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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Thoughts on Being Married For the Second Time

This being a second marriage for both of us, Stacey suggested that I write a blog on what it's like being married for the second time. I thought it was a good idea, not just for something to write about, but it's also helping me to organize my thoughts on all I've been through in the past 3 ½ years.

Everyone's experiences are different. Everyone's relationships are different, including the reasons why their relationships may have ultimately ended. So, what I'm writing about here may or may not apply to other people. For starters, I always felt happy in my first marriage, which lasted 32 years.

We had been college sweethearts and I felt that we had a strong bond right from the start. In later years, when we were drifting apart, I didn't see it coming. Sure, I noticed changes, but I attributed it to getting older. I didn't expect it to end and I took it very hard when it did. Counseling helped a lot; in fact, I took my counselor's advice to “keep busy” and I believe that's what helped me overcome my loss and move on. Keeping busy left me with little time to wallow in my sorrows and it gave me opportunities to discover new things about myself.

My nephew suggested I write my autobiography, which I did, and you can read it in this blog. I had always wanted to dance more, so I met new friends and became very active as a dancer. And that's how I met Stacey. I met her at Taylor's Nightclub a little over a year after my marriage ended. We were both dating someone else at the time, so nothing happened yet, but those relationships ended and we became good friends over the summer. By the end of summer, we were a couple. Stacey and I got married in April of 2019. She has a different personality than my first wife, so therefore different values. Not that one set of values is better than the other, it's just that I had to get used to them and make adjustments. She had to get used to me, as well.

Another thing that's different is that we have different expectations of each other from what I was used to in the past. Such as keeping house, meals, managing money together, how we communicate, and living with each other's habits.

A big factor in my second marriage is my adult children. It was hard for them to get used to the idea that mom and dad aren't together anymore. They had always seen us as role models in what a good marriage should be. So it was hard for them to have that image shattered. But they did understand that I would only be happy in a new relationship and then ultimately I would probably get married again. I like being married.  I recognized that it would probably have been hard for them to accept anyone I married, not just Stacey. So when the subject of marriage came up, I promised them that we would be engaged for about a year before the wedding. I believe that this helps them accept their dad's new status with a new wife. It seems to have gone fine.

I think what's different is that we are not having the old family get-togethers with their mom and me like we used to have. Holidays are different, as are other social events. One of the hardest things for me to get used to was that my relationship with my ex-wife's family is completely different now. I had spent many years building a good relationship with them, I watched all the nieces and nephews grow up from babies, and now suddenly they weren't technically my relatives anymore. My nieces and nephews told me they will always see me as their uncle, which made me feel gratified and I appreciate them saying that. I still see them as my nieces and nephews. I have had opportunities to visit with some of them and introduce them to Stacey. I don't know if it was awkward for anyone, but it did seem to go pretty well.  Now Stacey's family is part of my family. I have enjoyed get-togethers with them and I look forward to more.

Another thing that's different is the types of activities that I do with Stacey. When you meet somebody when you're young, you're looking for someone with whom you can start a family. With Stacey, all of that was behind me. So I was truly looking for someone with whom I could spend a lot of time and do activities together. And that's what it has been. We look for a lot of activities to do together and we spend a lot of time just hanging out together. I still wonder sometimes why it could not have been like that in my first marriage, but then I realized that we both really did change. It wasn't something that was expected, it's just the way it worked out.

Life with Stacey is wonderful and I look forward to many happy years with her.

Paul Pakusch
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