Monday, November 9, 2009

On Second Chances

There's something much more romantic and uplifting about second marriages to me. I know to say that is practically akin to sacrilege, but for those of us who have been through divorce, we know it's true.

Isn't there something inherently beautiful about giving love a second chance? Isn't there something absolutely life-affirming when you've been broken-hearted, yet you pick yourself up and dare to risk it again?

It moves me, I tell you.

I don't know many people who have gone through a divorce who haven't said to themselves at least once (even if it was just a whisper): "Never again." I think that's a normal human response to pain. "Ouch that hurt" = "Don't do that again." Pretty simple, really.

But when it comes to love, marriage and babies — if you don't do that again, it could mean you might wind up living alone with a lot of cats.

Just kidding.

(Sort of.)

I love the triumph of the human spirit. I love that love can conquer all. Well sort of. In a global sense, I mean. Not necessarily in your first marriage. Ha. Just kidding. (Sort of.) I love that you can be chewed up, spit out and left for dead on the love highway, only to scrape yourself back up again and say: "I believe in me. I believe I am lovable. I believe I deserve love even if I screwed it up once before. Or ten times before. I believe I have learned something valuable here on the pavement of failed marriages. And therefore I will try, try again — except this time I'm a little bit older and a heck of a lot wiser."

The Fiance says he loves any story about the redemption of souls.

First marriages aren't about the redemption of souls. First marriages are about innocence. First marriages are often about a couple of kids who have no idea what life has in store for them. First marriages are about life-virgins. Second marriages are a little beat up, it's true. We've been rode hard and put up wet, you could say. But the two hearts standing there, risking once more to commit a lifetime to another person, they really know how much this can hurt. How much is at risk.

And yet they venture forth anyway.

Their faith isn't dead.

Their belief in love, intact.

You can't break the human spirit, at least not this one. And not the Fiance's. We won't mock marriage or innocence or second chances. We won't laugh at unintended babies either. None of these things are foolish, or accidents, or laughable.

These are acts of redemption.

It's a baptism by love and we can all be born again.

(You just have to believe.)

43 comments:

  1. I live alone, with my cat! HA! Sometimes I find that in itself to be the joke of the century. (Nice to amuse oneself)

    I have to admit this blog is inspiring and uplifting.

    Glad you posted it. Makes me want to try yet again.
    Lafang

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  2. I feel like I should be waving a flag or something. I'm so glad you recognize that Love is indomitable.

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  3. Woo Hoo! I am so freeken happy for you. Your stories over the last couple of years have been like watching the beautiful growth of an enchanted soul. Right on bonita chica and many more years of exciting changes and growth to you.

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  4. Absolutely, and then some. Just when I thought my chance had past, he went and saved the best for last.

    I have no good words of my own today, but - I feel you. And it's making my heart happy.

    ~Slinky

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  5. This is one of the most inspiring pieces you've written in a long time. Love is a beautiful thing.

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  6. I have an idea for your last name issue... I think you should both drop your last names and go with Shawshank.

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  7. I totally agree! Although I didn't marry the ex, thank you God, I did stay with him for 5 years and that's technically longer than other first marriages so I count it as such. I think the second time around is gonna be better. If I can just catch him and tag him I will be on my way to life happily ever after.

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  8. Damn it, I was starting the day on a roll, had a good injustice rant going on the blog already, properly pumped for a day of righteous indignation.

    Then I read this. Oh great, now I'm spending the day as an emotional basket-case. Thanks Mandy, thanks a lot.

    p.s. Congratulations X 1000!

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  9. Mandy, this is beautiful. I think it applies to people who have been abused, too, though, who start out believing themselves to be unworthy of such an honor as love, only to find out that not only are they worthy, but they are DESERVING.

    You are DESERVING of your current happiness!

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  10. @LaFang: My sister and I have joked for years that if we outlive our husbands (or future husband, in my case) that we will live together with many, many cats and be quite happy.

    ;-)

    @Kurt: Flag-waving feels rather good.

    @Kimmie: Long time no see stranger! Thanks for stopping by.

    @Koreana: Thank you.

    @Betty/Slinky: It's nice that we don't outgrow love.

    @Lindsay: I'm glad you liked it. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones? ;-)

    @Mobius: Or just Redemption. Hm, I like it! Makes me sound like a reggae star: Mandy Redemption.

