Love is so easy to get down about, isn't it? It's something in life that just happens — it's not timed or controlled. It's something you can't buy. It's something that is questionable because it looks different to everyone and in every relationship. And, the sad thing is, it's something you can't force to stay, no matter how amazing the relationship is.
My husband and I were together a long time. We were kids when we met, grew into adults together, got married, and then ended up parting ways. While sad and upsetting — we just always assumed the future would be us together — it worked out for the best. We stayed good friends, he moved on with someone better for him, and I am navigating my way through life in the best way I can for me.
Before I was divorced, weddings were almost stressful for me. My husband hated social engagements and I loved them, which usually stressed me out anyway, but I was almost a bit jaded about them, too. I was in a relationship for so long, I probably wasn't happy (but didn't know it), and I remember watching the newlywed couple say their vows and thinking to myself, "I hope they know what they're in for."
After I was separated, things changed.
I cried because, for the first time, I realized the feelings she had for her new husband were absolutely attainable, I just hadn't found the one for me yet.
I was in a wedding — my oldest and dearest friend was tying the knot — and I was so happy for her and tried my best to be supportive even while I was in the midst of a very confusing and heartbreaking time for me. On the day of her wedding, I was sitting in the front row, watching her say her vows to the man she loved and something weird happened: I cried. (I am seriously not a crier, not even when it's expected.)
I cried because I didn't look at my husband like that, ever, not even on our wedding day. I cried because she was so happy, and she meant every single word of her vows. And I cried because, for the first time, I realized the feelings she had for her new husband were absolutely attainable, I just hadn't found the one for me yet.
Since I've been divorced, I've been to four amazing weddings. I've left each one happier than I ever was when I was married. I left each one with hope that I will find someone who will look at me the way I have seen these men look at their new wives. Someone I will feel lucky to wake up with every day — even if he made me ridiculously mad the night before. I have hope that someone will value me in the way I deserve to be valued, and I will value him the same way. We will put each other at ease. We will laugh more than we cry. And the simple things, like cooking a meal together or watching Wheel of Fortune snuggled up on the couch after a long day, will be something to look forward to.
I also leave each wedding with hope that one day, I will marry a man who will see me walk in to whatever venue we choose to be married in and the smile on his face will take my breath away. That knowing he chose me, whether it was the easiest decision of his life or the hardest, will make me smile back as wide as my mouth will let me. That there will be a day that I will feel like the luckiest woman in the world because real, true love — that hard-to-get, can't be controlled, can't be timed, and cannot be tamed kind of love — will be encompassed in the man standing in front of me, someone who's ready to share his life with me and I with him.
My marriage failed. Our love wasn't the right one, and we both know that now. But one day, I hope to get it right. While I know it won't be easy, knowing it is the perfect love for me will make anything we had to struggle for, fight for, or even fight about all worth it.
Until then, pass the tissues.