I am definitely not JLO. I didn’t marry the first time to divorce, marry again, divorce again, marry again, and divorce again. I have been married and divorced three times since 1984. At what point do you finally look in the mirror and say, “what the hell is wrong with me?”
I did that especially after my most recent split in 2013. When I divorced the second time my best friend, Kathy, was going through a divorce also. She was out to find fun. I was out to remarry. I don’t know why I needed that commitment portion of a relationship. I feel as though I probably smothered most men I met. “Hi I am Shelly and I have three kids by two different men and been divorced two times. Want to go out with me?” Can you imagine how many hits I would have on a dating site? Today my thought process is much different than that of when I divorced the first time in 1993.
My sister who is three years younger than me always felt the need when she was introducing me to say, “this is my sister and she has been married three times.” Like that makes a difference in who I am. But it did. When she said that I felt like crawling under a rock. Marriage was for life. At least that’s what the vows stated, till death do us part, and to my knowledge none of my ex’s are dead. I felt like a loser.
I was a junior in high school and I not only fell in love for the first time, I married him six months after I graduated in 1984. My best friend Chris had died from injuries due to a car crash at only 16. The fear and loss of him made me hang on tight to the man I married.
I had everything in front of me for my future along with a college scholarship for law. The problem was Chris was supposed to attend with me. He was my best friend and I loved him more than I ever told him. I felt as though I could not exist without him. I felt if I didn’t marry my boyfriend who was four years older than me, maybe he wouldn’t wait for me and I would lose him. I couldn’t fathom that thought.
I realize now, years later, that would not have been the situation. He loved me and he would have waited. We were married for 9 years. I got the 7-year itch and decided I didn’t want to be tied down. What did he do wrong? Nothing. He loved me more than I would ever realize.
I decided to tell him I was no longer happy. Two small children and I wanted a life outside of what I felt was smothering me. He taught me how to manage money, pay bills, fix things, and be independent. He taught me how to be so independent I told him we were done in 1993. I didn’t even give him a chance. I wanted to be single. This was no fault of his at all. It was me rushing into a life decision without thinking first. Today we are civil and friends, I am grateful for that.
My singlehood didn’t last long. I met a guy I went to high school with shortly after and, once again, not even a year later we married. I had my third daughter with him in 1995. He was an abusive drunk and him crashing my Jeep with our 16-month-old daughter in it was the last straw of that marriage and I called it quits. I had every reason to end that one. That lasted 16 months.
When I met my third husband in 2000, I had no intentions to marry and I told him that. He swept me off my feet and he seemed so different than any man I was ever with. We had our ups and downs but for the most part I felt we would be sitting on a porch together watching our grandchildren play.
The many times I said I wanted out was because it was easier than pulling out of him reasons for his depression and the many times he told me no, only meant to me it was meant to be.
That marriage ended 14 years later. Why? He decided to have an affair with his 12 year younger, newly hired, customer coordinator who was also married with a kid our grandchild’s age.
This was not the first affair. He cheated three years after we were married and I turned around and ran to my ex-fiance. We both forgave and moved on and managed to maintain the marriage though sometimes it was rough. This time no warning, no talking of any issues, no clue he was unhappy. I found the text on his phone. He called it quits this time, not me.
I don’t really mind telling people I was married three times. I remember telling my friend Brad that my second marriage didn’t count because it was only 16 months so I didn’t have to claim it. His response to me was I signed the papers so it counted. Damn it.
I feel in today’s society there are more divorced couples then there are married which is truly sad. But, then again, does that mean they chose to get out of a miserable situation and move on?
Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. It took me two years of separation from my last husband to make me see he was not who I needed in my life. I missed the good times and the talks and sometimes the sex (he was not as good as he thought he was). I became him, negative, hating life, bipolar. I was a happy positive person but being with him wore me down. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him and I never realized how much until he was no longer there. I look at the lies he has told, the lie he has been living and the way he treats my daughters and I realize I am right where I need to be – alone. He is toxic. Period. I told him I didn’t want any contact, no friendship, nothing. It had to be that way for many reasons. That part of us was my decision and I have no regrets.
I have told many people I never plan to marry again. They say never say never. I mean it. I don’t need a piece of paper to be with someone. I am in no hurry to live with someone. And marriage? No thanks. I have changed my name back for the last time to my maiden name and my friends tell me there is not enough white out to replace any more names for me in their address books.
Unless NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hunts me down and says, “Hey lady, I want to put a ring on it, it isn’t going to happen. I don’t do well with marriage, obviously. But I can drive a race car, mow my own yard, rescue animals, make you laugh and love you forever. That I can do.
- The Real Reason Second And Third Marriages Fail
- Divorce Prevention Tips: Some Important Facts About Divorce
- My Strange But True Divorce Story
- It’s complicated but it is family