10 Things I Learned From 16 Years of Marriage
Marta Kagan

I don’t know if it would have helped, but it may have if I’d read something like this 36 years ago before I married. The marriage lasted 8 years, and in that time the woman I thought I loved actually turned from professing love to me to hating me. I’d never really known anyone to hate me before, and the reality of that was insurmountable to me. I’ve had many relationships since, but the common thread is always, always, that the woman tries to change me in some fundamental way or another. It’s not about doing the dishes, or sharing my feelings, although they always enter into it, it’s just that they never seemed able to accept my baggage, compromise, play, celebrate, dream, and admittedly, I have found myself unable to allow myself to be vulnerable. Thus, I’m 62, single, live alone and I’ve accepted this as my lot in life. I’m very much the person C.S. Lewis describes, and I concede my selfishness, but my endurance level for heartbreak has long been exceeded. For whatever reason, some of us just aren’t given the insight on how to relate, or we just aren’t fortunate enough to find the person with whom we can have a successful relationship.

Pieces like this tug at my heartstrings, because it makes me happy to read of how others are living, and navigating the ebb and flow of the currents of loving relationships, yet at the same time I become envious and regretful that I’ll never know that kind of connection and fulfillment.

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