I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin.
-Excerpt From: Mouthful Of Forevers by Clementine von Radics
I have to admit, this is the third or fourth attempt I’ve made at “planning” this upcoming wedding. Truth be told, I’m not wild about the idea of getting remarried. It’s a scary place to navigate, knowing so intimately the destruction and devastation of separation and divorce. I tread timidly, only to be startled into sprinting the other direction.
It’s not that I don’t want to be with Aiden. I do. I don’t think that a split, even when unmarried, is easier or less complicated. Our finances are already tangled, which as it turns out is the least of the difficulties (Jack and I sorted the money and debt between us in less than a day or two of negotiating). It’s like I have a mental block. Every time we move towards the proverbial alter, it’s as if the flaws in our relationship become magnified and insurmountable. And there are flaws. We’ve been going to couples therapy (again) since August. Not because we are at the end of our rope, but because we wanted to improve our communication and uncover any residual difficulties before they got out of hand. It’s been a really positive experience for us, and while the miscarriage was one of the most difficult things we’ve gone through, we turned towards each other in our grief, not away. It cemented us together, and things have been actually quite peaceful ever since.
The tragedy of it all actually brought out a part of Aiden that I’d never witnessed before, and melted away many of the doubts that I had. He stayed by my side for hours while I suffered and labored and nearly had to be rushed to the hospital for loss of blood. He was so gentle and careful, making certain I had water, pain killers, a heating pad, and whatever else I needed. He held me while I cried and cried, soothing me quietly, promising me it would be ok, even though neither of us could really know that for sure. We were at my mothers when it happened, and since then even she has been different towards him. She remarked to another family member (who related it to me) that she hadn’t expected it from him, and that she could see how deeply he wanted that baby, but how selflessly he sheltered me, in spite of his own very visible anguish. He was my champion, and it did not go unnoticed.
So it was, in the throes of our mourning, that I suggested we should get married this summer. I needed something to look forward to. Something else to focus on, to drown myself in. My mother, at one time our biggest detractor (she knows all about the poly, the open marriage, the full-meal-deal regarding how Aiden came to be in my life) is now our greatest cheerleader. She’s been absolutely amazing when it comes to wedding planning, throwing herself into helping me with an enthusiasm I never could have imagined. It’s likely the main reason I haven’t spooked this time.
I haven’t quite put my finger on what scares me so much. All the divorcees that I know just nod knowingly when I express being a reluctant second-time bride. It’s difficult to put into words, and yet it seems to be a universal truth among us. Maybe it’s a fear of failure, or of being judged for not being able to hold it together. Nobody wants to get divorced once, let alone a second time. I’m mystified by people who seem to think nothing of walking down the isle a third or fourth time, I don’t think I could do it.
Marriage is important to Aiden, and I can’t fault him for that. Despite my scars, he remains adamant about pledging his heart to me for the rest of our lives. Fear isn’t a good enough reason for me to refuse, it’s simply an obstacle that I will overcome.