40:20 Vision: One Woman on Marriage, Love…and Marriage


If you’re looking for a partner, what I tell my kids and what I would tell 20 somethings, is to make sure that you are connected in a real way to that person. Ultimately, it’s not all about goals and ambitions. It’s more about wanting to truly spend time with the person, to have a true, real connection to someone who’s valid. It’s not fake – it’s not superficial. And then I would say, it doesn’t mean that you have a soul mate. You need to be open to the idea that the person you’re currently in love with might be the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with.

I got married young by today’s standards… engaged when I was 23, married at 24, became a marketing director and had two kids before I was 30. I put myself through college and supported myself so I had this sense of being forty when I was twenty. The main thing I would say as now a 40-year-old is that I was incorrect. I was neither old enough to be making those decisions, wise enough or as mature as I thought.

However, I learned over the course of the last 20 years that you should have a fluid sense of your future instead of a concrete idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I imagined that I’d have a career, which I did. And then I would have kids, which I did. And I would find a person who shared the same ideals and goals that I did, which I did. It’s just that that person that I was then is not the person that I am now.

I had an unstable childhood so I craved stability. It’s interesting. I’ve been divorced and I remarried. My first husband says that he knew going into marriage that it was potentially trouble. I never had that feeling. I was one hundred percent sure I was making the right decision. Here’s the truth. I would say it was the right decision. That was how it was meant to happen. I have these 3 beautiful kid and I have two step kids and I have the happiest life.

On paper, at face value, my marriage looked perfect. But now I know you have to really listen to the person and that deep inside voice and not be afraid to do something against the grain.

I had this handsome, successful guy. He was presumably a devoted father and a good husband. He wasn’t cheating on me. He wasn’t drinking. He wasn’t gambling but I was miserable. We were completely disconnected. I had no real relationship with him at all. The only thing we shared was kids.

I thought I’m not going to spend the rest of my life like this. I’m just not. I spent a long time doing what I like to call “readjusting the picture”. I had to adjust the picture in my mind because everybody thinks when they get married that it’s forever.  During this 2 year period I thought about what it would look like to be happy and how that benefits the kids too. I eventually decided that I wasn’t going to live like that anymore. It’s not an easy thing to do. It is way better than just skating through but the reward for me was this amazing, satisfying, happy life.

Now I’m married to my best friend, which I never had before. The truth is I didn’t realize how relevant that is. Now that I think about it, you’re supposed to marry your best friend. I had no idea. I mean I’m attracted to this person. We have the same ideas. We wanted kids. I forgot the friendship part completely. It turns out to be the most important part. I had no idea.

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