We had one of our good friends over the other evening. He was recently divorced when I met him a few years ago, although Brock knew him through much of his marriage. In the past several years, he’s been dating, at times sporadically and at other times with more intent. He even contemplated moving in with one woman not all that long ago.
So I was shocked when I heard these words out of his mouth the other night –
“I never want to get married again.”
I was shocked, not because I think marriage is the best answer for everyone. And I certainly understand shying away from matrimony after enduring the pain of divorce. I was shocked because marriage seems to fit him. He’s stable, healthy and loyal. He has goals and doesn’t shy from hard work to achieve them. He has grown as a person and has developed many healthy relationships around him. When dating, he is a serial monogamist, developing deep relationships with one woman at a time. And I’ve never sensed any bitterness about his past.
So why the anti-marriage stance?
And then yesterday, I read this post from Matt over at Must Be This Tall To Ride. He talks about the time spent in marriage limbo when he slept in the guest bedroom for over a year. I winced while reading it; it certainly sounded like a special kind of hell. Neither married nor single. Like living in a home destroyed by a flood, yet unwilling or unable to let it go.
And I thought about my friend. He lived in marriage limbo for a long time. He was married, yet in the most important ways, had no wife. They orbited around each other with little chance of connection. And when they did connect, it was ugly. The divorce, in many ways, was a relief. An untethering to a lame duck marriage.
His memory of marriage is not a good one; what was good has been sullied by the time spent in limbo. No wonder he is shying away.
My experience could not have been more different. I never spent time in a decaying marriage. I never visited that marital land of neither here nor there. I was in marriage heaven and then instantly plummeted into the fires when it ended. My bad memories are not of marriage, but of marriage ending.
So perhaps that’s part of why I wanted to be married again.
My curiosity is piqued – is there a correlation between time spent in marital limbo and desire to be married again? What’s your story?