to work at it together. There are things I value in the courtship that determine if marriage is the next step, if things aren't clean in the beginning I make sure I express my needs. Being married once has showed me what I no longer value, what I need to shed and what I need to reinforce.
Dear Future Husband, the idea of a fairytale wedding is not mine. I don't need a princess dress, glass heels and a guest list of a thousand (depending on your family size, of course.) Marriage is not the goal, a long lasting relationship is. Having healthy discussions and coming to a mutual solution where we both are satisfied, thrills me. I believe the wedding day is for others, and the marriage is for us. Let's plan this day well, but let's plan the rest of our lives ahead of time by taking care of our mess in the single season.