Quote of the Day – Second Marriages

 

A second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience – Samuel Johnson

It is true — and not just for those whose first marriage ended in divorce. It is true because almost all marriages end badly. Remarrying having experienced a bad ending to a marriage really is the triumph of hope over experience.

Most people assume this aphorism only applies to bad marriages — those that end in divorce. Divorce is a bad ending to a marriage. It is an act of faith to think remarriage after divorce will turn out better than the first marriage. Sometimes it does, and a long and happy second marriage follows. On many other occasions? Nah.

But good marriages also, which almost always end badly, at least for one partner. Because one of the pair dies first. It does not matter how good the marriage was, to hold the hand of your beloved partner of many years as they slip away into death is a bad ending. To get a phone call or a knock at the door to have someone tell you your spouse is not returning alive may be an even worse ending. To watch a spouse die from violence is just as bad.

That is not to say marriage is bad. My marriage was very good, however badly it ended. Perhaps the pleasure I got from it made the end of it worse, holding my wife’s hand for the last time as she slipped away. I will always have a Janet-shaped hole in my heart. Despite that, if knowledge of that day had come to me before I proposed, I would still have married her.  The 40+ years that followed more than balanced the pain of our parting.

You enter a first marriage oblivious to its end, especially if you wed in your teens or early twenties. (She was 19; I was 21.) At that age the end of your marriage has no reality. It is not part of the happily ever after that lies ahead at that point. You realize there will be struggles and fights (if there is nothing in your marriage worth fighting over, your marriage is not worth much), but you know you will get through them. The hard times you endure together make the good times sweeter. Even if hard times outnumber the good, knowing you have a faithful partner who has your back make the hard times more endurable. You don’t understand how bad the end will be until it comes.

With a second marriage? You have experienced the end of a first marriage, possibly even (or especially even) great marriage.  You know it is going to end badly; if not for you, for your new spouse.  You know what you will go through if you lose another spouse. If you have an ounce of decency you know what your spouse will go through if you die first. Who could want that?  A second marriage is certainly a triumph of hope over experience.

It will be six years next Wednesday since I lost Janet. It still hurts and will always hurt. Despite that, I am willing to let hope triumph over experience.  At least for me, being single sucks. It is lonely. It is unfulfilling, especially living alone.

Have I found anyone? No. But I am looking. And realizing the rules have changed since I was last seeking a bride. And that I don’t understand them. But in the Pandora’s Box opened with my wife’s death, with one last thing finally emerging. Hope.

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  1. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Widows and widowers understand the stakes better than most and make good candidates for marriage each to the other. 

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Not much more to be said, really, other than people do hope.

    • #2
  3. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Marriage is a fine institution for those among the population requiring institutionalization.

    (married 39 years…I definitely required institutionalization)

    • #3
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter: Have I found anyone? No. But I am looking. And realizing the rules have changed since I was last seeking a bride. And that I don’t understand them.

    New rules mostly affect the young.  The rules have probably changed a lot less, perhaps not at all, for people in your age bracket.

    • #4
  5. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    It will be six years next Wednesday since I lost Janet. It still hurts and will always hurt. Despite that, I am willing to let hope triumph over experience.  At least for me, being single sucks. It is lonely. It is unfulfilling, especially living alone.

    Have I found anyone? No. But I am looking. And realizing the rules have changed since I was last seeking a bride. And that I don’t understand them. But in the Pandora’s Box opened with my wife’s death, with one last thing finally emerging. Hope.

    It’s been over two years since I lost my husband, my closest friend for over 35 years. I know what you’re going through…frankly, we have suffered a loss that only other widows and widowers can really know and understand. Hope? I’m happy for you that you have found it, though I don’t envy your having to navigate the world of dating. I can’t even entertain the idea – it seems so utterly foreign and off-putting. Maybe if I was younger I might feel differently, but at 61 the idea of looking for someone just seems ghastly. I’d rather be alone. And to be precise, I miss Dave, very specifically – I don’t miss having someone around the house, or someone to share my life with – I miss him. And so I have no hope in that sense. But I am glad that you do!

    • #5
  6. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    My father-in-law has had the statistically improbable experience of burying two wives, each marriage lasting for decades. (I wrote about him here.) Each time he ended up caring for his wife through chronic illness, never once complaining; and each time he was with her at the end.

    At the viewing before my mother-in-law’s funeral, I witnessed a moment that I will never forget: he said “I want to give her one last kiss,” before leaning down over the open casket. One last kiss. Before that moment, I don’t think I had really directly considered the reality that someday I would kiss my wife for the last time.

