Every so often, when I become bored with binge-watching the latest craze on tv I will go back and start re-watching every episode of Sex and the City, beginning with Season 1. As I was watching it this morning I came upon the episode where Carrie runs into an old friend, Brooke, who always had the pick of any man in New York City to date, but ends up settling down and marrying a man she doesn’t even seem excited about. After the wedding she whispers in Carrie’s ear, “It’s always better to marry someone who loves you more than you love them”. I thought long and hard about this concept and let me tell you, it is terrible advice!
As many of you who regularly read this blog may already know, I have been married twice. The first wedding happened with my first love when I was 20. It was an immature, toxic relationship where I was emotionally abused for 8 years and left with terrible self-esteem and a broken heart at the age of 25, when he filed for divorce. Our relationship had always felt very one-sided to me and I truly felt that I loved him far more than he ever loved me. He loved how I looked, but he was never content with my personality and was always trying to change me to fit me into the mold of who he wanted me to be, rather than loving me for who I truly was.
After that divorce I believed that I would never love anyone as much as I had loved him, so I gave up on trying to find true love and took the exact advice given by Sex and the City’s, Brooke. I found a man who fell madly in love with me. Although I tried as hard as I could, I was never able to get myself to reciprocate the same love for him, so I settled because I didn’t think it was possible to fall deeply in love more than once. On the day of our wedding I had a panic attack and I wish I would have realized that it was my brain’s way of telling me that I was making a mistake, but I convinced myself that it was just normal pre-wedding jitters.
Settling for someone who loved me more than I loved him wasn’t only doing myself a great disservice, but it was also extremely unfair to him. At the time, I naively believed that I would eventually fall in love and that we would live a happy life together because he had become my best friend. In reality, it only took a year of being married for me to realize that not only would I never love him as a wife should, but that it was making me miserable trying to convince myself that he was the right person for me. As that year of marriage progressed, it was difficult for me to emotionally stay in the relationship, knowing that I had made a huge mistake. I’m sure that he felt the mental shift I had made and we both slipped into depression and grew distant. Seeing him at his worst, I learned things about him that I couldn’t live with and it only solidified that I needed to get out.
On the day I filed for divorce, it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of me. I didn’t feel sad, as I thought I would, I felt relieved. This confirmed that I was doing the right thing for both of us. Everyone deserves to be with someone who is crazy about them. By staying married, I was only keeping my ex from finding someone who could love him much more than I ever could.
I still feel guilt when I think about how long I allowed that relationship to go on. In my mind, I deeply cared for him and believed he was my soul-mate, regardless of not having a deep “In-love” love for him. My ignorance caused a lot of heartache and pain, so please don’t make the same mistake I did!
It is not a good idea to marry someone who loves you more. If you going into a marriage feeling unsure of your partner’s love for you or feeling anything less than crazy love for them, then DON’T DO IT! Real love does exist. Mutual love is a real concept. Don’t allow the media and Hollywood to fool you into settling for something that doesn’t feel right out of fear. It can be extremely difficult having patience while anxiously awaiting Mr. or Mrs. Right, but I promise you that it can happen more than once in a lifetime.
After the demise of my second marriage I resolved to be single forever. I was extremely happy as a single woman and loved my new-found freedom. For the first time in my life I had zero desire to marry, have children, or even date. My career was going well, I had a beautiful apartment all to myself, and I was able to do whatever I wanted. Just as I was feeling on top of the world and like I finally had a grasp on my life, things went off in a completely different direction than I envisioned it going. I truly believe that God always has better plans for our lives than we have for ourselves. While out with friends one night, I met a man who flipped my world upside down and changed it forever. It was an immediate attraction and I had a unique feeling that he was meant to be in my life. Three years later, we are still together and have a beautiful son.
This was not the plan I had for my life, but it is far better than anything I could have imagined. This man, who entered my life when I least expected it, showed me that I can have a deep, mutual love with someone. I decided that getting married because of a pregnancy was the last thing I wanted after two divorces. It was far smarter to take time to get to know and love each other before making that commitment. I’m not sure if we will ever get married, but I do know that we are in love, happy, and love our life together. Regardless of what happens in the future, we now each have unconditional love for our baby and that is something to forever be grateful for.
I hope that my story can be of some inspiration to you. Settling for a relationship, just because it seems right on paper will never make you happy in the long run. Don’t give up on love, just because it didn’t work out the first time. It is definitely possible to fall in love again and so worth the wait!