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Chasing The American Dream

January 03, 2006


A Co-worker friend of mine stopped by and wished me a Happy New Year. He told me he got remarried last week. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this very same topic. I’ve been trying to answer my own rhetorical question, “Am I ready to remarry?” Or perhaps better stated, “WILL I ever remarry?” Hmm, I guess they’re really two different questions, aren’t they?

I’ve foundered back and forth on this marriage topic. During my times of struggle and need, the answer to both questions was an unequivocal, “Yes.” But now that the demons have been exorcised and I’ve had time to adjust to living the single life, the scale has most definitely tipped in the opposite direction.

I think I know the answer to the 'Ready or not' question. I’m not ready. I think it’s a combination of factors. First, it’s been two years since I left the ex and almost one year since the divorce. There’s still some marriage/divorce pain that lingers. Financial issues haven’t been completely resolved and revisiting them convinces me that I’m not ready to worry about this stuff again. But perhaps more importantly, I still feel like I haven’t figured out what I’m looking for.

Take kids, for example. Having kids is a huge issue that I’ve wrestled with. I used to think that if I met ‘the one,’ I’d sacrifice and have kids if that’s what she wanted. But that was back in my needy phase. Now, I’m really unclear in my mind what I want. Sure, I’d love to experience the high of having kids again, but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle the stresses involved in raising a child from infancy. Right now, I’m not mentally strong enough. And by that I mean that life has been too stressful and I’m only now beginning to mentally relax. I need this mental vacation, if you will. I need to re-energize. I need to regain patience. And I need to be honest with myself and whoever I may meet on answering the kids or not question. Right now, I can’t imagine going through it. I may not ever be ready, and I’m not sure when I’m going to know the answer to this one. I may need to live a simpler life in my 50s rather than being a parent of two or three kids. Yeesh, did I just say 50s?

And then there’s the whole idea of living the rest of my life with one person. Funny, that’s all I’ve been writing about for the past year, right? Finding 'The One?’ I just think I need more time. I need time to meet people and learn about what I truly want. My problem hasn’t necessarily been finding people I’m really interested in. Well, let me clarify. I’ve not had much luck in dating around in my local area. I’ve found that the people I enjoy most and get along with are those I’ve met online. Sure there’s a huge difference in meeting someone in person vs. online. But on the surface, the online people I’ve met share so many common interests with me and we have such great friendships. But there are so many complications. Long distance may be the biggest of those. I mean, just trying to meet a person with all the scheduling conflicts is usually a big to-do and I haven’t had much luck in that department as you know.

But what if I did, by some miracle, find her? Could I actually marry? Maybe it would be just safer to live together. Yeah, you’re rolling your eyes at me, but seriously, is marriage a necessity? I don’t really know. I’m really considering the ‘live-in’ scenario as a distinct possibility. I guess, like everything else, it would depend on a million other factors. See? I’m still confused. I don’t yet have the answer to the “Will I” question. Some days I think yes and some days I think no.

So out of curiosity, I asked my friend some questions about his remarriage. He told me it had been seven years since his divorce. He told me he gained the patience back that he’d lost all those years ago. Interestingly, he’s 48 and she’s 30. His third marriage, her first. I asked him about the kids thinking she’d want them. He told me he’s willing to have kids. Wow, bravo for him. Like I said, I’m not sure I could do that especially considering his ago although I guess I’m not that far from it. But unlike me, he’s never had previous children so his desire to experience that is there. He told me it took him three years to clear his head. He met someone and they dated for four years. He then played the pros/cons game when deciding whether to ask the woman to marry him. Ultimately, he said when you find someone you adore and puts up with you, it’s worth all the cons.

Interesting perspective. I’m glad I asked him. Now I won’t feel so bad if it takes me another five years to figure this thing out.


  • I have been quietly reading your blog for a while now, checking in every now and then like an old friend, and I just wanted to tell you that this post made me feel very proud of you - what you wrote here sounded so true to who you are, and sounded like you have really come to a reflective place where you are finding contentment in your life.

    It isn't always easy to be alone, but being alone doesn't have to equate with loneliness - and I feel like this post encompasses that.

    You will have happiness in your life. No matter if it is with a new wife or with your life as it now is, this post tells us that you will be fine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 PM, January 03, 2006  

  • Anon, whoever you are, that was one of the nicest comments ever appearing on this blog. Thank you!


    By Blogger Plantation, at 1:28 AM, January 04, 2006  

  • The rule of thumb that I've heard is that you need at least as long as half the time you were together (including dating, if you were married) before you will be really ready to be with someone else. (For me, I dated my ex-husband for 2.5 years, we were married for just over 5 years, so I should have waited almost 4 years before getting serious again. Looking back, that's just about right, so I can vouch for it.)

    By Blogger Denise, at 11:01 AM, January 04, 2006  

  • Wow, reading this post makes me SO happy for you. I think being in a place where you can be totally honest with yourself about issues like this puts you in a better place to meet someone. I look back at old relationships and what I wanted and liked was always what they wanted/liked and I am not shocked none of them worked out because I was never 100% myself.

    Best of luck to you in 2006 and just in reading this post, I can already tell it will be a magnificent one for you!

    By Blogger Elle, at 12:16 PM, January 04, 2006  

  • I think you go through stages after a divorce. And I think you've just walked into a new one. You're very open and candid about how you feel and it shows how honest you're being with yourself. I think the key is to make a life that you're happy with. Not one you are "settling for" but one that truly gives you peace at heart. And if someone walks into that and blesses it and makes it even more than what it was, so be it. But if not, you are you and you are happy being you. I don't think anyone can tell you when or if or how or what the right answers are except for you.

    By Blogger Amy, at 2:36 PM, January 04, 2006  

  • Wherever this road of life will take you, it's important to always keep in mind that you are the most important person and to take care of yourself first. I'm glad to see that you are getting on the track to making yourself happy and knowing what you want out of life after all that has happened. I wish you nothing more than the best in your life. Take care.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM, January 05, 2006  

  • Lots of great comments for a terrific/honest post. I've never been married, so in some ways I can't relate. I generally don't believe in the idea of "The One" because I think people change so much in their lives as you have shown. So, "The One" right now might not be "The One" 20 years from now. That doesn't mean I don't believe in marriage, I just don't like that concept to explain it.
    Fortunately, when you meet someone, you don't have to decide instantly whether you want to marry or have children. I'm sure as long you don't do anything without working out how you feel, you'll be making the right choice!
    Have a great '06

    By Blogger Gatsby, at 4:11 PM, January 08, 2006  

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