    I don’t think my father-in-law was looking for anyone after his first wife died, but then there she was. And they went on to have a marriage that was just as happy for both of them as their firsts had been (she was widowed as well). Then he had to go through the same agony again.

    He’s now nearing 80, and once again I’m sure he isn’t looking. But he’s in good health and gregarious, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. And knowing him, I am sure he would opt for hope yet again, even though he knows better than most what that ultimately means.

    • #6
  7. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    A pithy quote and the wisdom that can only come from experience. True to form, this is @seawriter’s first Quote of the Day for 2024. Don’t let him intimidate you, though. Please sign up to contribute this month here

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    It’s been over two years since I lost my husband, my closest friend for over 35 years. I know what you’re going through…frankly, we have suffered a loss that only other widows and widowers can really know and understand. Hope? I’m happy for you that you have found it, though I don’t envy your having to navigate the world of dating. I can’t even entertain the idea – it seems so utterly foreign and off-putting. Maybe if I was younger I might feel differently, but at 61 the idea of looking for someone just seems ghastly. I’d rather be alone. And to be precise, I miss Dave, very specifically – I don’t miss having someone around the house, or someone to share my life with – I miss him. And so I have no hope in that sense. But I am glad that you do!

    I agree that only someone who has lost a spouse understands how wrenching the experience is. When my father died (after my wife did), I understood what my mom was going through better than my brothers. Not that they were insensitive, just that they had not gone through it.

    And yes, I miss Janet specifically, just as you miss Dave. But like Dave, I know she is not coming back. While being without her is terrible, being without her and alone has become more terrible still, especially over the last year.

    Part of it is the loss of a sense of purpose.   Caring for her – healthy or ill – was my purpose after the kids had grown. That mission is over. So what do I do with the talents God lent me? I have reaped an abundant harvest over the years and disinclined to say to myself say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Relationships involve commitment and work. My children don’t need dad hovering over them, they have to find their own way. (Yes, I am available for consultation and as a backstop, but that’s hardly a full-time job.  Not with my boys or their families.)

    The decision is different for everyone. I respect that.

    If you think the idea of dating is daunting at 61? I am 68.

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    kedavis (View Comment):
    New rules mostly affect the young.  The rules have probably changed a lot less, perhaps not at all, for people in your age bracket.

    I wish. One example. In the 1970s no one thought twice about dating someone who worked at the same place they did. Yes, bosses dating subordinates was frowned on, but between peers, no one cared.  Today? Dating someone at your workplace can get you fired. 

    • #9
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    New rules mostly affect the young. The rules have probably changed a lot less, perhaps not at all, for people in your age bracket.

    I wish. One example. In the 1970s no one thought twice about dating someone who worked at the same place they did. Yes, bosses dating subordinates was frowned on, but between peers, no one cared. Today? Dating someone at your workplace can get you fired.

    But as I said, that’s not your age bracket.  Is that really still a concern for you, at 68?  Do you have your eye on some 66-year-old hottie at the office?  Even if you do, do you think management would be that concerned about it in your case?  And of course there’s always the option to officially retire first, or something.  20-somethings can’t do that.  But you – and/or she – could.

    • #10
  11. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    kedavis (View Comment):
    But as I said, that’s not your age bracket.  Is that really still a concern for you, at 68?  Do you have your eye on some 66-year-old hottie at the office?  Even if you do, do you think management would be that concerned about it in your case?  And of course there’s always the option to officially retire first, or something.  20-somethings can’t do that.  But you – and/or she – could.

    I am still working full time in an engineering office and plan to continue working full time as long as my health holds out. At least five more years. So, yes. it is a concern. Especially since like my job and want to keep it. Would management be concerned about it?  Of course they would. I work for a federal contractor and work at a government worksite. They live for stuff like that. 

    • #11
  12. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    It’s been over two years since I lost my husband, my closest friend for over 35 years. I know what you’re going through…frankly, we have suffered a loss that only other widows and widowers can really know and understand. Hope? I’m happy for you that you have found it, though I don’t envy your having to navigate the world of dating. I can’t even entertain the idea – it seems so utterly foreign and off-putting. Maybe if I was younger I might feel differently, but at 61 the idea of looking for someone just seems ghastly. I’d rather be alone. And to be precise, I miss Dave, very specifically – I don’t miss having someone around the house, or someone to share my life with – I miss him. And so I have no hope in that sense. But I am glad that you do!

    I agree that only someone who has lost a spouse understands how wrenching the experience is. When my father dies (after my wife did), I understood what my mom was going through better than my brothers. Not that they were insensitive, just that they had not gone through it.

