Friday, April 1, 2016


Herself speaks.

"You shouldn't get married again. You should just shack up."

I'm not sure exactly how the topic of conversation -- remarriage -- came up in casual conversation, but it did. It's not unusual, really; I have, on numerous occasions, reminded Beloved Husband that in the unlikely event of my untimely demise, he should find a new wife. And I've pointed this out to many people, including all of the women in the office, so that, in the unlikely event of my untimely demise, there will be other people who might have in their heads the idea that a woman they know might make a good wife for Beloved Husband. He needs a wife. I would not want him to be lonely.

(I know it might seem grim to contemplate this. In this expanse of middle-age, though, the realities of one's temporary time on this planet are abundantly clear. Even when we hope and pray that the Grim Reaper will not darken the doorstep for many more decades, we know far too well that Heartbreaking Things Sometimes Happen.)

I was surprised, though, by the admonishment that I myself shouldn't get remarried. And I'll admit that one of my first internal reactions was a petulant thought of I should get remarried right away just because I've been told not to do so, which is a completely ridiculous reaction. It's not as though I could just remarry by myself -- it obviously involves a second person, and thus some serious time and consideration to get to know that someone and decide that they would be a good partner.

(Not to mention, the tsunami of grief associated with the loss of someone So Very Important, that would have to be borne. I don't think about that part. I cannot.)

Why not get remarried, I asked in response to the advice I'd received. Apparently "it would complicate the money." Erm, what money? At this point in my life, with two Offspring in college and a third nearly there, plus a change in career, I'm worth more from a life insurance point of view than from any other view. Besides, in the event that I were to miraculously inherit a giant pile of money, there are things like prenuptial agreements that would help ensure that a future spouse wouldn't be marrying me solely in the hopes of getting hands on my cash. Not really an issue.

In the end, I explained that, if the unthinkable happened and Beloved Husband were to shuffle off this mortal coil sooner rather than later, I would ultimately be willing to get remarried if I were to meet the right person.

I was very young when I got married -- just having turned 24. I had spent the previous three-plus years in a long distance relationship with Beloved Husband, and I had no idea about what it would be like to even see the man I love on a daily basis, let alone what I wanted marriage to be like. He and I have grown into our selves together. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, I have a very good idea about the joys of having a spouse, about the pitfalls that can befall any relationship, and about the work and the pleasure of building a mutual life together.

I now know myself: I know what I want, and what I do not want. I know what I need. And I know what kinds of sacrifices I am willing to make for another person.

I know to appreciate someone who listens and tries to understand, who searches for the right words to help me feel better, who does not walk away when times are tough. I am grateful when my efforts are appreciated and supported. I find joy when someone makes me laugh. I realize that little gestures are important to help someone else to feel loved. I understand that each day is a new day, not only to remember heartwarming moments in the past, but also to build new moments again and again.

(Thank you, Beloved Husband, for your part in these Life Lessons. I am grateful for all we have learned together.)

If the situation arose, I would take what I have learned in being married to Beloved Husband, and in due time, go out into the world and consider trying again. There would be no replacing him, for he is Unique in all the Universe. Nevertheless, I would not be afraid of eventually contemplating a commitment to another person. And I truly hope he would do the same, if the situation were reversed.

In the end, life is too short not to love - and I would rather risk having my heart broken, than leave it untouched on a shelf evermore.


  1. Wow... this is really a tough one. I respect and support all that you said as an uninterested third party. If you had asked me three years ago, I would have said the same for any and all of my loved ones. Then I lost my brother and sister... and had to witness my brother-in-law spend more time and energy on finding his new other half than on the rest of his life.
    There are many obvious differences ... one is that he is no where near as aware of his growth and learning in his relationship with my sister. I understand all of these things intellectually. All that being said, my response has not come from my mind or rational side... it has been purely emotional. And whereas it is obvious that my sister is not coming back and this is not disloyalty, but there is a pain in it that I could not have imagined in my rational mind...

    1. It must be tremendously heartwrenching to see this topic from the other side. My heart goes out to you.

      Perhaps a difference lies between a deliberate search for someone new, and a thought that if someone new were to come along, perhaps a new future could be wrought? In truth I am not sure that I would actively seek a new partner for myself (though I would hope that my Beloved Husband would do so).

      I deliberately left out the grief side of the picture, for it is a sorrow too great to contemplate (I did add a paragraph to that effect, after further contemplation today). Not having experienced so profound a loss, I cannot truly tell how it would shape my choices and decisions -- I can only contemplate in the abstract.

      I always enjoy your thoughtful comments. <3