I don’t know how to be married.
How is that for a strong opening line? Honestly though, I don’t know how to be married. When I think of marriage, I am constantly reminded of the first one. That was easy in hindsight and I will explain.
In my first marriage, we had all the conventional trappings. A house, kids, school (when that came around), chores (house and garden), pets, extended family (until we moved), church and the list continues. It was that “family” life that we are so conditioned to via TV, our parents and grandparents vision of what things should be like and other social mores. We knew what part we were expected to play and did so competently.
It was not for us, and life became untenable and unstable for the kids, and for us. So we ended it. We are better friends than we ever were as married adults, and I do not regret the marriage or the divorce. I do regret that we were not honest sooner. Anyway, I digress.
Marriage was this formula in version 1. I did my part and so did he. It was easy from that aspect because we could just follow the formula, with our own additions as required.
Version 2 is very different. We have none of the social norms by which to measure the marriage on. We are all friends with our ex’s (well more mine than his), to the point of inviting said ex to our wedding to stand for us. And the variations continue.
The stickler for me is that the hobbies I grew to love, were my escape from version 1. In version 2, there is little I want to escape from. I want to spend time and be with R. I am not bored, or unhappy or needing a break. Our relationship is not new, and we do have the “familiar = boring” moments, but it still seems so weird that we are married.
I am still working through a lot of this in my head, so this may seem a little short. It has been a packed year and I am still processing what happened in January … August will just have to wait!
We don’t need the happily ever after, because we want each of us to be happy and healthy. For us, right now is important. The future needs proofing, but we will accept what comes with some measure of grace. It is an interesting journey, especially when for both of us, marriage was never an option.