    @Nikki: Catch him and tag him. *SNORT*

    @Venom: Estrogen can be a dangerous drug.

    ;-)

    Thank you, X1000.

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  11. I'm one that says never again and I'm pretty sure I mean it. But, that's what I want.

    You want to have a meaningful long term relationship and you will make it work.

    And...I only have one cat.

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  12. That was beautiful and so true--says the lady who was married 12 years, divorced for 4 and now married for 26!

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  13. that is so sweet. We all need someone.

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  14. Wow, I can't wait for my second marriage!

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  15. Awe this is so sweet. Sometimes I think first marriages (and certain serious relationships) are just rough drafts or practice runs. What an exciting journey you're embarking on. Congrats again!

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  16. I'm on hubby #2 and I honestly agree with this whole post. Love and marriage are much much better the second time around. You know its for keeps, that it's real, that it's hard work but worth it.
    Kudos to you and fiance.

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  17. i love a feel good story - i do. why is it when we can believe all this for other people but never ourselves?

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  18. I love love stories and courage stories and redemption stories. I especially love that this is YOUR story.

    P.S. Unintended babies are the best kinds of babies. For whatever reason they seem more Godly, more magical, more fateful (in my humble opinion).

    A thousand sunny congratulations to your entire family.

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  19. So you are saying I have hope? Cool, cuz I hate cats.

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  20. I'm so confused on what to think about marriage... so I just decided to stop having an opinion and just go with the flow. Ahhhh... although, Frankie says to relax, don't do it. Maybe I'll go with that one, hmmm

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  21. I hope you are right....I truly truly do

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  22. I could have written this blog (minus the pregnancy part) if I had writing skills like you. You have summed up everything I think about 2nd marriages. I've only been married for 3 months and it feels completely different than the last marriage. Thankfully! Congrats again to you! I'm very happy for you and your family!!

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  23. I love this. -And I agree... I don't know if I'd even know how to love Number Two (*snicker*) if #1 hadn't been such an opposite mess.

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  24. After the undoing with the unspouse, the 2nd spouse, I'm happily enjoying the love of friends and family.

    I'm not planning to marry again but I'm open to the world of possibilities.

    No matter what, I'll never be alone with all the love in my life.

    Congrats on your faith and a relationship that blesses you with it!

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  25. I have 2 cats, one that's trying to move in and faith that this isn't it.

    Never say never....

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  26. Keep the faith BM...

    ... Now, where are those cats? :)

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  27. You just fucked me up, Mandy. My heart is mush.

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  28. Very sweet. Makes me look forward to my second marriage. Now if I could just get rid of the first one!

    Pearl

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  29. You are so right. If you give up you will always have the hurt of that first marriage. It did hurt and than I met my second wife. The more time I spent with her the happier I got. I eventually realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Was well worth it. Peace,howie

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  30. It's been three years since my divorce and there's nothing I look forward to more than getting married again someday. It's also the the thing I'm least in a hurry for because I have all kinds of time to make sure it's the right thing this time.

    I'm thrilled for you.

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  31. So happy for you :-)
    For me, never again.

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  32. Last Friday was my 28th wedding anniversary to my second husband!!!

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  33. Hi Mandy,

    Happy for you and yours.
    This is one happy read.

    Sincerely,
    Richard

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  34. I'm not even sure I am a strong enough person to give marriage a go the first time around.I have just seen about 4 friends go through divorce after short marriages and it is scary to me! But props to you. Seriously it makes sense that a second go at it would mean that you have learned a ton from the first attempt. Is there anyway I can just skip the first one??

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  35. rut roh, I'm allergic to cats - I better get going on finding that second life partner :-)

    Good stuff in this blog, sweety.

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  36. Hell, if I can find true love and get married, anybody can...hahahaha...glad you have found happiness...2nd chances really are pretty sweet!

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  37. I think on the second go around, a lot of us realize just how much work marriage is, and how much it is worth. Or not. I have friends who call their first marriages, their "starter" marriage. I can go with that, even though I find it a little pessimistic.

    I wish you and Fred at LEAST 45 years of wedded bliss!!

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  38. I ready have my 2nd marriage planned in my head! Glad I'm not alone in my search for love!

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  39. I don't know how I landed on your blog but I am so glad I did.. this is so inspiring.. I have never been married, not even in a relationship - this post makes me want to fast forward to my second marriage..

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