Ready to take the plunge again

First Person

August 03, 2008|By Mischa Green | Mischa Green,Special to the Sun

It was Saturday, May 21, 1988. I was 20 years young. He was one year my senior. We had dated for a year and a half. I was about to make the biggest decision I had ever made in my life.

And I felt comfortable that I knew what I was doing. I thought that I had a good idea what such a major commitment would essentially mean.

I also thought that, with time as my friend, I would eventually figure out all of the intricacies of this thing called marriage that I did not know. Isn't that what most of us, if we are honest, do as human beings? We tend to undertake a thing before we fully understand it.

Well, I was no different than most.

Regardless of the fact that I was very young, quite immature, sometime carelessly irresponsible, unequivocally selfish and far from "in love" (because who truly knows what "in love" is at 20 years old?), I really thought that adorning myself in that beautiful gown, walking down the aisle of my church, standing before God, my pastor and hundreds of witnesses and taking the vows that legally made me a wife would set the stage for love.

How misled was I?

What little I did know paled in comparison to all that I needed to know in order to respectfully and harmoniously co-exist in a marital relationship. Moreover, the little that I thought I knew wasn't enough to sustain our commitment.

And for years - at least the first two years after my separation - I constantly asked myself what happened after toiling for 11 years? My (former) husband and I found ourselves becoming insensitive to one another to the point that we were enemies trying to take each other out.

But we started out as many couples do. We were very attracted to each other. I adored him. He adored me. We enjoyed each other's company. We were affirming. We believed in love. We participated in weeks of premarital counseling sessions.

We were active in church (hoping that the more grounded we were in our faith, the better able we would be in maintaining a loving, Godly relationship). We sincerely wanted to "be together for the rest of our lives."

Yet, through much post-divorce introspection, I realized that there were problems that gave way to our failure.

We tried to fix things by arguing fairly, making appropriate decisions, learning to respect one another's differences, putting each other before family members and friends, etc.

But slowly but surely, our ignorance and immaturity chipped away at our "oneness." Without forewarning, it seemed arguments had no diplomacy. Days of not speaking were the norm rather than the exception. Self-centeredness rather than selflessness dictated how decisions were made. Outsiders' opinions of our relationship governed the extent to which we trusted each other. Things over time became so out of control that we parted ways.

Now, seven years after my divorce and at 40 years old, I'm in love again and about to get married for a second time.

Since my divorce, I have had a lot of time to reflect on who I am and who I desire to be as a wife. In my singleness, I allowed myself time to heal. I developed a more intimate and loving relationship with myself.

I made a commitment to fully entrust my life to the God that created me and knows what I need.

I have given serious consideration to what marriage is and what marriage is not.

I forgave my former husband for what he didn't know, and I forgave myself for jumping too prematurely into one of the most sacred and honorable unions known to mankind.

After I reached a place of wholeness and peace, I was blessed with the presence of an acquaintance turned friend, friend turned companion, companion turned lover, lover turned life partner who equally shares my values and convictions on spirituality, respect, family, risk-taking, growth, finances, love, differences and so many other things that contribute to a quality life. Literally, it seemed like one minute I was happily single enjoying all that life had for me, and the next minute I was engulfed in this blissful series of stimulating conversations and dates with a man who embodies everything that God knew I needed.

Mischa Green is an author, publisher and consultant on a variety of empowerment topics, including black family and single-life enrichment discussions held each month. Go to her Web site at greatnessnow.org.

unisun@baltsun.com

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