January 16, 2012

Certain Uncertainty

Life is not anything if not uncertain. How many times in a day do we question ourselves? How many times in a day do we doubt ourselves, belittle ourselves, and downplay our achievements? Am I really crazy?  Maybe I really am a biatch. {True fact.}Too many. It is an ongoing dialogue in life. At least in my mind it is. For as brave and strong as I know I am, I still question myself.

I was reading this heartfelt post at The Lauryn Doll, where she feels broken and questions why she couldn't make her marriage work. Even though I know my divorce was the right thing, the best thing to do. I still question if I gave up too quickly. It doesn't make me want him back, or regret; I think we all try to pin point that moment when it all went wrong. Did we know from the start? Were they always that way? Did I get complacent? Did I forget to choose love, to choose my marriage every single day over the 100 other little things in life?

I have mixed feelings when it comes to love. I really think I've only been "in-love" once in my life, and honestly it wasn't with my ex-husband. Although I loved my husband very much, it was more of a decision than a feeling. Now looking back at that, I wonder, if it had been more of a feeling; something magnetic, something I longed for that feed my soul everyday; not passion, just connection...if then I would've had something more to fight for?

Certainly the butterflies fade the romance the affection. Or do they? Can I consciously make a decision to keep the fire going every day? That would take work, right? I guess I'd expect nothing less in my next relationship, so why not? I do love the comfortability that comes with a long term relationship. When there is no need for words, sometimes routine is a comfort to me. I don't have a need for grand gestures; small things mean more to me by far.  Dudes, honestly, pretty sure that goes for all the ladies.  An ounce of understanding out-weighs a pound of chocolates or fancy dinners.

"Gary, I want you to want to do the dishes."

{From the movie “The Break Up”, makes me laugh, but can't say you don't get that.} Guys if you need an explanation let me know, I’ll elaborate; trust me; will do wonders for your relationship with women.

But I wonder, I question myself, if my marriage was a mistake? If I was too level headed and all business and should've held out for a little more spark? Even though the spark will fade, you always remember it. You remember the feeling and it gives you something to fight for.   Maybe he would’ve fought for me a little more too.

Certainly uncertain, such is life; fully of ambiguity and doubt. I guess it would be pretty dull if we knew what to do all the time, right?

So friends, when it comes to love, where do you stand?  Do you need a spark, does such a thing exist; or is love a conscious decision?  Maybe a little of both?

19 comments:

  1. i don't think it's a mistake. I think it's just something that happened. To think that people will always marry the one true love of their lives the first time is giving humans a little too much credit. we aint that smart.

    And sometimes, if it isnt going to be it isnt going to be. You know how many people live and die married to someone they hate or treats them dirtball bad? A lot. You can force it if you want to, but I'm not here to spend my lifetime like that.

    Great read, both of you.

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  2. @Christina- Ha! Yeah, you're right. And not sure I believe in soul mates either, but maybe I just haven't found mine. That's a lot of pressure, being a soul mate, I think. My marriage wasn't a mistake, it was very happy until the last 6 months; plus I'd never regret my 2 kids, who are the loves of my life. Maybe I'm destined to be an old blogging bitty for the remainder of my days? Oh, lucky, lucky readers; I'm going be blogging about bingo soon!

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  3. I think love is a lot like autism. It looks different on everyone who has it.

    I can tell you that I did not have that fireworks moment with my husband. He did. He tells me it was love at first sight. I believe him, but didn't feel the same way. My version of our story is more cerebral, like what you described. He wasn't my "type" and so I wasn't swooning when I met him. He was a nice guy that I liked and it turned into love very quickly with God's help.

    But, I can honestly say that I don't think there is a person on the planet who is more suited to me than he is. I guess that could qualify him as my soulmate...I've never really given it much thought. All I know is that he and I both prayed about our relationship before we decided to get engaged and then married. We both had the peaceful certainty that we were making the right choice before we took those next steps.

    We have never had a fight, and for that I'm thankful. Sure, we've had our disagreements and teeny little tiffs, but not one moment of screaming, words you can't take back, or anything that lasted until the next day. We love and respect each other enough to work those moments through before things get bad.

    We also prefer to spend time with each other more than anyone else on the planet. That makes us strong...or maybe boring? I'm still in shock that we don't get sick of each other! We are bound by laughter, which helps us through our insane life.

    Our love is full of mutual respect, admiration, and silliness. We make a conscious decision to treat each other this way. That means more to me than fireworks. Although, he is one seriously tall drink of water! :-)

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  4. @Angela- I'm crying. For real, crying. If anyone deserves that, it is you, my friend. And what a great analogy to Autism. I suppose the reason we cannot define it, is because it is different to all of us, and we are all uniquely different.

    It makes my heart full to know that love like that exists. And I whole-heartedly believe we cannot make relationships work on our own. Takes a leap of faith and trust in God. Thanks for sharing that, it was beautiful. Pass the tissues!

