Not my first rodeo! (or why getting married at 60 is better than at 20)

Well, obviously, I’m a lot smarter than I was 40 years ago. I’ve made a lot of choices, and in spite of some of them looking bad at the time, I have no regrets.

As I muse, on the eve of my marriage to the man who will be my third (and last?!) husband, I do ponder my life with some amazement!

I married my high school sweetheart at 19. What babies we were! I thought it was forever, certainly planned for it to be forever. We had a roller coaster ride, and along the way seven wonderful little lives were created and birthed into this world. Certainly can’t regret that!

Midlife came along, and until you are there, and then well beyond, you don’t understand what a midlife crisis is really all about. For me, I had the first realization that life was short and I didn’t want to keep living the life I was living. And the only way I knew to change it, because of the rather narrow vision I had at the time,  was to change husbands.

Now I know that I created my world, and I could have created change in a different and more healthy way. But that’s not what happened, and I got just what I thought I wanted. At 43 I divorced and quickly married again, tried to make it work for 12 years. I had wanted more pizzazz in my life, and I got it, but not in a healthy way. What got birthed through all that was an older and wiser woman! I learned to take responsibility for my choices and learned to make better ones! I don’t regret that!

And I was done with marriage! I was 56 years young, feeling strong, and made plans to have a whole lot of fun that I had missed out on in my pursuit of living the perfect marriage. I minimized and moved, and started living the exciting single life.

I joined meetup, because I only wanted to meet people, not date. Oh no, I was done with men! I went to parties, happy hours, restaurants, went to running groups, did all kinds of things I’d never done. I did get involved with someone, but it was always known that it was just for fun. I  went out with a few guys, but it was more out of curiosity then wanting a real relationship.  Then, only a year after I was divorced, I met Robert.

I’d gone to yet another meetup, at the wine bar down the street. He was there, along with a bunch of other people, and there was no love at first sight. Just another guy. But we met again, at another meetup a week later, and that is when something magical happened. I had this moment when we were sitting at the table talking, and the rest of the world just kind of faded away, like in a movie.

So, long story short, that was four years ago. A year ago Robert proposed to me right before my fabulous 60th birthday. (He threw me a great party, btw!)  I’ve had enough time and experience with him to know that he is the real deal, for me. I know what I want, and don’t want.

The biggest deal is that I am entirely safe to be who I am in this relationship. There’s no big drama, no narcissism. There is a constant love and acceptance, and an understanding that love isn’t always FELT. Rather, love, the marriage kind of love, is a knowing. Knowing that you feel good with this other who is a mirror of your true self. Knowing that life is great lived without a partner, but somehow, with this person, life is a whole lot better.

So, never say never. Be open, be careful, be ready to be surprised!

Am I saying “til death do us part” ? No, not this time. Said it twice before, broke that promise. I fully expect it to be til one of us leaves this body, but saying that just doesn’t seem to be necessary.

I am getting married tomorrow!

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5 ways to increase intimacy with humor

Pillow Fight

What do you do when you get in an argument with your partner?

Do you keep trying to prove your point, keep trying to get them to see it your way? Do you have to convince the other that you are right? And where does that get you?

As someone who has been married and divorced twice, I am here to tell you that none of that works. I used to HAVE to be right. I HAD to get my point across. The other NEEDED to agree with me. EVERYTHING was a serious matter. And where did that get me? (Crying alot, for one thing!)

Sure, you have to have a compatible sense of humor. And I’m not talking about sarcasm and putting the other down and calling that funny. I’m not talking about laughing at the serious things of life. It’s the little things that eat away at a relationship, and it is in those moments that lightheartedness can turn things around.

Some examples of stuff to laugh about instead of arguing: he doesn’t load the dishwasher “right”, she’s always losing her phone, he’s directionally challenged and tends to take wrong turns, she’s not a good cook. Nobody is perfect or has all the skills. Add the busyness of life, tiredness, and control issues, and you have the setting for a boiling fight or a lot of belly laughs! And we all know laughter is better.

  1. Start by laughing at yourself, especially when you find yourself taking things too seriously.
  2. When you catch yourself getting into one of those fruitless arguments, step back and look at it as if you were watching a comedy.
  3. When you realize that you are arguing over something that doesn’t really matter, just stop. Kiss your partner. Start a pillow fight or tickle fest.
  4. Be spontaneous. Look for ways to surprise your partner. Make sure it’s the kind of surprise you know they like! Again, little things, like a back scratching or a little unexpected act of service, can make a huge difference, especially if acccompanied by affection and laughter.
  5. Do fun things! Learn what kind of entertainment/movies makes the other laugh, then seek it out and laugh with them. They should do the same.

Admittedly these will only work if both partners are on board. If one person is determined to sabotage, argue, and destroy, it is time for the other to consider what is important and what they really, really want. But if both of you can laugh at yourselves and at life, the power struggle that most of us struggle with will be diffused.

Instead of throwing angry words or objects, throw pillows!