How To Get Married 3 Times By The Age of 32 Without Really Trying

It takes being married three times by the age of 32 to cause one to have a little bit to say about love. I am often asked how I managed to marry three times in such a short amount of time. Never am I sure if I should be insulted, amused or annoyed by that question, but I usually find myself amused. My response sounds something like, "You got me. I don't know."  But I do. I just say that to fend off curious gossips who need something to talk about at Bunko night.  

Death and divorce have a tendency to raise the number of matrimonial experiences. By the time I turned 32 I had experienced both, and then managed a third marriage. I call him Texas because when you marry someone from Texas, you don't just marry someone from Texas. You marry Texas. Know what I mean?

But that's not why you're here. You want to know if there is a secret to how to get married three times by the age of 32 without really trying. 

There is. The secret is that you always, no matter what, need to have a certain kind of relationship to fall back on so that you are never alone.

It sounds worse than it really is.

You see, when I entered single-parenthood the first and second time I already had a great relationship with an amazing guy who loves me so deeply that I didn't really need another relationship to be happy.  Even though I have never seen Him in person I know He is there because I can feel it. Kind of like when you can feel that there is someone behind you or looking at you, even though you haven't confirmed it with your eyes. He and I became very close over the course of time. He was all I had to keep me strong. He didn't replace my late-husband or my ex-husband. He was always there through their storms of life to keep my head on straight.

He didn't mind that I loved him so much that I worshipped Him. In fact, I prayed to Him. He liked it because it helped Him to help me more than He could if we had an on-off relationship. He was always available when I needed Him, was never too busy to talk, to comfort, and to heal my heart. He was there for me when I cried out in agony over Mark, who died. He was there when my heart almost stopped upon the shock of learning I was not fully aware of the reality of my life and marriage with my ex-husband. He was there when I swore I would never marry again. He was there to let me know that He had other plans for me.

He told me that there would be a man with five children who was prepared and anxiously waiting for me to enter his life. He told me that this man would provide love and protection to me during difficult times, and help me to achieve my full potential. He even showed this man to me in a dream. He told me to open my heart sooner than later. I was not very pleased with that answer. 

A few days later He sent my then 10-year-old downstairs to chat with me and tell me that he felt I would meet a man with five children, the oldest being a boy. Have you ever had spiritual truths spoken by the mouths of babes? Kids are funny that way, these short, spiritual and wise old souls. My son said he felt God wanted me to open my heart up again to receive this kind of love for the family's sake. A second witness is like a swift kick in the pants and I jumped into action.

I prayed to have guidance so I wouldn't mess it up. According to my ex-husband I was really good at messing things up and I made the mistake of believing him. I had no confidence anymore. But He didn't agree. He showed me the way.

The way was an online, Christian dating site that I had never heard of. He whispered the name of the website to me. I heard it in my mind, looked it up and there it was. To this day I am amazed I was clear-headed enough to hear it.  I was very repelled by online dating. But He told me to do it, so I did because I trusted Him. Because I loved Him.

One week into my experience on the website He told me to go online and actually look at my potential prospects. He told me the man would be there. He said the man was tired and was about to give up looking. He told me how to find him in the sea of men. Most of the men in the profiles I saw looked desperate, or at least over-heated at the time of their profile photo shoot because they seemed to not want to wear shirts. 

And then I saw him. The man in my dream. He had his shirt on! In fact, none of his pictures showed anything below the neck! What's more, his profile sounded highly intelligent.  But I didn't contact him because I was too afraid. 

He came to me and comforted me. He told me what to say. 

A few days later I contacted the man from my dream. I said,"Thanks for keeping your shirt on."

I'm not crazy enough to say that line to Texas anymore, but at the time that was it. That's how I got married a third time. Apparently single people don't understand the power of that line. 

It probably didn't hurt that I had truly learned how to love someone after they were gone for the rest of mortality. Widowed hindsight showed me what I would do better if I could do it all over again. It probably helped that I had learned to love someone that didn't love me at all. In fact, I learned how to love someone who hated me. Happily I was the last one to know it. But my heart and conscience were clear because I had learned how to love through repeated, daily attempts at love without expecting something in return. It didn't matter how the other person felt about me. My mission was to love. I had put it all on the table for it to be accepted or rejected by the recipient. It is always a risk putting love and kindness out there to anyone, especially if you're not sure you will receive any in return. It is never easy.

Each time I truly fell in love it felt like it did when I was a freckled-face kid and I'd plug my nose and jump in the deep end even though I only knew how to doggie paddle. That's what committed love feels like -  doggie paddling for dear life to keep at least one nostril above water and two feet above the deep abyss of potential pain.

But I love it so much…I love Him so much…in fact, I felt His love so much, that I did it again and again. I knew that no matter what He would never let me sink. He would buoy me up.

The secret to getting married three times before the age of 32 without really trying is letting someone you want to love for the rest of forever see you smile, close your eyes, and jump in to the deep end of love with spiritually-guided, reckless abandon. Who wouldn't be attracted to that kind of desire to love? But you have to jump in not expecting him or her to save you from drowning. No, no, no. Doggie paddlers don't save other doggie paddlers, know what I mean? It's a codependent disaster in the making. You have to jump in knowing that He will keep you afloat…if you let Him. You don't have to really do anything. You have to be willing to do something kind of scary like love, forgive, and jump again.

He showed me how to give that to a man over and over. But I'm not perfect. I still fall short of giving the love I know I have to give. Texas knows the signs of struggle in my doggie paddling and I think it scares him because he's doggie paddling too, and knows he can't save me from myself and lack of sufficient skills to stay afloat.  It's freaky scary the whole time because we're these two little people in the deep end of life trying to figure out how to swim like the older people in the pool that have been there for a while. But he knows I don't need him to save me. He knows I need Him. 

And you do, too.

I don't really recommend getting married three times before the age of 32, and really encourage you to keep the love you have if you can. I didn't have a choice either time. I had to say goodbye twice. But the beautiful thing I like to hold on to is that I got to jump in the deep end three times. If one as weak and fallible as I am can survive, then so can you. God is that powerful. He's that involved in our lives. He fills in the spaces where we lack the strength to stay afloat.

If you have yet to give your love in a committed relationship, I invite you to jump in, my friend. The water's deep, but it's safe. You have the best Lifeguard one could ask for. 



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