So I’m sitting here reading People Magazine and don’t ask me why - it usually depresses me. Once I get past the photos in the front of celebrities with their beautiful children touring Disney Land, Fiji or a fantastic city in Europe I stop on the Book Picks and that of course depresses me because I am not on it. (My agent is in Hawaii right now but when she gets back I know our phones will be ringing like crazy!) Then I get to the stories about people who have changed the world by climbing a mountain in the name of curing hunger (Not sure exactly how that gets people fed, but, still they did it ) or became instantly rich and famous by blogging about cupcakes. Sigh.
Then I find something that sort of makes me laugh; Gwyneth and Chris may be recoupling. According to People, they are not totally sure they are getting back together but one source says, “They love each other and if the romance comes back, they’ll go with it if it feels right.” That is sort of like the time that Tony Magill told me in sixth grade that he would give me his id bracelet IF he could get it back from Cathy Malone and IF Gwen Mixer turned him down. That’s a lot of if’s. Frankly, based on how that all played out, I don’t hold out much hope for the Paltrow/Martin recoupling.
Here’s what I make of this, life became a bit of a drag because they have Apple and Moses and life is no longer one big party. Maybe at night Chris is feeling a little needy and Gwyneth is like “Come on honey, I just got the kids down and I want to write about gluten free scones on GOOP, and then he rolls over in a huff and watches Breaking Bad on his ipad with his headphones on. (Oh wait, I’m getting me and Chris mixed up.)
Still you see my point, it’s loving the other person when the romance is on low that makes and keeps a marriage. I should know, I’m divorced.
I know how those years can be and I know myself and many others who could not weather the storm of what I like to call THE UNDER YEARS - under stress, under rested and under sexed. If you, like so many others find yourself single after this period of time, fear not. There is hope for happiness and it comes in the form of your second relationship.
I have been in my second relationship for five years, following the end of my 27 year marriage. I cannot tell you how different it it. We eat dinner together, sometimes I make it, sometimes he makes it sometimes we eat tuna sandwiches. During dinner we talk. Yes talk. There is no one asking us to cut their meat or if they have to eat that gross broccoli that makes them barf.
Later we might take a glass of wine and sit outside and talk some more. We never run out of words, and there is no hurry. No one to tuck in, no homework to check, or in my son’s case no court ordered community service to be driven to. (Total misunderstanding, really.) It may sound quiet and it is. It is pure heaven.
At first I thought, “If only I could have talked to my ex like this, we would still be married.” But that’s the thing. We can’t talk to our spouses like that in the Under Years because there is too many things pulling us in too many directions. Jobs, kids, finances. Sometimes by the time you hit the pillow, talking is the last thing you want to do, well, ALMOST the last thing.
I now wonder if perhaps we weren’t meant to have several meaningful relationships in life. Are we the same people at 55 that we are at 25? Most likely not. I am glad I was the person I was then, I have four beautiful kids and I would not have changed those years for anything. I am glad I am the person I am now, as well. It would be perfect if this person could have that person’s full eyebrows but all in all I am happy with myself.
The person I am with now is a true partner, a best friend, a soul mate. We have seven children between us, the youngest being 21. I look forward to many weddings, grandchildren, and family celebrations of this combined family we have made. More than that, I look forward to all the things we have yet to say to each other and the happy times we will share. So please, don’t despair if you are facing an uncoupling. Look forward to part two.
* Originally published June 24, 2014 in Huffington Post Divorce
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