    And yes, I miss Janet specifically, just as you miss Dave. But like Dave, I know she is not coming back. While being without her is terrible, being without her and alone has become more terrible still, especially over the last year.

    Part of it is the loss of a sense of purpose. Caring for her – healthy or ill – was my purpose after the kids had grown. That mission is over. So what do I do with the talents God lent me? I have reaped an abundant harvest over the years and disinclined to say to myself say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Relationships involve commitment and work. My children don’t need dad hovering over them, they have to find their own way. (Yes, I am available for consultation and as a backstop, but that’s hardly a full-time job. Not with my boys or their families.)

    The decision is different for everyone. I respect that.

    If you think the idea of dating is daunting at 61? I am 68.

    I know what you mean by losing the sense of purpose. In the last couple of years of Dave’s life, his health was the sun around which our lives orbited. Keeping him out of the hospital, and knowing when he needed to go into the hospital, gave me a sense of purpose and mission. Not that as an artist I didn’t have that before – I did and still do, to some degree – but not to that overwhelming, all-encompassing level. And I did my mission well – my husband’s brilliant cardiologist told me recently (Dave had been under his care for over 10 years, and he became a friend) that he had never known anyone (well, who wasn’t a doctor) be so effective at managing health at that advanced level of heart failure. That was high praise indeed coming from him.

    How long did it take you to get to the point where dating seemed like something worth doing?

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    But as I said, that’s not your age bracket. Is that really still a concern for you, at 68? Do you have your eye on some 66-year-old hottie at the office? Even if you do, do you think management would be that concerned about it in your case? And of course there’s always the option to officially retire first, or something. 20-somethings can’t do that. But you – and/or she – could.

    I am still working full time in an engineering office and plan to continue working full time as long as my health holds out. At least five more years. So, yes. it is a concern. Especially since like my job and want to keep it. Would management be concerned about it? Of course they would. I work for a federal contractor and work at a government worksite. They live for stuff like that.

    Well, I still doubt it’s a serious issue for you.  That it could be a theoretical concern, doesn’t mean it’s of any actual concern.  Unless, as I said, there’s a 66-year-old hottie there that you’re interested in.  Which seems pretty unlikely.

    • #13
  14. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    How long did it take you to get to the point where dating seemed like something worth doing?

    A little over two years. That was 2020 and then the lockdowns came. So that put things on hold really until 2023. The biggest part of the problem is I am an introvert by nature. Don’t do many parties, don’t go clubbing. Never did. Jan was a friend’s kid sister. Met her when we were both in high school. 

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Well, I still doubt it’s a serious issue for you.

    Insensitivity, thy name is Davis.

    First, how do you know that Seawriter doesn’t have his eye on a forty-eight-year-old hottie? Would she have to be no more than two years younger?

    Second, oh, never mind. I’m wasting characters and electrons trying to make you open your eyes.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Well, I still doubt it’s a serious issue for you.

    Insensitivity, thy name is Davis.

    First, how do you know that Seawriter doesn’t have his eye on a forty-eight-year-old hottie? Would she have to be no more than two years younger?

    Second, oh, never mind. I’m wasting characters and electrons trying to make you open your eyes.

    I was paying closer attention to what he wrote than you did, I guess.  Such that I figured he wouldn’t want to set up a situation where his eventual passing would cause such pain to someone so much younger than himself and thus much more likely to outlive him.

    So who’s insensitive now, eh?

    • #16
  17. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was paying closer attention to what he wrote than you did, I guess.  Such that I figured he wouldn’t want to set up a situation where his eventual passing would cause such pain to someone so much younger than himself and thus much more likely to outlive him.

    Well, someone dies first regardless. So, no.  That’s not a consideration. From a financial standpoint, it is better if I do. She gets the pension that was set up 100% spouse survivorship. Plus, some other financial considerations that would ensure no future spouse is left unprovided for.  I don’t plan on leaving my widow destitute or stuck with debts incurred through me..

    So who’s insensitive now, eh?

    Well, not ‘Hant.  I can think of a few other candidates on this thread.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was paying closer attention to what he wrote than you did, I guess. Such that I figured he wouldn’t want to set up a situation where his eventual passing would cause such pain to someone so much younger than himself and thus much more likely to outlive him.

    Well, someone dies first regardless. So, no. That’s not a consideration. From a financial standpoint, it is better if I do. She gets the pension that was set up 100% spouse survivorship. Plus, some other financial considerations that would ensure no future spouse is left unprovided for. I don’t plan on leaving my widow destitute or stuck with debts incurred through me..

    So who’s insensitive now, eh?

    Well, not ‘Hant. I can think of a few other candidates on this thread.

