An odd title I know, especially for a woman only 2 weeks away from her wedding day; still the question has crossed my mind lately. I had my bachelorette party this past weekend, and amongst the hi-fives, congratulations and shots galore, another voice stood out. That of the several people who shouted, “Don’t do it!” Or, “You’ll be sorry!” There was also the story told on the drive home about a friend of a friend who was going through a divorce because her husband cheated after nearly 10 years of marriage. Then there was the comment from a co-worker about how if he ever got free of his marriage, he would never do it again. This was a lot to take in for a 35 year old woman who is just weeks away from being married for the second time. Needless to say, I began to panic a little.
I thought about my first marriage and how it ended versus how happily it began. I thought about friends who had vowed not to part until death, and then spent the next several years wanting to kill each other. I knew women who stayed for money and men who stayed because they didn’t want to lose their money. Then there were the even sadder cases. The friends who were crazy in love with their spouse but were barely hanging onto life or reality because their spouse left them… for another person of course. All of these thoughts started to consume my brain and midway through a conversation with our florist yesterday I began to wonder, “Oh my God… what if….” The what if’s ranged from, “what if he cheats”, to, “what if we both get bored” to even the inevitable, “what if we become one of those couples who stop having sex and are just like roommates”. It was a panic attack that only a double chocolate chip cookie could fix, but unfortunately since I had banned sweets near my desk until after the wedding, there were no cookies in site! DAMN IT!
I had to get up and walk around the office and find more work to do to distract myself. The panic continued into this morning when my fiancé asked me, “So, are you getting nervous?” The honesty of my “what if’s” flowed from my mouth like verbal diarrhea and I could tell by the tone in his voice I was starting to freak him out too! We hung up the phone and that’s when it happened…
While flipping through the radio stations in my car desperate to hear something good; somewhere between the white noise and the random Pitbull songs that seem to dominate every channel was Keith Urban’s, “Only You Can Love Me This Way.” And that’s when it hit me, who really cares about the “what if’s”? The truth is, there is no way to be certain a marriage will work, but there is no way to be certain that it won’t work either. You really just have to base it on a feeling. When I heard that song (which by the way is “our song” and the song we are dancing to at the wedding), other thoughts filled my head. Like the first time he sang to me, the first time he told me he loved me, the time he drove 6 hours from a training session to be with me when my father was in the hospital, and the way he still looks at me sometimes when we’re sitting together just hanging out. Those are the things that matter. The little things that we seem to overlook and forget about; a feeling, a look, a touch. After all, they were the things that pushed us to the edge of love and inspired us to jump. That’s also when more important “what if’s” came to mind. Like, “what if we had never met”, “what if I would have taken another path after my divorce”, or “what if we both hadn’t gotten over our fears of a relationship and given ‘us’ a try”? Truth be told, those “what if’s” were even scarier to me because I could barely recover a memory anymore that he wasn’t a part of, I could hear his laugh in every stupid joke, and everything that I was planning for my future was in some way at least, built around him. Sure, I am a strong woman. I have picked myself up more times than I’d like to discuss and I enjoy the knowledge that I don’t “need” a man in my life; but with Dave, I “want” him there. Because at the end of the day, good or bad, he makes my life so much more than it ever could have been without him.
So as I finish up these last two weeks, I’m trying to do it with deep breaths, an open mind and an open heart. While marriage may be a commitment not always displayed in a “forever after” kind of light, for some people… the lucky ones at least… it really can be a dream come true and a chance worth taking.