This afternoon, a judge signed a paper, ending my marriage of almost 21 years. Despite the hell I’ve been through over the last couple of years, I have mixed feelings about this. And so I’ve been thinking a lot about my marriage, and marriage in general.
Do I regret marrying UnlikelyDad? No, not really. I do regret not getting out of my marriage sooner, but I think we actually had a reasonably good marriage for a while.
Do I think any marriage can be made to work? Yes and no. I believe that as long as both parties are putting forth a reasonably good effort, the marriage will be workable. I believe that one party can hold up a bad marriage–after all, no one can be strong all of the time, and someone else can pick up the slack for you–but this only works for a limited time. A spouse cannot say, “My spouse is holding the marriage together quite well, so I do not need to do anything.” Both must contribute to the relationship.
Do I believe that marriage should be for life? Yes, but…marriage is a contract, in my eyes. A contract to support, love, and sacrifice for the other person. If one party breaks the contract, the other is no longer bound by the terms of the contract. (Note: Of course, husbands and wives frequently break the contract in small ways; that is why forgiveness was invented. I think the terms of marriage are invalidated only if there is a major breach of the contract, with no remorse on the part of the contract-breaker.)
Do I think I will get ever get married again. Maybe someday. I don’t like being alone. But on the other hand, I’d rather be alone than with someone who is not committed to my well-being. In any case, it’s not a decision I want to make any time soon: I think I need a serious amount of therapy before I get to that point. *sigh*