    There are more implications therein which could be explored, but I won’t be the one to do it.

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    So who’s insensitive now, eh?

    Still you. You might quit digging. Despite what folks say, it won’t get you to China. Looking at my globe, I suspect you’ll come out in the Indian Ocean.

    • #19
  20. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    How long did it take you to get to the point where dating seemed like something worth doing?

    A little over two years. That was 2020 and then the lockdowns came. So that put things on hold really until 2023. The biggest part of the problem is I am an introvert by nature. Don’t do many parties, don’t go clubbing. Never did. Jan was a friend’s kid sister. Met her when we were both in high school.

    Maybe I will feel differently about dating given more time, but I doubt it, because then I will face the same problems you’re describing. I’m not a partier. I don’t go clubbing (I’m not even sure what it is – I presume it means going to bars?). I met my husband through aviation and sailing, not through more common methods. The thought of it fills me with dread. I just can’t imagine what dating even looks like at my age. Are you trying internet dating services? If that is too personal a question to answer, I understand. I’m just trying to understand the landscape you are navigating.

    • #20
  21. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    There is a lot of bias in the question of whether second marriages work out.  
    On the one hand, someone who made a youthful mistake might understand better how to make a wiser choice.  On the other hand a rotten person will still be a rotten person and is very likely to have another failure. 

    Relationships are all unique.  Statistics can help us understand macro behavior, but can never predict with certainty each individual relationship. There are exceptions to every rule and in such an individual matter everyone bets that they will be the exception.  

    That bias also works in the other direction.  Someone with the temperament to have a good, long term relationship is more likely to have another. 

    Just this evening a friend of mine made critical comments about a mutual friend who hasn’t married his girlfriend and they are on child number two.  I had to caution him that we don’t know why they aren’t married.  Marriage, and all relationships, are a dance.  You cannot control the other dancer.  

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    silversingles.com

    ourtime.com

    just for two examples off the top of my head.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    So who’s insensitive now, eh?

    Still you. You might quit digging. Despite what folks say, it won’t get you to China. Looking at my globe, I suspect you’ll come out in the Indian Ocean.

    Nah, already refuted.  As I’ve seen some others use on this site, “try again.”  But you really shouldn’t bother.

    • #23
  24. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I don’t go clubbing (I’m not even sure what it is – I presume it means going to bars?).

    Going to nightclubs and bars. I was never into that.

    I met my husband through aviation and sailing, not through more common methods.

    I met my wife through wargaming when we were both in high school. The other guys in the wargames club were horrified that our domain was invaded by a girl. I on the other hand saw an opportunity. She also helped me a lot with my model ships. She was a quilter and there are similarities between rigging a model sailing ship and quilting. (Guys who are into model sailing ships can do far worse than marrying a quilter.

    I just can’t imagine what dating even looks like at my age.

    For me, ask a likely woman out to a restaurant. Listen to her. Listen a lot. Speak only when the conversation drags. (I am good at open-ended questions.) Decide if she is interesting enough to invite out a second time.  If she is expand things.  Do things like go to plays, maybe go down to Galveston for things like Dickens on the Strand or the Elissa. Even go to the air show. 

    Are you trying internet dating services? If that is too personal a question to answer, I understand. I’m just trying to understand the landscape.

    Internet dating services?  Shudder. No. I am not to everyone’s interest, and I doubt Internet dating services will yield many women who share my interests.

    Mostly I interact with women I meet at church or library meetings. (I am active at my local library.) Or  at various county Republican Party activities. I give talks about my books. (Or did before COVID shut everything down.) If an unattached woman shows interest in what I have written about at a talk, I sometimes ask them out.  But that happens only very occasionally. 

    Back in the day you could ask someone at work out.  Not so much today. Too much chance of courting trouble. After you leave a company, which I did a lot as a contractor, yes. But now I am a salaried employee on a contract that will run another five years, rather than a contractor working 3-6 month gigs.

     

    • #24
  25. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    For me, ask a likely woman out to a restaurant. Listen to her. Listen a lot. Speak only when the conversation drags. (I am good at open-ended questions.) Decide if she is interesting enough to invite out a second time.

    Such advice is very dependent on each person’s personality.  I find that advice given in such matters is rarely helpful.

     

    edit:  For instance, why would I want a woman to sew the sails on my model?  It’s my model.  Don’t touch my model.  We can do other things together, but some things I like to do on my own.

    On the other hand, my ship models had rigging but no sails.   :)

    • #25
  26. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Skyler (View Comment):

    edit:  For instance, why would I want a woman to sew the sails on my model?  It’s my model.  Don’t touch my model.  We can do other things together, but some things I like to do on my own.

