If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with?


I am forever a love romantic, a fool for love. I crave the high of those early feelings. Neurologists and love doctors have summed it up this way:   Hormones oxytocin and vasopressin in the hypothalamic-pituitary endocrine pathway and the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine induce feelings of attachment, happiness, and pleasure.

My brain is out to get me. While I love falling in love, what happens AFTER the fall? What happens when the hormones and neurotransmitters stop shooting out those pleasurable impulses?

For me, there’s a crash landing.  I have to admit that I don’t know what love is anymore. I’ve heard the descriptions “soul mate,” and “the love of my life.” The problem is that I thought I’d found it in HIM…then it was HIM…and yet again HIM.

I’m in the process of divorcing for the FIFTH time. Yes, you heard it right. In fairness, I have married, divorced, remarried, and then re-divorced TWO men TWICE. If you’re confused, it means there were only THREE men altogether.

I thought Number Two husband, who was also Number Three husband, was my true “soul mate” and the “love of my life.” If you’ve read my memoir, you’ll see that he died after we’d been together on and off for almost thirty years.

After he died, I married, divorced and then remarried Number Four and Five. Our divorce will be final in September. I suspect that he was in the realm of today’s subject. If I couldn’t be with the ONE I truly loved, this guy would suffice. But WHY do I insist upon marrying them???

I give the excuse to my girlfriends that I fall for the marriage proposals every time. They are like the ones you see on The Bachelor, if you’re foolish enough to watch THAT idiotic TV show (I do!) That kind of show feeds into our foolish love notions that there is a prince out there ready to rescue the fair maiden. I suspect anyone reading this post got sucked into fairy tales just like I did.

The reality is far from a fairy tale. I’m nobody’s notion of a fair maiden, and he’s far from a prince. It’s more than his aggravating habit of leaving the toilet seat up. In my case, we had a huge argument about the date of expiration on a jar of tartar sauce. When he rejected my prooffered out of date tartar sauce, I felt like I had failed as a woman. Really.

Those role models run deep. Mom would NEVER have tried to feed Dad and us kids with OLD tartar sauce! Truth is that, yes, yes, she would have. And Dad would never have noticed nor commented on it. But MY huz did, and it felt like a stab to the heart.

What is behind that feeling? I felt criticized, less than, a failure. It wasn’t just a jar of expired tartar sauce. That is but one example of the type of thing that we argued about, again and again, in different versions of the same tune.

He seemed so “perfect” while the oxytocin, vasopressin, serotonin, and dopamine were flowing. Once his “representative” left the room, it was just the two of us–and the realization that we are two flawed human beings who are totally unsuited for each other.

I’ll let you digest this post for awhile and come back again to express more feelings. It’s another death, another loss, another fantasy wrecked on the shoreline of reality. And reality is a word that this recovering alkie hates to hear.





4 responses »

  1. Thank you sincerely, Kay. Believe it or not, just this past week, I had you on my mind. I hope you’re doing well and that you have continued doing your own writing. Perhaps one day I’ll take a shot at writing a novel. It looks like I’ll have much more time on my hands now that my marriage has ended.

  2. I’m glad that you’re writing again, Marilyn, and I hope that the process will help you get through this and find your way back to your gregarious, worthy self.

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