This past Saturday I attended the wedding of my son’s Dad. This is his third marriage, but it was his first real wedding. I was very excited about it, because it was a wedding that should have happened about fifteen years ago. Let’s go back…
He and I met when we were seventeen. We became a couple a short time later. During this time, he had a girl friend who he had known for a few years. As I would watch them interact, I knew in my heart that they were meant for each other. Knowing this, I could not bare to be the reason that they were not together. So one day, I confronted him about it. He laughed it off assuming that I was simply being the “jealous girlfriend” and reassured me that it was me that he wanted. Still, I didn’t believe him. There was just too much in his eyes when he looked at her and their attachment could not be denied. Since the talk didn’t work, I then tried setting them up to be alone together, to give them a chance to admit their feelings. That didn’t work either. Finally, after a few failed attempts I decided that maybe it was my imagination after all.
So a year went by, we married and had a child together. Not long before our son was born, our relationship began to fall apart. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was because we were never meant to be together in the first place. Fact is, we were just two kids who got married on a whim. We didn’t know anything about life and definitely nothing about marriage. Shortly after our son was born, we separated. Although our marriage had ended, our friendship remained. A few years later he married wife number two. That marriage didn’t last but a couple of years. Then, finally…
He and his old girl friend began to talk once more. It wasn’t long after, that they announced their engagement. Now, after fifteen years, he has finally married “the one”. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding and our son looked so handsome as one of the groomsmen.
Better late than never.
I have always been a believer in only having one marriage and making that marriage last a lifetime. However, life has taught me that although that is a great standard, it doesn’t always work out that way. From experience, I know that sometimes people make quick decisions out of necessity, loneliness and pressure, without giving the proper thought and consideration needed for such a commitment.
In my life, I had my fair share of step-parents. I’ll admit that when I was younger, I was a little judgmental towards my parents because of it. However, later in life I learned that I didn’t know it all and should never have been critical of them. They were just trying to find happiness in this life, just as we all do. Fortunately, after all the ups and downs and failed relationships, both my mother and father eventually found their ideal mates. It may have taken a few tries, but at the end they found the true happiness they were looking for. The same holds true for my ex and his childhood girl friend.
Many people (me included) could look at their relationship and think of how much time was wasted over those fifteen years that they lived separate lives. Truth is, no time was wasted. On the contrary, the time was well spent and needed to get them to the point where they are today. Over those years they each established careers and formed families, including a few beautiful children. Their responsibilities matured them into the adults they are today. Those years also provided them time to realize and correct their faults, helping them to become better people, better spouses. Over those fifteen years, they both learned what is truly important in a marriage and how to treat their spouse properly. So, although it took several years for the “truth” to come out and for them to marry, I believe their relationship will be made stronger because of it.
In life, not everything happens as we think it should and in the time frame that we would expect. Sometimes it takes years for all the right pieces to fall into place. We may not always understand why things work out the way they do, why opportunities are postponed for years or why some things never come to pass. Our choices in life take us down unforeseen roads and often times lead us to far distances. Sometimes we even make a full circle, right back to where we first began.
It is important to realize that each path in life, whether planned or not, provides us with valuable lessons and opportunities. Each one helps to mold us into better people and prepares us for what lies ahead. Therefore, in life we should have no regrets (easier said than done, I know). Instead, we should be grateful for every path and look forward to where it is leading us.