    On the other hand, my ship models had rigging but no sails.   :)

    She didn’t make the sails for my models. She never touched my models. She gave me first-rate advice on how to get effects I wanted (such as how to get a jib sail to billow out use fabric stiffener on the the sheets – which are lines, not pieces of cloth), and told me about tools (needle threaders, crochet hooks, etc.) that made rigging a model easier.  She also told me how to make the four-ply line used in shrouds. The only line I could buy commercially was three-ply, which wasn’t accurate. She also came up with a great way to shape the sails. A lot of her advice ended up in articles I wrote for “Ships-in-Scale” and “Model Shipbuilder” magazines.

    • #26
  27. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    edit: For instance, why would I want a woman to sew the sails on my model? It’s my model. Don’t touch my model. We can do other things together, but some things I like to do on my own.

    On the other hand, my ship models had rigging but no sails. :)

    She didn’t make the sails for my models. She never touched my models. She gave me first-rate advice on how to get effects I wanted (such as how to get a jib sail to billow out use fabric stiffener on the the sheets – which are lines, not pieces of cloth), and told me about tools (needle threaders, crochet hooks, etc.) that made rigging a model easier. She also told me how to make the four-ply line used in shrouds. The only line I could buy commercially was three-ply, which wasn’t accurate. She also came up with a great way to shape the sails. A lot of her advice ended up in articles I wrote for “Ships-in-Scale” and “Model Shipbuilder” magazines.

    I just meant different ways for different folks.  

    I used to love model ships.  Someday again, I hope.  There is a lot more and better knowledge out there on the internet.  Before you had to hope to find a book in a catalog and then hope it would be helpful.  Sometimes they were poorly written, and sometimes it was just hard for a novice to grasp.  It was very frustrating.

    • #27
  28. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I used to love model ships.  Someday again, I hope.  There is a lot more and better knowledge out there on the internet.  Before you had to hope to find a book in a catalog and then hope it would be helpful.  Sometimes they were poorly written, and sometimes it was just hard for a novice to grasp.  It was very frustrating.

    I wrote a lot of articles on shipmodeling techniques for beginners back in the 1990s. That was when I was starting out. 

    • #28
  29. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I used to love model ships. Someday again, I hope. There is a lot more and better knowledge out there on the internet. Before you had to hope to find a book in a catalog and then hope it would be helpful. Sometimes they were poorly written, and sometimes it was just hard for a novice to grasp. It was very frustrating.

    I wrote a lot of articles on shipmodeling techniques for beginners back in the 1990s. That was when I was starting out.

    Yeah, I was referring to the 70’s.  :)  I was fairly young.  I didn’t know anything, but I tried hard!  

    • #29
  30. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    It will be six years next Wednesday since I lost Janet. It still hurts and will always hurt. Despite that, I am willing to let hope triumph over experience. At least for me, being single sucks. It is lonely. It is unfulfilling, especially living alone.

    Have I found anyone? No. But I am looking. And realizing the rules have changed since I was last seeking a bride. And that I don’t understand them. But in the Pandora’s Box opened with my wife’s death, with one last thing finally emerging. Hope.

    It’s been over two years since I lost my husband, my closest friend for over 35 years. I know what you’re going through…frankly, we have suffered a loss that only other widows and widowers can really know and understand. Hope? I’m happy for you that you have found it, though I don’t envy your having to navigate the world of dating. I can’t even entertain the idea – it seems so utterly foreign and off-putting. Maybe if I was younger I might feel differently, but at 61 the idea of looking for someone just seems ghastly. I’d rather be alone. And to be precise, I miss Dave, very specifically – I don’t miss having someone around the house, or someone to share my life with – I miss him. And so I have no hope in that sense. But I am glad that you do!

    I remarried about ten years after my beloved first husband died, Seawriter. Marriage is a good thing. Family is a good thing. And, let’s face it, I’m not really competent enough to live alone. If/when anything happens to my now-husband, I’ll have to go into a nursing home.

    Having said that, if/when anything should happen to my now-husband, I might go with PainterJean and avoid doing this one mo’ time. It’s not so much the husband—I love, admire and value my husband very much—it’s all the other relatives. I’ve got two complete sets of in-laws, step children, their spouses and my darling step-grandchildren: Heck, I’ve got an ex-wife-in-law in my life, her parents and siblings and their kids, and now her new  husband (who is lovely). Don’t get me wrong: I love all of these people, but my Christmas list is getting really long and I’m not sure there’s room in my now-crowded hard-drive for family #3. 

    Though of course, you never know. 

     

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