I was just watching an underrated movie, starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, called “By the Sea”. Spoiler alert for those who might want to watch it. Would I recommend it? Definitely.
When you got married, did people also ask you ‘How does it feel to be married? Does it feel any different now (between you)?’
What most of the people around me now didn’t know is that this is my second marriage. The first time around (I was 27), I married for all the wrong reasons. I was still studying in Germany, but it was after my accident, I wasn’t able to walk for a year, study or work and everything just went horribly wrong. I was beyond exhausted when I met my first husband.
He reached out for me and as nice as he was, I knew from the start that this probably won’t work, but I was too tired to say no when he reached out for me and insisted on holding me in his arms.
I married him out of gratefulness because he was there for me in a difficult time. I married him partly because I wanted to have equal work rights so I could be able to contribute to our household. I wanted to get married so I wouldn’t feel like a total failure, given that I couldn’t see me finishing my Uni which was my second attempt at getting a degree.
We married after 18 months I believe and stayed married for a year. We separated after a year and it took me another year of separation to be able to get divorced. I paid for the small wedding and I paid for the divorce and I made sure at the divorce that neither of us could claim from each other any alimony. I don’t know why I’m so stupidly proud of this but never in my life have I claimed any benefits of any kind, not social, not when I didn’t have work, and no alimony.
This time around the outcome is completely different because I’m different. I didn’t try to pretend I was more than I am. I dared to be myself. I dared to express my boundaries very clearly.
Strangely enough, both times felt very similar though, in terms of how it felt to be married. You feel a bit more connected. A promise has been made. It feels like sitting on a new couch and you’re wiggling your butt on it so long until you feel actually comfortable because the couch has given into the shape of your body and embraced your buttocks.
I wanted to watch the movie for different reasons. I wanted to see Brad and Angelina play something else but silly action movies. I wanted to see how real they can be on screen and with each other. To act in a drama is not easy. The movie is slow and takes its time. I love that. The other reason was the sea. I miss the Mediterranean Sea so much!
So you have this seasoned couple which clearly has issues, and then a freshly married young couple in comparison. I won’t say more, I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you want to watch it on Netflix. But the scene which inspired me to write this article is when Brad Pitt asks the young woman if she likes being married and why. She says, she likes to belong to something, to someone. She likes knowing where her life is going.
I get that. I used to think like that as well.
Why did I dare get married this time around, almost 20 years later? I was perfectly happy on my own, finally. But I noticed when I was travelling in Mexico, that it would be nice to share these beautiful moments with someone, with the right person. The topic of how we all need to feel connected is a common topic in the latest Star Trek series and in almost any other movie I watched lately.
I didn’t think I’d ever meet a man I would like to commit again on this deep level. But while I was simply looking for an interesting person to share my life with, or what’s left of it, I stumbled into an adventure I never dreamed could be possible. And so I said ‘Yes’ when my man proposed.
It’s been over a year now married and almost four years together. And while I can still see myself enjoying life on my own, I don’t want to any longer. Being together with my husband feels right, his couch has nicely formed around my body and there is absolutely no reason why I would want to get up and leave ever again.
I like being married because for me being married is like being that fortress which can stand against the world. Our walls are indeed strong. I like that feeling and yes, in a sense I feel I belong to someone, someone worthy.
To belong to someone… Such a romantic notion actually. If you read my book, you would realise that I’m not a big fan of romance any longer, or at least not of the romantic ideas being sold to us as such.
The way that young woman in the woman said she likes to belong to someone, knowing where her life is going – that right there for me triggers an alarm bell. How is her fresh belonging different to mine?
In that romantic notion of belonging, I feel one makes his life too dependent on the other. His life, his happiness. What’s wrong with that? Many things. Those more seasoned among us know that you can’t predict squat and you can’t rely on belonging to someone else while your partner will definitely change in time. Things happen.
My way of living and feeling is actually a bit sad. I’m happy and balanced but there is no rush of feelings in any way. I love my husband and I desire him. And he can awaken my desire for him at any time. That’s not a problem. There is no problem, that’s the thing you see. There is no drama, we talk, we laugh, we joke, we focus on our own projects and share our progress. I think it’s the way it’s supposed to be. This IS life, the every day of getting up, making a coffee for him, a tea for me, sit down to work, make lunch for the kids, write in the evening or maybe watch something. Same thing, every day. Well, at least the frame is the same. In between there is the development of our work.
Do I wish for more excitement? No. Really not? I don’t know any longer. All I know for sure is that I definitely don’t miss the old drama I used to have or even create.
Life is putting one foot in front of the other. Making that first step (of commitment) and then walking the walk. It’s not glamorous and if you don’t demand too much from the relationship in terms of excitement, you might even make it through many years without major breakdowns.
At least that’s how I see it for now. Ask me in ten years:)
What I do wish right now is to be back in Mexico, in those ‘cenotes’, enjoying the cold water while swimming on my back and looking up at the caved in ceiling at the bright blue sky and the lianes hanging down on its sides… Maybe if I close my eyes and focus, I could be there again.
I love the heat and I love a beautiful surrounding. But it’s pointless wishing for anything else. I need to stay in my reality and enjoy what is surrounding me right now or else I’ll make myself unhappy and then I’d become a pain in everyone’s ass.
And we don’t want that:)