Valentines Day is not the worst day of the year. So called “single awareness” may be heightened on the 14th of February, but it doesn’t compare to the would-be anniversaries of my first or second marriage. Those days, for me, are much more poignant than Valentines Day is ever likely to be.
Living in Colorado Springs, a Colombian beauty and I gathered on July 31, 2002, in a small room at the local courthouse to be wed, with our closest friends as witnesses. The flutter of emotions, the swooning power of love and the desperate yearning for intimacy flooded our emotions.
Being young, there were certainly faults on both sides, as can be expected with any relationship. But none of that really mattered after an unforgettable night when the words that came out of her mouth were seared forever into my memory. She didn’t know I was listening, a mere six feet away, from where she stood face to face with a man she had been intimate with before our marriage.
“I still love you more than anything,” she said, the words instantly penetrating my soul, sending me spinning into what can only be described as oblivion of endless woe.
After the initial shock wore off the next day, I tried to come to terms with the newfound true nature of our relationship. In the infancy of our marriage, only a couple months after it began, it was too much for me to bear.
After years of convincing myself that it was okay to trust my feelings and emotions again, I fell in love once more. Head over heels, I proposed to my girlfriend, a Utah native, after only knowing her for six months. Giddy with logic-overriding emotions and enveloped by hopes and dreams of our very own happily-ever-after, we allowed ourselves to be oblivious to the glaring fact that we didn’t really know each other. On November 26, 2005, we were married in Salt Lake.
Being the last of six in my family to be married, and my bride the first of six in hers, it was a big deal – our families pulled out all the stops, sparing no expense for the traditional festivities. Even after the honeymoon stage of the marriage wore off, we were still able to grit our teeth and try to work through the differences, until one day it became evident to both of us that we were finally meeting one another’s true selves for the first time. And that was just fine, except we quickly found that we really didn’t like each other.
Facing a second divorce was pretty depressing, as far as depressing things go. Facing the potential of a third was incomprehensible. Which is why I decided to take myself out of the game. Off the market, as it were.
As a male, I’m naturally driven to find the logic in things: Divorces can’t exist without marriage, marriage won’t happen without a relationship and relationships don’t happen if one refuses to listen to that sentimental voice inside his or her head. Yes, that voice that just melts when a member of the opposite sex smiles in your general direction, gets carried away by love songs in the car on the freeway and pushes a tear to your eye while watching a chick flick.
That voice encouraged me to pursue each of my failed relationships. It lulled me away, prompting me to ignore the logic and see things from its narrow, single-minded perspective. It urged me to throw caution to the wind – all you need, after all, is love, right? I beg to differ. That voice and I are no longer on speaking terms. Sure, I believe in love, but it’s just not for me. Not this year, anyway.
When cupid comes a-fluttering, drawn by the fragrance of flowers and the inundation of pink hearts and cute little boxes of chocolates, forgive me if I don’t don the rose-colored glasses and throw myself into the mix of spellbound sweethearts. There are much better things to invest myself in. Like writing.
By: Jeff Jacobsen
Online Content Manager