This I Believe

Cate - Eagletown, Oklahoma
Entered on February 1, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love
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Obviously, I believe in marriage. Otherwise, why would I marry 5 times? I don’t know why I believe in marriage. My parents were married for 35 years but were not happy. My father always said I was a ‘women’s libber’. Now I understand it meant I was independent. Since I was 16, the longest stretch of singlehood was about ONE year, when attending college at age 32, between #1 and #2. I see now that the first 2 marriages were for my children’s sake; I would not bring children into the world without the name of their fathers! I was born in the 50’s and somehow, this ‘rule’ stuck with me. Marriage #3 was for ‘love’. Everyone has one of those, right? I kept telling myself he really did ‘love’ me even though he would crack my ribs, kick me, choke me for 7 years. At one point he wanted children; thank God I knew better! Number Four was for protection, from Number Three, because #4 was bigger, and because he was sensitive and artistic and because I needed help restoring my dream home. I ignored the fact that when we met, he still lived with his mother and didn’t have a steady job. Five years later, after a year and a half of watching him sit on the couch, eat and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, I’d had enough. When I found out he’d made my 21 year old daughter uncomfortable several times, actually coming into her room while he thought she slept, I almost risked going to jail. That divorce took 10 days, from filing to finalization. After that, I thought, ‘FINALLY, I have time to myself! I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, I am FREE’! That freedom lasted a whole 27 days! It was New Year’s Eve, 2004. I ended up at a party with all my favorite friends and he was there, too! He was an aquaintence, someone I had seen around the same crowd for a couple of years. I had always seen something intriguing in him, not just his mere cuteness! He was the only person I kissed at midnight that night, and he went with me to the pond for the annual ‘New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim’, because he said he wanted my New Year’s Eve party tiara! We were married 3 months and 22 days later. This man is a combination of ALL the men in my life, from birth! I have dealt with all his problems before, in one person or another, but this time, they all come together in him. Sometimes it is hell; most of the time I know in my heart it’s why I am here. We are entering the autumn of our lives and we both want the same things. It was the right thing to do, marrying him. I knew it then and I believe it now.