I was very ambivalent when it came to the thought of being married for a second time and this ambivalence was driving my partner crazy. My view on matrimony would change constantly and I was finding it difficult to explain my reasoning. Reading this book together with my partner really helped us wiggle loose from the mess we were in, and enabled us to move forward with a greater understanding of where we both stood.
The book is a personal journey as Guilbert and her partner Felipe fall in love and wish to live happily ever after. Both of them were divorcees and neither of them had any wish to ever get married again. Then in stepped the US government; Felipe was thrown out of the country and the only way the two could be together was as man and wife. Guilbert traveled the world searching for answers about marriage and eventually the pair did tie the knot and continued that wonderful journey to live happily ever after. Gilbert’s careful research into the history of marriage, interspersed with her own personal situation made for great reading. My closed mind started to open up. Suddenly, I could see my partner’s point of view and how her beliefs and values regarding marriage were different than mine, but equally important.
I was married for 15-years and when a union like that ends, it’s difficult not to be sceptical of the entire process. The natural maturity of years also changes your view on what marriage means. I am not a religious person and yet I was married in a church. A vicar blessed us, we sang hymns and said vows in front of a God we did not believe exists. I can’t help but feel a little hypocritical about the whole experience. But we were kids and when we decided to marry there was only one way of doing things that we were aware of, and our social structure would accept. It was a white dress, church, wedding cake, a great dollop of alcohol and a honeymoon in the sun. It was an experience that I would never change, one of the most important days of my life; but a process that I did not want to repeat in that fashion.
For me marriage is a lifetime commitment. It is a declaration of monogamy and love to one person for the rest of your life. The controversy just centres on how you ‘officially’ declare this union. My sister has been living with her boyfriend for nearly 20-years. They have two beautiful children and as far as the eye can see are blissfully happy. What exactly would a ‘marriage’ do to improve their situation? And yet for others a marriage in front of God is vitally important for them.
I guess I have learned that there is no one solitary answer to the question: “Should I marry?” What I have learned is to respect the beliefs of others and open my mind to the bigger question of what marriage represents.
Whether I choose to marry again or not is irrelevant. I want to be happy and I want to try my utmost to make people who depend on me to also be happy. My partner’s happiness is therefore critical to my happiness as I intend to spend the rest of my life with her.
In my heart I am committed to my new relationship. I am in love and want to live out my days with her smiling down on me. If there is such a thing as a soul mate, then I want her to be that soul. So you see, I am already married and no piece of paper is ever going to change that.