Today is LOM s seventeenth wedding anniversary and reading about it made me think about the looming 25th anniversry for Bear and me.
It’s wonderful to hear that for LOM and her husband the second time round is a success. Also Pat and her True Love had to wait many years for their happy reunion.
But if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll realise that not all second marriages are bliss – not by any means . . . .
It’s true, if I’d listened to my head, and my mother, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it but, at the time, we had been living together for nearly a year, and the thought of a ‘split’ was just too bleak to handle. It was not long after Bear’s divorce was finalised in 1984 that he announced casually that if there wasn’t anything ‘on’ for 13th October we could get married because he had booked the Registry Office.
I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or worried by the lack of ‘romance’. I was due to play at concert given by the choir I accompanied in the evening – but that didn’t seem to make any difference. Any celebration would be well and truly over by then and there certainly wouldn’t be a honeymoon: it was school as usual on Monday. I should have taken the warning when, a week before the ‘big day’ I told Bear I was feeling a bit ‘unsure’ – ‘uncertain’ – hoping for some reassurance – but he snapped back with something like “Well, if you don’t want to get married you know what you can do, don’t you.”
The wedding was a very low-key affair – my sister and Bear’s brother were to be witnesses, my daughter came but my son didn’t want to – and just a few close friends made the total party about a dozen. Bear had bought sandwiches and nibbles from the local pub and we all went back to his old house (he had bought his first wife’s share) which was to be our ‘home.’ But it didn’t feel remotely like a home to me. He deliberately avoided putting beds in the children’s rooms for well over a month so they had to stay with their dad (Whale) and when they did move in they were made to feel most unwelcome.
However, the very worst thing about my wedding day, the thing that made me realise I’d made an enormous mistake was when my daughter, who had accompanied me to the Register office, tried to get into the back seat of the car that Bear and I were in.
“Your mum belongs to me now”. he snarled, “You’ll have to go back with someone else.”
I took her to our friends car saying they’d need someone to show them the house, but inwardly I was devastated and I’ve not been able to talk about that incident with my daughter either.
To say the last 25 years have all been bad would certainly not be true – but I can’t honestly say it’s been a ‘marriage made in heaven’.
Neither would it be fair to lay the blame entirely at Bear’s door. I should have realised and accepted that he was jealous of my children and that he couldn’t be happy sharing my love.
He claims that he “still loves me as much as ever despite the fact that I’m not the girl I used to be” – and he wants to go away for a holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding.
Unfortuately I can’t summon up any enthusiasm .