Question: Dear Luise: I wonder if marriage is possible for the free spirit? I have been single for many years and instead of looking for “the” guy, I have been carefully protecting my independence and privacy. Well, guess who ran smack into “the” guy? Right! I’m a grandmother and a professional woman. I took raising my sons very seriously and unfortunately, I took being married a lot more seriously than my husband did. Now, I have what I thought was a full life…a good job, my own home, rental property and wonderful family and friends. I’m anguishing over what to do about my dream man. We get along so well. He’s solid and loyal along with being interesting and fun. I just went through cancer and he was there for me 24/7. He wants to move to another state. I won’t go because of my grandchildren, and he is willing to give that up for me. I am so afraid of commitment and the disillusionment it brought into my life when I smelled orange blossoms once before. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? Thanks, Jan
Answer: Dear Jan: Oh, poor you! I can hear women weeping for you far and wide! Seriously, though, I also know exactly what you are talking about. Been there…done that. And it worked because Val really is “the” guy and we hammered it all out before we married. I’m referring to the structure, of course…the adjustments just have to be gotten through.
When a friend of mine wanted to introduce me to Val, I refused. She was sure we were a match and that’s why I refused! I was delighting in my single life and wallowing in the joy of not having to negotiate my life with another person, usually to my regret. He didn’t want to meet me, either, because he had only been widowed for a year and wasn’t interested. We finally agreed to meet to shut our mutual friend up. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The magic ingredient for us was very open, forthright, mutual honesty. It still is. I told him that I wasn’t a clinger and didn’t want a Velcro relationship. I wanted total freedom to go on retreats monthly with my daughter or alone…I wanted my own room…I didn’t want to cook…and I didn’t want anyone with veto-power over me, financially. None of this made any sense to him. He’d been happily married to his childhood sweetheart for 59 years and they had always been two peas in a pod.
What did make sense to him was the wonderful connection we both felt and the fact that he felt adventurous enough to try something new. That was eighteen years ago. The plan was simple but/and executing it wasn’t always easy for either of us. We made it through the rough spots by communicating, struggling and caring. However, having to work at it has been behind us for a long time, now.
I believe that free spirits can and do create successful marriages. Furthermore, it sounds to me like you and your guy might be likely candidates. Blessings, Luise