There are certainly many benefits to marrying someone later in life. You have a stronger sense of who you are…what you enjoy…things you won’t put up with…what personality types work best with yours…etc.
I always feel that I need to include the disclaimer that divorce is not the most desired course of action in life.
But when it happens, you are very careful to not repeat the mistakes you made in the past. (And by ‘mistakes you made’ I don’t mean in picking your former spouse, I mean mistakes YOU made in the process.)
That said, marrying at 45 years old was a huge gift to me. Unexpected, but a wonderful turning of my world’s axis. The nice thing is, I can comfortably say with confidence that Scott would say the same thing.
But the sucky thing about marrying at 45?
There’s just no way you can be the 22 year old that marries. And if you’re over 40, I think you know all the bumps and bruises that come with aging.
That said, Scott and I don’t have those “young and in love” pictures. And we won’t ever have them.
Before you start thinking of all the ‘right answers’, trust me – I know them. Intellectually. But recently, while cleaning out a storage facility that held a lot of Scott’s things before we got married, we ran across some buried albums of Scott and those ‘young love’ pictures that so many of us possess. So carefree. So unaware of what life would bring in the upcoming years.
Ugh. He immediately tossed them into the trash pile.
But not before I ‘felt’ the full weight (pun intended) of my 46 years of age.
In talking with a couple of close friends about the incident, they told me two very helpful statements:
“But there are no pictures of them being grandparents together. You two get to do that together in the future!”
“Do you want to be his first love, or his last love?”
(I have really great friends!)
Again, please don’t feel sorry for me – that’s not my intent. I wasn’t sulking about the pictures, but rather bemoaning the aging process and the unfortunate series of events that DIDN’T put Scott and I together sooner in life. Every adult reaches the shocking realization that they are not 20-something anymore…no matter how much they feel like they are.
It’s a weird process, physically aging.
Scott and I broke down and took some pictures the other day. Both of us detest the process. Middle age, remember?! There just isn’t a photoshop version that specializes in age-reduction.
We were talking about the sometimes awkward challenges of being married to someone who has a ‘past’. Both of us having completely different lifetimes before we met each other. We have a great present and a fabulous future ahead of us. But the past belongs to different people.
Scott sealed the conversation with a simple statement,
“Now that I’ve found out what true love is, you ARE my first.”
You just can’t argue with that kind of logic!
Celebrating not-so-young love today.