I'm ten years into my second marriage, and we've had plenty of good times. But it is weathering the storms that truly strengthens usby Cathy Rentzenbrink / March 1, 2019 / Leave a comment
My husband Erwyn and I have just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and it does feel like a significant achievement. It’s my second time around, which definitely makes me more inclined to put in effort. With my first marriage I thought a hint of a problem meant that we were not right for each other and should immediately decamp to new arrangements. Now I’ve learned that marriage—and probably any long-term relationship with another human being—demands hard work and perseverance if it is to survive and thrive.
This isn’t rocket science but the dominance of romance in our culture, and the vast amounts of books and films that end with the tying of the knot, presents us with the idea that a wedding signals our arrival into a safe haven. We have found our soul mate! All we need to do is pledge to stay together for better for worse, for richer for poorer, without much idea of what that will actually mean.
We are spending more on weddings than ever and yet almost half of us will end up getting divorced. We collude in a mass act of denial about this, though surely many wedding guests privately speculate whether a union will last as they sing along to “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” and hope that we will all be forgiven our foolish ways.
My first marriage was a lavish extravaganza for 170 at the local stately home, paid for by my parents. All my relatives and the customers from our pub got hammered on the unlimited open bar as the more middle-class golf clubby, bridge players from the groom’s side probably looked on aghast… though I can’t say for sure because I was too drunk to notice. Two people ended up in hospital and my Dad fell over on the dance floor while singing “The Irish Rover” and cut his face open, splashing the ludicrously expensive floral displays with his blood.
My second try felt very different and more grown-up. I didn’t think I’d want to get married again, but I was pregnant and suddenly decided it would be nice for us to feel like a family. We went to a registry…