The word hasn’t crossed these lips for years. I wrote a book (quite a successful one I might add) about the virtues of being unmarried.
I am the poster child for living single past 50.
Since my divorce, I’m afraid of marriage. There. I said it out loud.
Let’s digress. I moved in with my high school sweetheart when I was 20. I married him at 23. I divorced him at 50.
I stand before you today a mature (debatable) woman of 62 years. And I am looking at getting …um, the ‘M’ word (she says with teeth chattering).
Something happens to you when you pass 50. You become acutely aware that you don’t have a lot of time for screw-ups and bad judgments. A once ever present carefree attitude is replaced with a prevalent cautious one.
The remnants of my divorce of many years ago still stings like a fresh wound.
Although the divorce was my doing, it was hugely painful to lose my husband, and even more painful to lose the friendship. We remained friends for a few years, but sadly, I learned that I was nothing more to him than a memory and a financial obligation. Harsh.
At this point in my life, I don’t have the time or the heart to recover from a mistake as I did in years past.
I have been blessed with the love of a wonderful man who happened to be a good friend of mine 45 years ago.
When we graduated from high school we lost touch. That is, until he reached out several years ago with an email.
And here we are. Both of us uprooted our lifestyles for each other and made compromises we never thought we would/could make. It hasn’t all been easy. Not by a long shot. But he knew what I knew: we were worth it.
I am grateful every day for him. Every day. I trust him to the ends of the earth and love him to the moon and back. But marriage? It seems so unnecessary in today’s society.
The loss in divorce is an experience so awful that you never want to put yourself in that position again. If I was so wrong the first time, could I be so wrong again?
Like so many things in life, it comes down to FEAR.
If life has taught me anything at all, it’s that fear is a liar and a robber of all things that should have been.
Steven and I have been happy together for years now. He tells me he knew from the beginning that we were meant to be. I was not so easily convinced. Stubbornness is not my best trait.
The truth is, I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. I want to share all the moments I am given with him; the years, laughter and tears. All of it. That is my truth. And he is my gift.
When we first met, he was a chance, a risk, a hope and a dream. Today he is my solid ground. Proof that those of us who have lost, been hurt or damaged can find happiness again.
He is my hope. And I am his.
Yes, I’m afraid. Fear is imbedded in all of us. Overcoming it is our life challenge.
I will be the nervous mature bride with a lump in her throat and nervous rash on her chest who, despite the fear, knows in her heart of hearts that she is the luckiest girl in the world.
Looks like I’ll have to pen another book.
Anyone know a good wedding planner?
Lois Alter Mark - It’s so great that you met an amazing man. I can understand your fear and the important thing is that you’re together, not that you’re married. WIshing you lots of love, no matter what you two decide to do!
Tam Warner Minton - I’m really curious….why get married at all?
Jenn Eubanks - Oh Tammy! I am beyond ecstatic!
Barbara Hammond - Very happy for you! I really wish we lived closer because I would love to be your wedding planner! That said, drop me a line if you need some advice/ ideas/ etc. for the wedding. I’m really good at it!
Laura Lee Carter - Good for you Tammy! It’s always a good thing when love wins out over fear! It took me years to believe in love again, but not so long to decide to marry Mike at age 50. And ten years later my life is 500% better than it ever was before!
But when you think about it, marriage is not the question, trust is. I’m just glad I finally found someone worthy of all of my love and trust…
Maryjo Morgan - Happy for you and Steve that you found one another again … and are not going to lose one another again. 🙂
Oh, I SO understand the fear. Getting UNmarried is painful no matter what the circumstances. As in PAIN FILLED.
When I remarried, the only thing I could do was decide what exactly we were contracting with one another. And wrote up a pre-nup. I felt calmer then, that we had negotiated at a head level to protect ourselves at the heart level That will be 17 years next month.
You’ll be just fine! Many healthy, peace-filled years to you and Steve!
Rael Hall - Fear is always optional. Fear shows us our edges of comfort and discomfort allowing us to choose whether to stay or grow into bigger possibilities. We all in this age group are so much wiser in choosing for another committment. Divine Timing is always perfect. Enjoy your call to be more. Congrats!
Billie Jo Baptiste - He is also the luckiest man in the world! I am so happy for you Tammy! Be sure and let us know when this is happening, and I look forward to the new book about this new chapter in your life adventure.
