Your divorce diploma is still fresh.
The anger and bitterness rip through you like a terrible case of food poisoning.
The last thing on your mind is getting married again.
A few years go by. You start to date. Maybe you're serious about someone. And maybe you're a little gun shy about tying the knot again. I get it. I've been there, too.
After the implosion of my first marriage, which I thought would last forever, I never in a million years imagined that I would ever get married again. If my 19-year marriage could end in massive failure, what chance did a second marriage have? Three years after my divorce I was perfectly happy being the yoga teaching, empty-nested, crazy dog lady.
Just as I was making plans to sell my house and move, I received an email from someone I hadn't heard from or seen in 25 years. He wrote that it had been a long time and that he'd love to see me. My first boyfriend from high school, a blast from my past... of course I wrote back and gave him my phone number.
He called the next night and we met for coffee at 9pm. We stayed up all night, traveling back and forth through time, remembering who broke up with whom. I fell crazy upside down in love all over again. He proposed two months later and we were married three months after that.
Nearly nine years ago, we joined our families together -- his four kids, my two kids (and my two dogs) -- and we embraced the extended families that accompany second marriages.
We came together not has broken halves looking for our other half but as two complete and whole people. Our marriage is stronger than either of our first marriages because we respect each other and see each other as individuals.
That night in the coffee shop nine years ago, my husband said to me, "You are the same bold and brazen girl I knew in high school." In that moment, I knew I never had to be anyone other than me with him.
There is truth and authenticity in my second marriage which was never in my first marriage. My husband and I can be raw and real and vulnerable without the fear that our marriage is in danger or that our vulnerability will be used against us when we least expect it.
A few nights ago, we opened up a bottle of wine. It's so easy to fall into conversation with my husband and talk about this and that. I watched as he poured me a glass of red warmth. A merlot with a hint of smoke. We listened to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.
"Did we ever go to a school dance together?" he asked. Maybe we did. I don't remember. Neither does he. He took my hand and led me around in a slow circle.
I remembered making out in the hallway in high school, my back up against the lockers, his body pressed hard into mine. My psychology teacher interrupted us and pulled me into his classroom, admonishing me, "Young ladies don't behave this way in public."
I remembered when I was 16 and my husband was 17. Damn he could make my toes curl. At 51, he still can.
Sometimes love has a way of sneaking in through the back door when you're busy making other plans. If you're still on the fence about giving marriage another shot, take your time and trust your gut.
I had no desire to get married again and then BAM, there I was in the middle of a park with over 100 people watching me say "I do" to the man who once was the boy I first fell in love with.
Writer. Sacred Bad-ass Warrior. Vanquisher of Fear. Slayer of Doubt. Peggy Nolan is an International Bestselling author of Inspiration for a Woman's Soul: Choosing Happiness.
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