Having a long conversation with my girlfriend the other day we started discussing where our future is heading? Dating 5 years now, we have had an incredible relationship with lots of laughs, travel, adventures, etc. She has watched my daughters grow 5 years older into their teens and has also experienced my daughters growing 5 years older into their teens! So all seems great…right?
As I have stated in past posts, I do not plan on getting married again. I did it once after dating two years and at age 27 getting married for 18 years until we divorced. When I started dating my girlfriend the two things I stressed from the beginning were my daughters will always come first and I have no plans to remarry. Note she did not come into this relationship wanting to get remarried herself but I have lived by those two foundations for the past 5 years.
Continuing this conversation, we discussed the pros and cons of being married. This can be very stressful for her because, without some type of legal commitment, she could be unsupported, which makes total sense if we were to break up after years and years of dating. I am fortunate for my financial freedom as I don’t have to work or worry about money, but she still has a job, apartment, bills, etc. After all of this, it is not the finances or living together that are issues. Nope, it ends up that I recognized my real issues with marriage.
The Answer: The Agony of Defeat
I don’t like to lose, especially when I have some type of control. And this has nothing to do with my Ex-wife, but after growing up in a horrible family environment where we had to hide from my father, or police would show up to separate my parents, I promised myself when I got married that I would never have that type of experience. So when my Ex-wife dropped the Divorce word on me, it was like I was a loser. Now we had an incredibly easy divorce and co-parent our kids. We also help each other when needed and there is no contentious in the relationship. BUT… I did lose that dream of a perfect family.
For those of you that have experienced a divorce, once you come out the otherside it will be much better for you and everyone else. Knowing that sometimes things don’t work out, it is ok if you need to get a divorce. But, it will hit your ego because there is this huge weight of failure place upon yourself. And putting myself back into a position of marriage, I don’t want to lose and experience all the pain again.
Basically our conversation finished with both of us loving and supporting each other. And once I shared my agony of defeat answer out loud, she got a better understanding of where I was coming from when discussing marriage. Not that I am off the hook or anything, but reaching those inner feelings, often extremely hard to do, can release some of that weight that has been carried for years.
I still have a lot of self-learning to do, but now have at least taken one step closer to opening myself up further. For us divorce folks, it is important to discuss those feelings out loud, especially if you are dating someone new that you love.