In the first few months of dating Yoav, amidst all the sweet texts, FaceTime calls while he was traveling, flowers greeting me when I got home from work, and talk of future plans, it came out that he never wanted to get married again 😳😳 (like actually “never”). I felt like it was the biggest record scratch moment of my life.
After my initial shock wore off, I went to a place in my mind of “He’ll change his mind. We’re perfect for each other. He’ll see that it’s the right thing.” And into my world of denial I merrily went.
My “Perfect Relationship” Ideas
Let me back up for a minute. I totally assumed after I left my marriage that I would eventually find my “real” Prince Charming (yes, I know, but I grew up in the true Disney era where it wasn’t even a question that this might not exist). I would do it “right” the next time around. I would find someone who treated me well, respected me, loved my children, and we’d get married, buy a home together in Brooklyn, and live happily ever after. There was no question that this is the way it would all go down.
After a year or so passed, and several more conversations, I finally had to accept that Yoav was not, in fact, going to change his position on this. Nor was he going to sell his Manhattan apartment and we would then buy our dream home in Brooklyn. It was a hard pill to swallow – but I did it.
As far as his feelings on remarrying, his reasons were pretty simple: it didn’t work the first time around. Yoav wanted to go about his next relationship differently than the “norm.” He felt that we didn’t need the government’s recognition to show how committed we were to one another. I was kind of getting what he meant.
“Perfect Relationship” Realities
I moved onto the stage of accepting that this was what it was. And then I went deeper: why did I care so much about getting married anyway? We were a married couple in every other way: we live together, my kids refer to him as their stepdad, we are in each other’s wills, we share everything with one another, and spend all of our holidays together.
I had many conversations about it with friends and my therapist along the way. I’ve journaled about it, meditated on it, and even asked my psychic about it (my mother’s hippie influence on me – it’s in my blood 😉).
I actually felt really good about having interrogated my own perspective of *why* the act of getting married felt so important to me. I came to realize that when you’re in a happy and healthy relationship, you’re allowed to buck convention in favor of what actually works for the two of you.
A few months ago, a client of mine shared that she was in a similar situation with someone she was crazy about and could see a future with (finally!). A couple months in, he told her he didn’t want to remarry and she was momentarily heartbroken. I was so glad I had my personal story to share with her. It made her see things in a different way and was able to take the steps to get past what she had seen as a major roadblock.
Of course, there’s no clear cut “answer” to any of it. And it’s very personal to each person and couple and what works for your blended family.
Most of all, what I’ve come to realize is that I was clinging to a fantasy version of what one’s life should look like. Our life is definitely not conventional. But you know what? That’s actually ok with me…