Celebrating With My Third Husband

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Anniversary week at Cannon Beach, bundled up even in the sun. #worthit

 

There’s a quote by Margaret Mead that says “I’ve been married three times, and not one of them was a failure.” (I also saw “I’ve been married three times, and each time I married the right person.”). In any case, I do like to joke that I’ve been married three times, even though I’ve only had one wedding.

I just celebrated ten years with husbands two and three, but before you think polygamy, keep reading.

I met my first “husband” in college and we stayed together over 10 years. While we never legally married, we bought a house and raised kitties together. When we split up, it was mostly because we’d found we wanted different things in life. We’re still in touch and I still love him as a dear friend, and cherish his parents as my former “in-laws.”

Then I was single for a while, before meeting my next beloved husband, whom I married at a wonderful wedding celebration in 2007. I was married to this man for almost 7 years before he had a life-changing stroke while we were in Hawai’i in 2014.

My third husband, the stroke survivor, shares many of the same cherished qualities as my second husband – he’s kind, determined, motivated, curious, physically restless – but he also has his own unique qualities.

This latest hubby is a talker, a wordy person. The previous husband wasn’t as verbally expressive, and didn’t like to goof around with words the way I do. Now, #3 has taken over the gift of gab in our household. He’s always rhyming, making up kooky plays on words, punning like a madman. As a Gemini, this is upsetting, since that has always been my lane. He makes me laugh a lot though, even when I’m trying desperately to get my own quips in. It’s like the world’s worst improv show at our house.

He has also taken up writing, an activity that his predecessor would never have sat still for. In fact, since I left my computer at home accidentally while on our trip (I had such good intentions to use it, too), I had to fight to use his for a few minutes as he worked on his latest blog post. He loves to chat with random strangers, an activity that introverts like us rarely engage in, and which I still find disorienting.

#3 also often wakes up with a “song of the day” in his head. There is no logic to the song it is, which is mystifying. Where do these songs come from? Trust me, it’s doubtful he’s heard these songs in the recent past to draw from; recently, a Simon & Garfunkel song made an appearance. Tomorrow it might be Pat Benatar, you just can’t tell.

He’s more impatient than my second husband. Which is ironic, because this is another example of where roles have changed. Impatience is a special skill I possess, whether it’s while driving or waiting in lines. I inherited this from my father, I consider it my genetic birthright. Hubby #2 used to tell me to relax, nothing could be done about it anyway. I used to tell him to shut the f*%k up because being frustrated was how NORMAL people reacted. Now I have to be the one who slows our roll, because getting #3 stressed out is not helpful or healthy. I’m sure it’s been good for me as well – all that fuming about things isn’t a great use of energy (although I will never be okay with people who don’t know how to merge onto the freeway, so please just figure out where the gas pedal is already).

I’ve often thought that I wasn’t really a grown up until I met husband #3. I guess I’m version 3.0 as well. We’ve all been the right person, and not one of us has been a failure – we’ve just been evolving. I am incredibly lucky to have spent these last ten years married to two of the most wonderful men imaginable. And I’m not sure what Margaret Mead would think, but three marriages seems like plenty.

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7 thoughts on “Celebrating With My Third Husband

  1. Loved reading about your three marriages, Jeanie! Thank you for your honesty about all three. I think both quotes fit you well. None were a failure, and each time they were with the right person.

    I feel the same way about my first marriage. It was to the right person and it was not a failure though it ended. We learned a lot from each other and gained a lot from being together. It’s hard for others to understand, but I now know that “forever” does not equal success or value in a relationship.

    I marvel at how you and Doug have been able to morph and grow through the aftermath of the stroke. Through many ups and downs and in-betweens, you’ve become different but better versions of yourselves. It’s truly amazing and I admire you both very much. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

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    • Thanks Peg, for your comments and kind wishes! I completely agree that all our relationships can teach us something about ourselves, if we are open to it. I’m still figuring out exactly what the lesson is from all we’ve gone through, but will keep trying to understand. I so appreciate you and your support these past months – coming back to writing is a key part of this journey for me, really grateful you got me going with it again!

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  2. I second Cubby in applauding how you’ve become “different and better versions of yourselves.” I know how hard Doug had to struggle to keep his demanding IT job while recovering from the stroke, and how you had to struggle with a lot of new and relentless responsibilities. (And we NW’s know how dark it could be for you.) When you write about it so beautifully, your struggles become a gift to the rest of us. Thank you for that!

    Here’s another Margaret Mead quote:

    “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.”

    Liked by 1 person

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