Let me say this upfront: I like Tall-Shadow. I love Tall-Shadow. I’m in love with Tall-Shadow. And I believe to my core that he likes, loves and is in love with me right back.
I mean, c’mon…
Let me also say upfront: I believe God is in this.
So when I say I’m scared to get married again, I do not mean I am scared to get married to my sweet man.
I think when I say I’m scared I mean a few things.
One, that all of my quirks that he thinks are now adorable will turn into annoyances and he will stop liking me and stop thinking I’m cute. You know, things like how I hate waking up to a dishwasher full of clean dishes. (I’d rather stay up late and unload or not start a full dishwasher til the morning. I have no idea why.) Or like how I have a fifty-seven step (okay, maybe eight-step) morning routine. And how I get a little, umm, something, when it’s disrupted. Or like how I really, really prefer getting ready by myself instead of sharing the bathroom. Or…I can go on. Trust me, I can go on.
Two, that all of my quirks that I have gotten used to will be impeded upon, and I will become not so nice anymore. You know, because I’m high maintenance. And I’ve, at this point, been living as a single person for four-and-a-half-years. And because I’m old (-ish). And because I’m set in my ways. And because I’m way less go-with-the-flow than he gives me credit for. And because I’m stubborn. And because I can be super selfish.
But those are kinda little things. So I think even more than all that, are these bigger things.
Three, that the other shoe will drop, because the part of me that has seen so much relational pain believes deep down that the other shoe always, always drops.
And what will happen if we get married and I wake up and…
…he stops loving me? (Though I’ve never been more consistently loved in my life.)
…he’s mean to me? (Though he’s never been mean to me.)
…an addiction crops up? (Though if he had one, I’d know by now.)
…we start fighting all the time? (Though he and I get along really, really, really well.)
(I want to be clear: these fears are fears I would have with any future husband of mine; it’s not as if I’ve seen red flags with Tall-Shadow that I am pretending aren’t there. Not at all.)
But lastly and possibly most significantlly, I am doubting my ability to be a good wife. Or, more to the point, to be a wife period. I was called some horrible things over the years: liar, moron, out of my mind, and idiot was implied on a regular basis. Hearing those words once would sting. Hearing those words for years changes your self-perception and self-worth. Well, not just changes it, makes it disappear. I saw myself through someone else’s lens. And though I have done some major healing work these past three or four years, the thought of remarrying has woken up my demons and they are whispering to me again.
You don’t have what it takes to be married.
You’re going to fail him.
You’re going to hurt him.
It won’t last (because of you).
Marriage is hard for the average girl; but you are beyond deeply flawed.
You’re an ass, remember?
You make life a living hell, remember?
But these fears are the fears of a girl whose heart has been deeply wounded, broken into a million pieces, discarded, not protected, lied to, not fought for, abused, manipulated.
These fears are the fears of a girl who is overlaying her past – unfairly – onto her present and future.
These fears are the fears of a girl who is – in tiny moments – forgetting that she’s come a long way, forgetting that she’s been brought deep healing to counteract the deep wounding, forgetting that the man who stands in front of her today is a new man to her, with baggage, yes, (just as I have baggage) but not hurtful baggage between us.
Here’s the thing. I’d be a fool not to have these kinds of thoughts. I’m not a twenty-two-year old with no experience being married. I know what a hard marriage looks like. And I believe that God gave us the sweet gift of memory so that we can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. And so therefore, I should be cautious and mindful as I approach my second marriage. It would be unwise of me not to be.
And yet, I am marrying a man who, and we have a relationship that, is as different as my first as night is from day. I am not replicating patterns. I did learn from my past and I have course-corrected.
But here’s the other thing that I seem to be forgetting. I very well could wake up one day to all of those horrible things happening. (Just as sweet Tall-Shadow could wake up to me being not who he thought I was either, because we are both human.) But even if that’s the case…then there’s God. And I believe that even if everything isn’t okay, that everything will EVENTUALLY be okay, and it will all be alright, and we will both get through.
So I’m not bracing myself for the worst, by any means. But I need to walk headlong into my future knowing that some bad may befall us. And yet I must choose to hold in my other hand, that if it does, we’ll figure it out, and we’ll be okay, and grace will carry us along.
Thinking about dating again? Or getting married again? Let’s prep first!