On Sunday Abbie and I celebrated our 18th
anniversary. We decided our marriage is
now officially an adult. I don’t think
we get a third vote at the polls. Life has
been full of what feels like very adult tasks – raising a family, maintaining a
property, work responsibilities.
My parents treated us with a hotel stay in Yellow Springs
while they kept the girls. It was a
mini-retreat. Time was unhurried. Conversations were uninterrupted. We ate good food prepared and cleared by
someone else. The rain mostly held off
when we wanted to be outside.
We’ve been exploring the Enneagram off and on for the last
year or so. We both might fit best into Nine,
“The Peacemaker” type. The Enneagram
Institute says of double Nine couples: “They are easy going and do not let
the minor irritations of life or the relationship get to them easily.” It also says, “Double Nine couples can be so
bound to their desire for harmony that they find it difficult to raise
important issues to the other.”
Time together without the other responsibilities of life
proved good to take a deeper dive into where we’re at in our relationship and
the kind of partners we’d like to be for one another.
We remembered and researched a bit the line from
anthropologist Margaret Mead who believed everyone should have three marriages. The way she broke it down, the first marriage
is for leaving home, the second is for raising children, and the third for
companionship. She was literally married
three times, and considered each successful because they fulfilled these roles
in her life. Others have noted it’s
possible to have three marriages to the same person.
So, on a whim, we decided we are now going to start our
second marriage. It doesn’t quite break
down into Margaret Mead’s categories, but this marriage is an adult, so there’s
Marriage would be one thing if it were just a matter of
getting to know another person. But we
are also getting to know ourselves, a self that is developing and changing in
ways we can’t always anticipate. The
self which married the other self years ago – neither exist now. Neither does the first marriage. And that can be a good thing.