We appreciate you taking the time to read our story, writing together has been great fun for us. If you’re just joining us for February’s posts, welcome, and start here:
We had several not-a-dates before we were both ready to admit we were, in fact, dating. I found BF’s honesty and openness, jarring, but uniquely attractive. The extent to which I enjoyed dating and how it helped me awaken to fun, was a pleasant surprise.
My First Life
By the 21st year of my first marriage, life was getting kids to tennis lessons on time, grading Senior Comp essays, buying groceries with an intent to cook, but grabbing meals on the go. Emergency trips to Target after dinner, birthday parties, girlfriend trips, and forgetting to pay bills on time. If I sat long enough to read or write, it was for the classes I taught.
And then that life was over.
After many quiet, reflective, evenings at home alone, popcorn and Chardonnay for dinner, I resolved to live differently. Mindful. On my own terms, and hopeful I was strong and independent enough to live an authentic life.
And then, along came this unusual man who wanted the same for himself and was encouraging me to heal and soar. Independently.
We had fun together. We hiked and rode bikes and walked 1000 miles around our community, talking. We saw Paul McCartney and Elton John in concert. I went to my first ever Nascar Race. I was no longer the lone single at dinner parties.
It Was Not All Wine and Roses
We had challenges. There were things about his life that scared me. At one point, we took a short break to consider if we even wanted to give this thing a try. I did not want to add to the trauma my kids had already endured. I wanted to be better. Do better. And I had hoped I could do it by myself.
That first walk and talk led to many more. I was determined to sort through my baggage and, never again, hurt myself or others–especially my daughters–by my choices. I would become a whole person, never attempting to complete myself by taking care of others.
I Like You; I Don’t Need You
And then I met this woman who was equally determined to never allow anyone to even think they were taking care of her. Our mantra became, “I like you, but I don’t need you.”
By the time I met Debi, I was steadfast to never again allow myself to function in the emotional graveyard of busyness. I would never again be “the walking dead,” doing, rather than feeling. I was in therapy, journaling daily, reading Codependent No More, and The Language of Letting Go. My search for forgiveness led me to a deeper spiritual life and an understanding of a truly forgiving God. I was hopeful I could grow to forgive myself.
Sixty-Seven Percent of Second Marriages in the U.S. End in Divorce
A serious relationship was nowhere in my immediate plan. I was painfully aware of the statistics on second marriages. As a marriage and family therapist, I heard painful stories of blending families and finances, and the dangers of an unresolved personal history. I had work to do.
And yet, I was surprisingly attracted to Debi, her fun spirit, and her dedication to living authentically.
If either of us had written a wish list of characteristics for a person with whom we might like to create a second life, neither would have made the cut. She does not share my interest in antique cars or sports, and when she’s in a hurry, leaves a trail of open drawers and cabinets. My need to be in charge and organize when my anxiety gets high is not attractive to her. And there’s my unfinished projects.
I’m grateful we met at a time when we had not allowed ourselves to even consider a partner manifestation list, but rather a time when kindness, openness, and a desire to grow was ultimately appealing.
I’ve enjoyed being a guest blogger this month and maybe I’ll be invited back sometime.