Married Three Times

The first time I married my husband I thought I had to. We lived together, he supported me while attending school, and I longed for the security of a man. With a deep love for me and a desire to check the “married” box on the income tax statement for the tax credit, Mark popped the most important question of my life, while driving in the car.

We eloped nine days before the end of the year keeping our marriage a secret to ensure that the formal wedding brought the proper enthusiasm of family and friends. Secretly I committed to my new life as husband and wife justifying a divorce if it didn’t work out. Secrets began the foundation of our marriage.

Finances prevented us from consummating the marriage ceremony with family and friends, which kept me living a lie. Daily I faced the shame as co-workers, friends and family thought I lived with my boyfriend. Feeling judged I resented my husband for making me wait. One lie led to another as I pretended my second marriage would be my first.

The second time I married my husband, a year and a half after the first, I was more excited about the presentation than the commitment. I found the perfect dress, shoes, flowers, venue and food. The rollercoaster ride carried me along with fantasies of unmet expectations beginning on our honeymoon to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Years passed by, never fully committed. One foot in and one foot out, I never allowed myself to get too close afraid to be hurt again. Over the years bitterness grew toward my husband for his no-nonsense, analytical approach to making decisions like eloping for tax reasons. Focused on what I wanted in my marriage I forgot to be grateful for what I had.

After twenty-five years of marriage I sent off the original marriage license certificate to make it official. The third time I married my husband I accepted him as God created him to be. I saw my cup as overflowing instead of empty. I expressed my heartfelt appreciation for his commitment and dedication to our family. I took a chance. I said the words I love you, and meant them for the very first time. And I felt loved.

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