Carol Cassara - YOu have met your true love and all the richer for later in life. I love it! There is much to say about being single, but marriage has its pleasures Oh, I’m so excited for you!
m - Dear Tammy,
Yes, there is a fear, both in and out of marriage, but you my dear, are a romantic in the best sense of the word. Seems like the human condition is not to live alone and I wonder that the risk you are taking is not big at all. You know they guy; there are bound to be few surprises, and I wish you nothing but happiness. Mazel Tov.
Laurie Weiss - Hi Tammy,
Second, a suggestion about your feeling afraid… I asked hundreds of women what they wished they had known before getting married and used their answers to write “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Saying ‘I Do’ (at Amazon and B&N). I think that if you read it and don’t find any surprises, you will be relieved and if there are surprises, you will learn something you can use to insure your success. I truly wish you the best.
Doreen McGettigan - Congratulations! I am so happy for you! Go for it and have a great time getting there!
Tammy - Laura Lee, you are RIGHT, marriage is not the fear. Trust is. You are wise beyond your years! Thanks for that!
Tammy - Hi Maryjo, I was thinking about a pre-nup. But then my mind and heart went to the fact that if I don’t trust him, I shouldn’t be marrying him. Right? But to do it as a comfort zone, a safety to see that your mind in in tuned with your heart, I love the idea! Thanks so much for sharing!
Tammy - Hi Billie Jo, it’s in the offing. No idea of what it will entail at this point. I am trying like the dickens to convince him to elope to Vegas, or Greece or Italy! A wedding is so intimidating.
Tammy - Thanks, Mel. I AM a romantic. But I’m also a realist (a blessing and a curse!). Weddings are a lot of trouble and money and stress. The commitment of the marriage also frightens me. I lost so much when I thought it was so right. Even 30 years of trying never made it so. The sting of failure and betrayal are hard things to get past. As they say “love conquers all”. I do believe they were right.
Tammy - Hi Doreen, the past several years have brought huge growth, both personally and heart wise. It has been a blast. Color me scared (no lie) but color me willing to step up to the alter … just one last time!
Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - I’m thrilled you found love after 50! Like the Nike commercials say, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Enjoy the ride.
I love this line: “You become acutely aware that you don’t have a lot of time for screw-ups and bad judgments.” That very same thing has been on my mind of late… mostly in terms of hoping and praying my husband never dies (yeah, silly) because I know I’d really screw up and exercise bad judgement if I had to find another mate. I just know it.
Tammy - You are too funny, Lisa. I doubt very much bad judgment would be implemented should your hubby meet his demise (throwing salt over shoulder). But it’s true, we have less time to make up for our goofs. No doubt about it, courage must step in where fear and bout reign. Only then will happiness win the day.
Cheryl Nicholl - I knew it!!! You SHOULD marry him! Damn-it you’re worth ‘Forever’. and I suspect he’s the lucky one. *wink*
Shirlene Vitale - Hey Girl, I would be happy to officiate your wedding for you!!! It would be so much fun!!! Just let me know… Excited for you my friend.
Janie Emaus - Well, congratulations!
Myrna Alpern - Congratulations my dear Tammy, You don’t need to be afraid. Simply ask yourself, (we’re not keeping score of who is right or wrong this time, is it really that important to be right?) If you give 60 % and he gives 60%, you’ll both meet in the middle—- OK ? I’ve been married 41 years to a wonderful man also.
Kaz Cruse - Tammy, I remarried at 55 and said I WOULD NEVER get married again. It hasn’t all been honeymoon and roses but it HAS been really worth it. A grown up relationship, who would have thought? Most of all me! We have the ebb and flow down and when it gets tough we get past our egos and practice the ho’ono pono art of forgiveness. I’ll show it to you the next time I see you. We also communicate, a lot.He totally understands how to communicate with a woman. And I have learned to let him be quiet and cocoon when he needs to without feeling ignored. He can listen like nobody’s business and that is an art. I also have a few gal pals who I talk with about things that only gals talk about. He isn’t my girlfriend and that’s an important lesson to learn for women. We both came from disastrous relationships and it’s so easy to bring the conditioning from the previous relationship into the new relationship. It takes commitment and walks on the beach, sometimes chocolates and lots of genuine hugs. Follow your heart, it won’t steer you wrong. Once I learned not to OVERTHINK everything it made my life a lot simpler and more peaceful. Looking forward to hearing more!
Cheryl Shaw - haven’t received a blog from you since this one———are you married??????? if so congrats———-be happy!!!!!!!
P.S. just a comment about Renai——–she and Dewey talked and almost decided to live together but——–money discussions put a damper on the whole idea