A couple of years ago, my friend “Lexie” met this guy named “Pete” who was recently divorced with a couple of young kids. They went out on about three dates, and Lexie decided it wasn’t right, so she ended it. “Nice guy,” she said, “He just wasn’t for me.”
A couple months later (I’m not kidding about this) she gets a text from Pete saying that he is engaged. I’m pretty sure he had been divorced less than 6 months, separated from his ex-wife under a year.
Let me explain that I am by no means judging Pete. There is no bigger romantic than me, and I love, love, love the idea of marriage. When it’s the right time. That said, I’m constantly amazed by how many divorced or recently divorced people not only rush into serious relationships, but they rush into marriage, and then, they always have these really short engagements, and they get married weeks after their engagement, like they just want to do it already. I don’t get it.
Slow down, people! What’s the rush? I’ve read so many divorce books that say it takes YEARS to heal from a divorce. I’m talking 5 years (in my opinion.) So, why would you want to get married to someone else before you’ve fully dealt with what happened to you? There are still times that I think about my failed marriage and come to new revelations about what happened, how I might have been at fault, what I could have done better. And my marriage ended almost 6 years ago!
Again, I’m not judging anyone for wanting to get married again, because I know that feeling of being so in love at the beginning of a relationship that you can barely breathe, and all you want to do is spend time with the person. Having kids and different schedules and living in different houses makes getting together challenging. I know that from personal experience. There have been stretches of times when I haven’t seen my boyfriend for two weeks, because our schedules didn’t allow for it. So, trust me, those are the times I say to myself, ‘Maybe marriage is a good idea.’
But, if you really sit down and think about it, you better be pretty darn sure this is “the one” AGAIN because the last thing anyone wants is another divorce. And sadly enough, the divorce rate of second marriages is significantly higher than first marriages.
The thing is, everyone wants to end up “happily ever after” and I completely get that. I do, too! But does happily ever after really mean another wedding?
Let me continue with the Pete story. So, about three months after he told my friend he was engaged, she began getting texts from him late at night, some of the texts at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. The texts would read, “Hey, Lex, miss you!” or “Just drove by your house and was thinking of you.” Lexie actually thought maybe he broke off the engagement, but then found out from someone that he was married. That’s when she knew he wasn’t happy. I mean, really. You’re married and you’re texting old girlfriends? How happy can you be?
Fast forward to two years later, which was last week. Lexie gets a text from Pete that he is single again. Big surprise there. Sorry, not trying to be a biatch. But, the truth of the matter is, Pete’s marriage ended because Pete had no business getting married. He barely knew the girl, he has two young kids who are undoubtedly still trying to cope with their parents divorce, and he himself needs to heal from the first divorce, still.
There is a book called Crazy Time, which is sort of the Bible for newly divorced people. In the book, (which I believe was written in the 80’s) it says that often times, people get remarried and then get divorced again, and that is when they start really healing from the first divorce. I believe that. You can’t heal if your mind is clouded by a new relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. I was never one of those people to tell newly divorced people they shouldn’t date. They should! When I was getting divorced, I hated when people would say to me, “You need some time alone. You don’t want to date anyone right now. Just be by yourself and figure things out.”
I felt like saying, “How do YOU know what I want? (since you are married and have never gone through this,)” and “Why should I be by myself? Am I being punished for getting divorced, so I’m restricted from dating?”
When people are getting divorced they are feeling lonely and isolated and afraid, and in my opinion, they should date as much as they want. Big difference between dating and committing AGAIN to spending the rest of your life with someone.
I feel sorry for Pete, but I feel even worse for his kids. The silver lining is, Pete and the girl didn’t have any kids together. Talk about complicating things even more!
I might sound really judgmental in this blog, and if that’s the case, I apologize because I do realize that every situation is different. I’m just stating that in the majority of cases, if done too soon, getting married a second time ends up being a mistake. ANOTHER mistake, which any divorced person can tell you is not something he or she wants to make.
I wish people (both divorced and people who are engaged for the first time) would really take the time to sit down and think about what they are really doing by getting married. Are the things he does that bug you going to get better? NO WAY. Marry him and they will intensify big time. Are you okay with that? If so, great! But be honest with yourself.
I would imagine there are doubts in a second marriage, no matter what. You already made one mistake, so to feel nervous is normal. But overwhelming doubt shouldn’t be ignored. Again, be honest with yourself.
In closing,I will say this. There is no better feeling in the world than being in love, and feeling like FINALLY, after living your whole life well into your 40’s or 50’s, you’ve found the one. But is it necessary to rush into a marriage? If he or she is “the one,” than you’ve already lived happily ever after, whether you have a ring on your finger or not.