What Every Divorcee Needs to Know About Getting Remarried

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I’m getting re-married in four days. My fiancé, Frank, picked up our marriage license and when I came home and opened up the envelope, what do I see glaring at me?  My ex-husband’s name.

Yep. You can’t even escape your divorce when you’re trying to get remarried! It sucks. Seriously.

Even though I had to bring my divorce papers when we applied for our marriage license, I just figured it was to legally note that I was previously married. I didn’t expect it to be stated on my new marriage license. Really, why is it necessary?!  To rub it in my fiancé’s face just one more time that he is not my first husband?  To say, “Joelle, I hope you are taking marriage seriously this time around,” as if I didn’t in the first place? Well, guess what, annoying legal system? Frank may not have been my first husband but he is my last!

On another ex-husband note, I saw him today. Thank heavens he didn’t see me. We have not crossed paths in a very long time, but I always fear I’m going to run into him when I go to one town where he always hangs out. I was in that town today, ironically getting my wedding hair cut at the salon where he used to work, when I noticed his car pulling down the street on which I was driving. It’s easy to recognize his old beat up car, but yet I prayed it wasn’t him. It was. And as luck would have it OUR CARS WERE STOPPED AT THE LIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER!! I was seriously dying. Thankfully, I decided to wear contacts today and therefore had on sunglasses while driving. And I have a new car, so he really would not have recognized my vehicle.

I blame it all on the Monster Moon. It’s been causing me a ton of stress this last week before my wedding, from getting a swollen eye (yep, fun times right now!) to the salon messing up my appointment and not having me booked for color services.  But I’m remaining calm and focusing on the big picture: walking down the aisle to my happily even after.

 

I’m Getting Married Again! Here’s How I Know I’m Not Making a Mistake This Time

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I’m getting married next week! It’s surreal. When you get divorced in your twenties, you can’t help but wonder when you’re going to fall in love again and get re-married. I surely had those thoughts when I left my ex-husband in 2009. And here I am, living the moments I anticipated.  A few people have asked me if I feel different this time around.

I do.

While planning my first wedding, I became obsessed with the details. I was so into the event that I lost sight of the relationship. I knew things weren’t good but I blamed it on wedding-related stress and figured once we were married, things would change.

Of course, they didn’t and six months into the marriage my diamond went from my finger to the jewelry box. We decided to “separate” but were still living together in a small condo. Awkward! Eventually, we patched things up and were so committed to making our marriage work that for our one-year anniversary, I suggested we get matching “XO” tattoos. What better way to initiate my husband into tattooed society then to get tattoos on our opposite wrists-in his handwriting- so we could hold hands and show the world we were a pair?

Barf.

I seriously stressed out over my “XO” tattoo while planning my second wedding. I don’t want it seen in pictures. I don’t want any presence of my ex-husband while I’m posing for pictures with my new one! I don’t need a flashing reminder that I ruined my bridal experience by getting married to the wrong person. It’s a nagging memento that I have to live with since I don’t want to suffer through the laser removal process and have decided not to cover it up with a larger piece on that area of my body. So I bought a ton of bracelets. I’m on the fence about wearing them because I feel a bit like Madonna circa 1980, so we’ll see how I feel that morning.

My feelings on marriage this time around, however, are certain.  I know I’m marrying the right man: someone who will take care of me in good times and bad, who supports my dreams and goals and is motivated in his own life, and someone who can’t wait to start a family with me and met all the requirements on my dating checklist. This time, I’m not taking on the last name of a man who I have to write his own vows for, or who I have to con into wanting kids, beg to help me take care of my dogs, or leave on a honeymoon with knowing he just quit his job and his car broke down. Been there, done that, blowing misery to the wind.

Sometimes I need to remember that this is my fiancé’s first wedding, though.  I hate public attention, so walking down the aisle is enough to give me anxiety. I have refused doing a formal bridal party introduction or customary first dance. I think they’re stupid. I hate dancing. It makes me motion sick. Seriously. All that rocking back and forth and getting nowhere: What’s the point?

For his grandparents, my fiancé told me. They want to see him dance with his bride. Ah, way to put the pressure on me!

Compromise, I know. It’s the key to a successful relationship.  It’s his first marriage. He shouldn’t be robbed of experiences important to him just because I’m jaded on the whole thing. But I also don’t want to be dreading something on what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life.

This time around, the wedding isn’t just about me putting on an event that leaves people talking for days. It’s about my fiancé and I showing that we overcame all the obstacles in our life and made this day happen on our own, as a team. And to celebrate that with our loved ones. It’s for us to show each other that we’re in this together. We’re here for each other. And when I feel like our world gets too crazy with wedding and house-realted things, I make sure to reel us back in and focus on our relationship and the whole reason all of this is happening: because we love each other and want to grow together. Not because one of us is pressing the other to move forward, like in my past.

This time, I’m not trying on my wedding dress, looking into the mirror and telling myself, “This won’t be my only marriage.”

That’s how I know things will be OK this time.

Lessons Learned Post-Divorce in your 20s

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Divorceism: Hello, Voice Mail

Things you wish you could say to your ex-husband

…but show restraint, ladies!