There is no way to count over the past twenty years how many times that question has been asked of me. But, for the first time in these past two decades, I am starting to ask that question myself now.
Why haven’t I remarried?
Many people in my circle have told me that I am stuck. When I became a divorced woman I had an infant and a toddler and a full-time sales and marketing career in the hospitality industry. A career I am still working in.
There was simply no time to really think about that. For a long time now I have been a one-woman band keeping all of the balls in the air and firing on all cylinders as I raised two kids alone in one of the most expensive cities in the State and in one of the most expensive states in the Union; aka Los Angeles, California.
I guess I just have never really prioritized that part of my life.
Am I “stuck?”
What spare energy I had was applied to working and raising a family alone. But maybe the friends and relatives who were of this opinion were right. I don’t think I ever consciously meant to make myself “stuck” but over the years, being stuck started to feel comfortable and safe. After all, if I am emotionally stuck then I don’t have to move because… well, I’m stuck! And if I’m stuck there is no risk of being hurt again. It sounded good anyway.
Am I wounded?
People have also assumed in the past that I have somehow been scarred by my experiences. It doesn’t take anyone with a Ph.D. to recognize that going through a tough divorce can cause one to be wounded. Especially if it was infidelity that led to the divorce and ultimate implosion of a family.
But I honestly don’t think that I fall into that word. Scarred is a heavy word and sounds so permanent. Though I would admit to having been wounded, I am not permanently scarred. I love myself too much to allow that kind of access into my psyche.
Am I lazy?
In the past, I have also been categorized as being lazy and just expecting someone to show up on my doorstep. The assumed unwillingness to actually put the work into finding someone who really had “Rock my World” potential. And with this, I would agree to a certain extent. I don’t think it is wrong to want the next man in my life to be all that!
Am I asking for too much?
I’m not saying that he has to be Clark Kent, a.k.a. “Superman” or Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. “The Rock”. I am just saying that he has to check the boxes. And so far I just haven’t found that guy. I did date. And at one time I thought I had come close to finding this guy. But I found out that he just wasn’t the one and I feared it would lead to the same kind of relationship I had in my marriage.
An apparent unconscious union between two people. I knew I still had some inner work to do, and I wasn’t willing to put any more effort into a relationship that I knew was not going to lead to my happily ever after.
Why has it taken you so long? That’s the other question frequently asked. The only answer I have to that question is that it just did…and it just has. There should never be any timetable set for your recovery post-divorce. For some, it can take a year. For me, it has taken twenty of them! When I became engaged to my first husband I remember distinctly feeling pressure from my friends telling us we should get married.
We had dated 5 years, why aren’t you engaged yet? And one by one my high school and college girlfriends were all getting engaged. It seemed the perfect reason to put a gun to my boyfriend’s head! Hmmm.
How did that work out for you Karen?
So after cataloging that experience I have no intention of rushing into a second marriage just because I am somehow supposed to be remarried by now.
Here’s what I know.
So here is what I know after sitting in my thoughts, experiencing myself for twenty years after a divorce, and having made the decision not to remarry….yet anyway. I loved my husband very much. And even more, I loved my beautiful little family.
We were married 8 years before even having our first child. We had a lot of adventures together and were each other’s favorite friends for many years. But, when one day your favorite person in the world unfavorites you, it does sting. And perhaps for me, it hurt for longer than I wanted.
But I think I needed to step back and allow myself to feel the full three-dimensionality of it. I am better for giving myself that. I won’t say it has all been rosy. It has not. I have felt every lonely, cold night alone.
But even in the toughest of times, I found out how really amazing a woman I am. I don’t say that with assumed sarcasm either. I say it with certainty. I had to wait. I had to heal. I had to catch my breath.
I had to find myself again. I have indeed made my way back home. And though I refuse to let the heart that didn’t love me, keep me from one that will, it just took a little time to get here. And maybe I will never remarry. Maybe I am destined to ride this life solo and be peaceful with that too. Either way, I know I will be just fine.
So, if someone is asking you that same annoying question, “why haven’t you remarried?”, what will your answer be? I’ll give you a clue.
There are no right or wrong answers. And there is no set time for the buzzer to ring. You have all the time you need.
You can remarry whenever you darn well, please!
Or you won’t remarry, realizing that you can fly solo.
The choices are all yours! Give yourself what you need, whatever that is, and you too will be just fine.