This week our subject is love the second time around. I suspect that when most people look at that phrase, they think of a new partner for that second time around. There are other options, though. In a long term relationship, the individuals inevitably change and at one point or another they grow apart. That is life.
If they want to salvage that relationship, they will make an effort to find something that will pull them back together again. If married, they start with an advantage right from the beginning. Marriage isn't nearly as easy to walk away from as a less formal relationship. There are joint bank accounts and joint ownership in cars, homes, apartment leases--and that doesn't even address the question of children and pets. So marriage acts like a temporary band aid, holding the relationship together until the couple can work on that second time around.
The house hunk and I have put in our forty years. In that time, we've had a second time around and a third time around and... That's pretty much how most marriages work. Somewhere around the twenty-five to thirty year mark the children start to leave home. Empty nesters look at each other and suddenly discover they don't have a clue about the stranger they're living with.
They have two options. They can continue to drift apart. Or they can start doing things together until they discover a new love and commitment. No, it's not the same as when they first married. The out of control passion isn't there so much, but there's a stronger sense of togetherness and the comfort that comes from a partner that sees you with all the warts and blemishes and love handles and still believes that you're desirable. This new love is confident enough to try new things and adventurous enough to enjoy the offbeat.
What if? What if instead of discarding the old, more of us reinvented it? What if we worked to make a new exciting second time around?