This weekend, I attended Charlotte’s wedding. It was lovely and romantic and perfect for her and her groom. It was also her second marriage. She is one of several friends I know who has gotten divorced and remarried in the last few years.
The night before her wedding, I spoke to another dear friend from high school who told me she is getting a divorce. Four of my closest friends from teenagehood are currently separated from their husbands. It’s strange.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the disillusions of marriage. About how people—women in particular—go into it expecting a fairy tale. But the reality of the situation is far from that. I find myself trying to become a scholar on the subject, examining failed relationships, looking for patterns and warning signs, trying to create some sort of formula that will ensure I get it right when my time comes.
It’s hard not to get a little swept up by the romantic notions of tying the knot. I can see how it’s easy to ignore red flags when you’re blinded by the white dress idea. I wonder if this was what happened to my friends. I know it almost happened to me.
Thank goodness the relationship fell apart before I fell down that aisle. Thank goodness the pain caused me to be super vigilant when I moved on, watching Mr. Wonderful’s actions like a hawk—seeking red flags, but finding only goodness.
I am hopeful that the foundation we’re on is strong. Strong enough to last for decades.
We’ve been dangling our toes in the topic quite a bit lately. At Charlotte’s wedding, we caught ourselves discussing vow writing, the idea of my dad giving a speech (which neither of us could picture because he’s NOT at all a public speaker), whether or not we would have bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Last week, we even exchanged IMs about ring designs. He told me he’d have to take my sister shopping with him when he was ready—and I told him he could propose without a ring and that we could shop together; that I’d wear a dead worm around my finger if he gave it to me.
I’m trying to curb my expectations and not allow myself to start arranging flowers and brainstorming favor ideas in my head. I know I need to just focus on how lucky I am to have him in my life, and leave it at that. But there’s something so damn alluring about planning that special day.