March 15, 2010...11:20 am

I’ll grab the cheesecake, you bring the conversation…

I was able to catch up with a good friend this past weekend.  I was crashing on her futon while in town rehearsing a play.  Friends for nearly a decade, we once took a now infamous trip to Ireland together with our boyfriends, my brother and his girlfriend.  We were lured to the motherland by cheap tickets on Aer Lingus and naïve optimism that six people in crumbling relationships could travel well together. Not so!  If you’re planning such a trip, click cancel immediately. The banshee howls… consider yerself warned!

Upon clearing customs, break ups were announced.  Life went on.  My friend and I remained close, standing by one another as we met and married new men.  We settled into our identities of “married women” pleasing mothers the world over.  But as quickly as the china was unpacked from the Crate and Barrel boxes, her marriage ended.

Let me say, she is happier and surer of herself than she has ever been in her life.  Divorce was like a magic tonic that killed off years of insecurity and unhappiness.  Now that she has “been there, done that” she can see the forest for the trees.   And let me tell you, she won’t be clear-cutting that forest anytime soon.  She expressed the awkwardness she feels when she speaks poorly of marriage around married people.  Like she’s offending them.   No sir! I think marriage is to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  I believe in my marriage as much as I believe in her suspicion of the institution. We all marry for different reasons.  For some of us, it is practical and for others, it is purely romantic.  Nowadays, most of us marry for reasons somewhere in between.

“I love you so much…and your health insurance is sooo dreamy!”

Talking about our experiences, both negative and positive is so important.  Marriage is not a salve that heals all previous wounds once applied.  According to Def Leppard, “Love bites, love bleeds…”

Marriage can be like a canker sore in your mouth that you keep biting over and over again.  It always hurts and never heals.  Or is can be like a fabulous vacation in Europe that never ends.  New sights and smells are always just around the next cobbled stone street.

I do not want my “married” status to be a dividing line between anyone else who is divorced or single.  We can and should be learning from one another continuously.  As much as a marriage must be built on mutual respect, so should friendship.  Our community of friends acts as our check and balance system.  And we all know that system only works when we feel free to speak our mind.

-Cathleen Carr

4 Comments

  • I LOVE this post. Thanks.

  • My husband and I met shortly after we both divorced other people. We swore up and down we’d never get married again. Unfortunately we lived on 2 different continents and it was impossible to have a long term relationship without that all important visa. We took the plunge and got married for the piece of paper that would allow us to live together. Tomorrow is our anniversary and for two people who swore they’d never marry again, we’re living our happily ever after on a daily basis. And we both swore we’d never have a child….excuse me while I go refill our 3 year old’s juice cup!


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