Very real. Authentic and cool. Also, we have to stop seeing things as so either/or. How long were you in your first marriage or your second? For all of that time, the marriages were successful.
Marriage, much like running a business, requires a lot of things fall into place, a lot of right time, a lot of luck of the draw, sadly, love alone is not enough — compatibility is huge. So say you fall in love with someone, with whom you are totally incompatible? A marriage is not likely to last with that person, should you pursue it.
I once considered that, (marriage to a person with whom I was highly incompatible). Do you know what my gut told me? Such a marriage would end with murder. Seriously, murder! And the scary thing, was I just keep feeling, murder, with no other clarifications, and this is particularly important — who. Who would be murdered by whom? Would he murder me? Would I murder him? Would someone else murder both of us? I mean, how is it you ask yourself, could I marry this person, and the response you feel from this internal question is “no, murder.”
I was very young at the time, and really didn’t understand the intuitive message I was receiving, but I resolved to get out of the relationship. It wasn’t a healthy one. Many years later, that guy was murdered. True story. I’ve always wondered was that his fate? Was that going to happen no matter what? No matter who he married?
I say all of that to say this, any one marriages failure, or two or even ten, is not an individual persons failure. It could be argued that it is two peoples collective failure — but even that doesn’t get it quite right.
Relationships, any of them, are like chemical equations. Some chemicals react very well together and make amazing things, others really stink up the place. Getting two people together who can really click, and have an amazing long-standing marriage that survives all the hits life throws our way, well it’s rare. Most marriages aren’t like that. Most marriages limp along out of economic necessity and dull satisfaction; and many end in extreme dysfunction and catastrophe simply because marriage is a pretty unrealistic expectation in this day and age. But I would argue that no marriage is a failure, just like any business venture is not a failure.
Because no matter what, you definitely learned something. And if you’re as self-reflective as this, you learned a lot.