I was touched by a May 1st article that appeared in the Manchester Guardian, a UK publication, about a couple who reunited after having divorced some 27 years earlier. Not only did they find one another and reconnect, they actually chose to get remarried within three weeks of their reunion! I have to say “Hats Off” to that couple for putting the past in the past and making the brave decision to pick up where they left off, in order to live happily ever after…this time for keeps.
How many of us, in our young adulthood, made similar immature, un-thought-out, abrupt decisions to end our marriages, without ever taking the opportunity to truly address the source of our discontent and explore options together that might have solved the problem at hand and saved the marriage? One has to wonder: if Ann had been a little more flexible and if Chris had listened more closely to Ann’s cry for help, could their marriage have been saved years ago?
Far be it from me to throw stones, as I have definitely lived in glass houses on occasion. Like Ann, I too fled my first marriage, mostly out of boredom. Also, I definitely felt neglected by my spouse, who was charting his own career and life course while I was floundering, trying to figure out my own passion and purpose. Had my first spouse and I enough awareness to figure out what was causing us to slip out of relationship alignment, I feel quite certain we would be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary today. If we simply had initiated several open and honest discussions about my feelings of inadequacy and neglect, I’m quite sure that with a little understanding and compromise on both sides, we could have found our way back together again.
Long ago I put my pride and ego aside in order to accept responsibility for my own actions back in 1978, when I made the unilateral decision to exit that first marriage. Little did I know at the time, however, that my lack of maturity, patience and self-awareness would set me on a path that would lead to a string of unhappy marriages for many decades. I’m in a very happy marriage now, but I wonder had I met my first spouse some years ago and after my lessons learned, if I would have given love a second chance. Interestingly enough, my present husband has many of the same characteristics as my very first husband and my current husband and I are extremely compatible. We cherish each day together.
I strongly recommend that if one or both parties in a marriage feels that their relationship is getting off track, they immediately take steps to address the issue(s) head-on before taking the drastic measure of throwing in the towel. If couples would only strategize their lives, both as individuals and within the couples unit, more relationships and marriages could be saved. On the other hand, if you have learned some valuable life lessons and then somehow get a second chance at love again with your first spouse, I say “Why Not Tie the Knot?”