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  5. "An ounce of understanding out-weighs a pound of chocolates or fancy dinners."

    YES!!!!

    thanks for the mention. I'm glad I finally .. just dropped it and said I'm divorced... because it's easier when someone relates to the experience and how you feel. I know I was in love with my husband, but everyone has this point where their boundaries or needs are ignored or crossed for the last time and that's the intersection where things fall apart - much like the Chinua Achebe novel!

    I'm not a failure... but yes, I question myself. I think any human can achieve excellence in their own right, but when you deal with such a morally "perverse" decision (the way others saw it) ... it can bear on you.

    Marriage is NOT the be-all end-all for relationships. It's taking on the challenge to the beginning. With that said ... people want me - you - us ... to feel like failures... but really, I'm actually on the way TO happy. And so are you!

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    1. Lauryn thanks for your honest words in your post and here. Is true, even though for the best, divorce does feel like failure, ugh. Maybe it's just more sadness for the dreams we had lost?

      "It's taking on the challenge to the beginning." LOVE IT!!

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  6. yes, marriage is work, but you've got to start out with a good, no, great foundation.

    And that it tself is not easy.

    The beginning of love is always full of flowery, romantic love and most of the time, we don't see each other for who we really are at the beginning of a relationship. All those flowers skew our vision.

    Getting it right the first time is tough. And I've always thought if it doesn't work out, it's not a mistake, it's a stepping stone to your rightful place in the universe.

    I will admit, I have been very lucky. I've been married for 25 years. And most of those years have been very sweet. I didn't know what I was doing all those years ago, but there was something about this boy of mine and I do mean boy.

    We've had a few rough patches along the way, but it has been a great marriage. Our secret? Besides that solid foundation? We laugh. A lot. Like, all the time. We also keep the communication lines open and what that means is, I tell him when he's wrong and he knows in order to keep me happy, he has to listen. I ask questions at the end of the lecture.

    I think love is a whole jumble of luck, work, laughter, romance and also the fact that my husband has never expected dinner on the table. An important thing.

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    1. I think laughter is a recurring theme here in the comments. It does melt tension and let's be honest; it just makes life a little more fun. My problem is I cannot take anything seriously, this might be why I blog. Thanks for your comment JoAnn, you always have such wonderful advice.

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  7. Ditto to all of the above! I still believe in a spark but maybe that's why I haven't been able to find it...
    Sometimes it's disheartening but I try to keep an open mind (and heart) and I pray honestly to God that I will someday find the man that I am meant to be with. I hope he's out there somewhere!

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    1. He's out there Sarah. God is just waiting for the most perfect moment in your life. Keep an open heart and keep praying! I'll keep you in my prayers too, and also pray that God sends you a hottie.

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  8. My marriage was a decision-- well he knocked me up so let's try this. Yeah that did not work at all.

    The relationship I'm in now? I want it. I want it so badly. And that changes everything. It makes it so much easier to put forth the effort on a constant basis.

    Recently, I saw a blog post about an article about a study (whew) that found the more generous couples were, the higher the levels of satisfaction in a marriage.

    And that is the thing. When you want a relationship so very badly, when you really love someone so very much, you are more generous.

    For me, it's not that I want you to want to do the dishes. No one wants to do the dishes. But what I do want? For you to want me to NOT do the dishes. That's generosity at work in a relationship, I think.

    And it's definitely easier to do when there's a "spark" or a real love or whatever the heck you want to call it.

    My $0.02 deposited. MUAH!

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    1. EXACTly! A relationship is constant compromise and giving. So easy in life to take on the, "what's in it for me?" mentality. Remembering to show people we love them everyday will only build a stronger more trusting relationship but also make love grow. Thanks sweets! Super duper happy for you!

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  9. Great post. I think it's a combo of feelings and making the decision to let your heart go there.

    I look back on past relationships now, and while I'm grateful for them, I'm glad they ended when they did. I think I thought I was in love and now I know it.

    It was the small gestures that won me over. This is so true "An ounce of understanding out-weighs a pound of chocolates or fancy dinners."

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    1. All relationships are a learning experience. I have grown leaps and bounds from my divorce and become stronger and a better person for it. I think sometimes people just want to be heard.

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  10. What an honest and transparent post, Cari.

    For a time, I have to admit that I did question myself on why my ex-hubby and I called it quits. Then I realized, we both wanted the separation, and are much better individuals because of it.

    Scott Peck in his book "The Road Less Traveled" says that love is a decision, not a feeling. Well, I think that yes, you do need to get a little spark going there. Whether you're a couple in your 20's or 40's, there's always something you can do- if you want to, that is- to keep the romance alive.

    Yes, life is all about constant change, about not knowing what lies around the bend. That thought scares the hell out of me, but what can I do? We just keep moving forward.

    I'm no love guru, but I still do believe in L-O-V-E. I hope you still do too, Cari :)

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