My head

Love After Marriage

December 11, 2015

love after marriage

My neighbour behind me is about a million years old.

She’s a tiny little Macedonian lady with a bristly, grey, stubble on her chin and white hair. She wears black jumpers even on 35 degree days because she’s in mourning. She has been mourning for as long as I’ve known her and I’d hazard a guess it was a long while before that.

She’s lived in her big house on her own for however many years since her husband died and she can no longer go up the stairs because she has bad knees.

I’ve spoken with her a good handful of times over the three years I’ve lived here but never really talked about marriage, I don’t recall, but I guess maybe she’s clueier than I thought because when I bumped into her recently on her late afternoon hobble the first thing out of her mouth was –

“Is your husband coming home?”

“What?” I replied, with the look on my face that you imagine I would have.

“Your husband? He come home?”

“Ummm, nope.”

“You here alone?”

“I’m here with my kids,” I said. “That’s definitely not alone.”

“It’s no good,” she said sadly. “You need a husband.”

And off she went, feeling very sorry for my state of affairs. Bless. If only she knew what goes on in my head. The truth is, I’m really grappling with this love business, or more specifically love after marriage.

Surely, someone somewhere wrote a guidebook about dealing with all of the mixed up shit that goes down when you end a marriage with children and you begin again?

The more I try to work it out with my head, the further away answers slip from my fingers. I know love questions are really answered with the heart, but my head has a rather convincing time of overriding the meeting room. It’s like my head sits at the head of the table (naturally) being all boss-like and shit while my heart sits quietly somewhere around the middle of the table, probably eyeing off the danishes and zoning out.

All through my dating years, I had a fairly easy gauge on relationships. It came down to one question – Are you a possible lifetime mate with whom to get married and procreate, or just a fun-time roll around?

If the answer was the latter, the not-so-lucky guy practically had a use-by date stamped on his forehead and we had some fun for a bit and then it all ended in buckets of tears and I vowed never to do it again… until the next time I felt that familiar butterfly stretching its wings in my belly when someone looks at you and you get ZING.

If the answer was maybe, then we played it out until either a) I realised I was wrong, or b) they unceremoniously dumped me at Christmas which happened a few years in a row. Not this Christmas though. This Christmas I broke a heart. A special one that helped heal mine when I was all broken into pieces.

Breaking up is really shit. The fact is, no matter which side of the breakup you’re on it’s stinky. Hearts are such tender organs and squeezing the life out them with words that penetrate the chest cavity makes for a pretty crappy few weeks/months.

My problem is that there was that one time where I thought yes, I found my forever mate, and he agreed with me so we did that crazy thing where you have a kid, then whack on a frock made out of vintage lace, and you say “I do forever” in front of all of your friends. Except it wasn’t forever. Not even close. So now I don’t know what the next relationship looks like. It ain’t simple maths any more.

Everything I thought I knew about traditional relationship trajectories is now skewed. I already got married and had kids… Now I don’t know what’s supposed to happen now because Disney has not been as progressive as to make a’ happily ever after ‘after the first ‘happily ever after’ didn’t pan out.

I love love, and I don’t love being on my own but I’m all in a flux so I’m taking some time to work it out. I’m benching myself for a bit… So I can try to figure out what those HAPPILIES look like.


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  • Reply Zanni Hacska December 11, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Gosh I love your honest, raw writing. So much. You will find the love that suits you perfectly. And yes, it just takes time. Big hugs to you!

    • Reply Danielle December 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Zanni. Hugs right back. x

  • Reply JJ December 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

    This post really resonates with me because I’ve been through exactly what you are going through. Love after “happily ever after” is possible, but it may not resemble what you think it will. I was divorced when my daughter was 2. I met someone 9 years younger than me a year later and we both assumed it was a short term proposition. Today we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary (albeit not married…funny how that’s not so important the second time around) and we have a four year old son together. And, most importantly, we are best friends and still love (and like) each other. There are no rules to be adhered to. Do what makes you happy. Don’t make any assumptions and if someone makes you happy on a daily basis, is a kind man with a good heart who also loves your kids and treats you and them exceptionally well, just enjoy it. Go with the flow…you never know where it might take you

    • Reply Danielle December 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I love this comment. You sure found happily ever something. Thanks for warm advice x

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design December 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I have faith that you’ll figure it out and do what’s right for you. xx

  • Reply jenni from styling curvy December 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve been married 21 years and each year the love changes. Sure we have kids but at 17&20 it’s not all about them any more. Love and respect are deep, these days it’s about living good days and fun. If you can find that and he still makes your toes curl when your lips meet the you’re on a winner. I’m sure you will find love again, when you’re ready and most likely when you least expect it. I loved this piece Danielle X

  • Reply Glen December 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Brilliant article Danielle. Follow your instincts.

  • Reply San December 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Honestly??? I think your first love is THE one, the great leveler, the one that requires your implicit trust, the one that has the absolute hold over you to seek you out, all you have to give, and if things go pear shaped, the power to destroy and leave you with a smouldering bucket of unmentionables you never really find an appropriate place to completely bury and walk away from. That all sounds a bit negative I know, but when love comes around again (and it does/will) YOU are changed, a different soul with a different slant on things, so one must tread carefully so as not to dispel this ‘new love’ as not quite the biz cos’ one’s perspective has changed. I think sitting back and taking a long, hard look at oneself is incredibly healthy, as long as it’s not at the expense of what could’ve grown into something even more special than that first love, a deep, meaningful relationship based on qualities you treasure in a person. Sometimes your best friend can turn into your best love…

  • Reply Sonia from Sonia Styling December 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    You, my friend, are a beautiful writer and a beautiful person – inside and out. I have no doubt love will find you when the time is right. In the meantime, enjoy this time. x

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