I’m going to hit you with a set of clues, and you can decide which one was the decider for my 1st marriage ending:
- Playing “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” at our wedding – lyrics “everybody needs a little time away”
- Me saying “It’s not my fault you are such a stupid human being” less than a year in.
- Me telling my brand spanking new husband that I didn’t see it lasting longer than a year.
- Me telling my brand spanking new husband that the guy I actually had thought I would always marry was the one I spent our entire wedding chatting to.
- Me saying “Just tell me where it is and I’ll turn up”…..yep, for my own wedding.
- Me throwing custard at my new husband – he said he could taste that I had burnt it.
Spoiler – the next few clearly tell you that none of these ended things. I continued my reign of terror.
Constantly playing Anastsatia’s “I’m Outta Love” – 5 years in.
- Me telling him I was glad he worked shift work because I liked being alone.
- Me sobbing when I watched Bridges Of Madison County – 10 times – because I understood what it was like to have to say goodbye to the love of your life (I thought at the time) just to stay together with someone else…for the kids.
- There’s a music theme – but “Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” was on high rotation.
- Huge religious differences. He was a Latter-Day Saint. I was a Protestant.
- Our ages when we married. 21 and 22.
- The huge fact that I was preggers when we got married, and I was fiercely against the religious insistence that we get married. But we “had” to.
- That we’d known each other for 3 months when I got pregnant. (I’ve got 5 kids….this chicky babe is a baby-making machine.)
- That he was engaged to someone else when we met.
- That he had an accident on the way to the wedding. I still say it was a sign.
- That we’d lost one of our kids.
- Huge money issues, because I was constantly pregnant or looking after a baby. (Yes – after number 1 we were very strict about contraception, but it seems my body had other ideas. Back then, they wouldn’t do anything permanent until you turned 30.
It went on.
And it went on
And it went on.
I’m useless at keeping secrets. So – here is what broke us.
I went and saw “The Fifth Element” with a friend.
I went as a married woman. I came home. I saw his face. And I told him it was over.
Absolutely no idea why. But that was what broke me.
You might assume we had a horrible marriage. But we didn’t. It just wasn’t great.
You might also assume he was the one who called time on the marriage – me being such a cow to him. But no – it was me.
We never fought. We had the household chores managed. We were good parents – even if I say so myself.
But there we were. Having a conversation about where he would move out to and when he would move out while slumped in front of our bedroom tallboy. Nine years down the track. Boom – over.
And that’s how it generally happens. Things slowly build up. And one day – one of you is very surprised by the other spouse asking for a divorce. And they mean it this time. Trust me.
It’s quite often the men who are surprised – but not always.
What did my first marriage lack – aside from a little bit of worldly wisdom – we were 21…relationship skills. We both thought that what we had seen in childhood was either something to be avoided or something to embrace. WRONG. You might be a bit confused taking marriage advice from someone who’s divorced. What I learned from my first divorce was – that no matter how amicable it is. (We drove to the court together and stopped for Maccas on the way home.) It isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy. I’m now in an amazing relationship – have been for 12 years. But I had to unlearn and relearn new skills in order to make it what it is today.
Every single relationship is different and needs its own skills, guidelines and rules of engagement.
You have to learn how to be in a healthy relationship. the same way you learn how to make the perfect omelette. Looks simple – but takes lots of practice. It’s these skills I teach and more – all day long. Kind of like a translator for the language of love.