In a World of Discoveries, Heather-Marie shared her realization that you’re never really alone unless you choose to be. That, however, wasn’t her biggest takeaway from her divorce. No, that would be the importance of being friends with your spouse. Here’s Heather-Marie:
I met my husband, who was five years older than me, when I was 15 years old and we started dating when I was 16. When I was 17 he asked me to marry him and when I was 18, we got married. But we were never really friends. We never had an understanding of each other’s personality. Even if we had, we wouldn’t have been friends. Everything was driven by the romantic passion of love.
When our marriage was over, people asked me if I still talked to him and the answer is no. I haven’t talked to him since the papers were finalized. There was no reason to.
And that is what has kept me from getting remarried – I won’t be with anybody unless they are my best friend or really close friend. I would rather be alone and living my life that way than be committed to someone I’m not friends with. Romantic love fades, it doesn’t even last that long. Unless you have that friendship base, you don’t have anything.
I meet a lot of people through work and I have a lot of friends. But I haven’t had a committed relationship since my divorce. I haven’t had what you would call a “boyfriend” since my divorce. I’ve been really conscious not to make commitments where I don’t want them.
Sometimes that crazy voice inside my head says, “Wow! You haven’t had a boyfriend since you were divorced?” Then I remind myself of all the times someone has asked me to be his girlfriend and I’ve said no because I haven’t wanted that level of commitment.
I would like to have children although I feel in some ways that is not up to me. If I were to meet someone who could be my friend AND my husband, AND we wanted to have children, AND that were to happen, that would be great. On the other hand, I’m really happy. My life is happy.
I’ve recently finished reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and in there Chapman talks about how the initial “romantic in love” feeling lasts at most two years. So I think Heather-Marie is sharing an important lesson – there has to be more. I don’t think of my ex as having been a best friend but with hindsight, I accept responsibility for that. I suspect I didn’t really try to let him in. Do you or did you consider your spouse to be your best friend?