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Remarriage In Midlife: Why Bother?

01/03/2012 04:54 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2012

When people ask if I plan to marry again, I see an image of a broken-down boxer -- blood from the cut above his eye mixing with the sweat streaming down his face -- with a microphone shoved under his nose. "So will you go back in the ring?" the cub reporter asks.

"I'll never give up," the boxer promises. "I'll keep fighting until they put me in the ground."

After this scene flashes before my eyes, I take a deep breath and say, "No."

Friends find this answer difficult to believe. "You'll get over it," I've been told. "You just need to meet Mr. Right."

Don't get me wrong: I'd love to meet Mr. Right. I am hard-wired for a long-term, live-in relationship. In many ways, I am happier with a partner than without one.

I just don't see why I should remarry.

The most common argument I've heard for tying the knot later in life is that you can make decisions for your significant other if s/he is incapacitated. To me, that's like taking a job for the health benefits -- not a good enough reason.

When I was younger, I married for love -- I think. I'd been living with my boyfriend for years, so it seemed like a natural progression. Our college friends enjoyed the party, and my new husband and I loved each other as much as ever (which was a lot).

Then we grew into separate people with virtually nothing in common. Eventually, we went our separate ways.

It was definitely not a failure, as first marriages go. But I'm still not sure why we decided to make it legal in the first place.

My subsequent marriage involved children -- his, mine and ours. It felt real. Solid. Forever. We'd both gone through divorces, and part of our commitment was to stay together no matter what. "When we fight, we'll work it through," we promised. "Otherwise we'll sit across the breakfast table and hate each other for the rest of our lives."

Unfortunately, working things through turned out to be impossible, although we tried for many years. Hating each other across the breakfast table wasn't a good option, either.

Our divorce was long and messy, like going the full fifteen rounds in the ring. By the time it ended, I had lost faith in the possibility that love could enter my life again.

Recently, entirely on its own, that faith has returned. I feel renewed, expectant. I'm looking for someone, and I believe they're looking for me.

When we find each other, it's going to be magical. But chances are it's not going to be marriage.