As an older person, what was different about getting married in later life, from when you married when you were young?
What a fascinating question!
Let's go back to February 1993. I was aged 20 and married, a month before my 21st birthday. I was married for 14 years, gave birth to three sons. I started divorce proceedings in the new year of 2007. I had endured more than enough abuse from my ex husband. I set myself free from being abused by ex husband and his family, I began a new life finding the woman I had lost whilst I was in an unfulfilled marriage where my needs, wants and desires were ignored and neglected. In this unfulfilled marriage, I knew nothing about how I had a right to leave an abusive marriage and set myself free. I didn't know that I had a right to speak up and have my needs, wants and desires met. I had a right to become a stay at home mum, regardless of what he and or his mum said. I had a right to speak to whoever I wanted. I had a right to have a life outside of my marriage and home. I had a right to have the job I wanted to get into. I had a right to love my life the way I chose. I chose to leave this unfulfilled marriage because I was pushed over the edge one day when I snapped inside and told myself, "Ok, enough is enough. I am not tolerating this abuse anymore. I am getting out. I am setting myself free!"
After my divorce was finalised, I began a long journey with self development. I learned how to take responsibility for my own actions and own up to my behaviours. I learned how to set boundaries to protect myself from potential abuse. I learned public speaking skills and continue to home these skills. I learned leadership skills and continue to hone them. I learned about emotional intelligence and how my emotions were ruling my life. I learned that it was ok to let go of my toxic friends. I learned that it's ok to outgrow people around me. I learned many new skills and continued to grow.
At age 45, I remarried my long distance boyfriend who has no children of his own. My husband treats my three sons like his own. My youngest son Calvin calls my husband "Papa" because his papa is his father figure. Calvin had very little contact from his dad after we divorced. He has not seen his dad since February 2014. He wants nothing to do with his dad because his dad disappointed him on a number of occasions. He lost his trust for his dad. My husband has never disappointed Calvin. They have a strong bond even though they don't speak to each other every day. Calvin loves his Papa because his Papa shows him his love unconditionally. Calvin never got his dad's unconditional love.
My needs, wants and desires are met in this marriage. There is no abuse. We talk and express ourselves authentically. We have a deep bond and a strong connection. We have our fun and banter each day. We love each other unconditionally. I have the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want. I get to talk to whoever I want. I have male friends and we go out for lunch, dinner and other social activities. My second marriage is the opposite of what my first marriage was.
Marrying young for me had the big disadvantage of a lack of experience and knowledge. Life experiences are vital to learn what works and what doesn't work. I was not compatible with a traditional Chinese man who was old school. Knowledge is vital to help us understand ourselves and how relationships work. Romantic relationships are complicated due to sharing our life with our spouse. When we have knowledge of how to communicate to each other Competently with a sound level of assertiveness, our needs, wants and desires are met. It is our responsibility to communicate our needs, wants and desires to our spouse. It is our spouse's responsibility to understand how they can meet our communicated needs, wants and desires so that we feel valued, important and understood. When we feel valued, important and understood, we are nurturing our relationship for a deeper level of intimacy.
I have spoken to a number of men and women who have told me that their spouse do not know how to meet their needs, wants and desires. This creates a huge distance in their marriage. When one spouse or both, are not getting their needs, wants and desires met in their marriage, they shall feel discouraged, diminished and deflated. This causes the marriage to end or die a slow death.