TITLE: The Marriage That Almost Wasn't - April 7 2016
By Catherine Craig
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Chloe: “When I met Bruce in 1997, I was just entering the dating scene again. His sister introduced us and it didn’t seem wise to allow myself to become interested in him.
Besides, infidelity among other factors had derailed my two previous marriages – one that had endured for fifteen years and the other seven. I’d had it with men getting their way and resolved to make the rules, to take charge.
Now, if you knew me then, you may have had to hold back a smile at that bit of self-disclosure. I was ultra-conservative, shy, and unfamiliar with the dating scene after having been married most of my adult life.
However, in spite of my Susie-Home-Maker appearance, I had grit. It had taken strength to tenaciously live out the high ideals about matrimony deeply instilled in me by my parents.
Even writing this account years later, I can still recall standing at the altar as a sixteen-year-old bride. At that wedding ceremony paid for my in-laws, I’d smoothed my borrowed dress and swallowing my tears, I’d said, “I do,” but had wanted to run.
Stubborn and proud like my father, I’d not backed down from the deadlock he and I’d been in over dating my first boyfriend. At fifteen we’d run away and one year later, rather than having me “shack up” with him, Dad signed the papers sanctioning the ceremony.
What’s ironic is that I wasn’t pregnant. I was just stupid.
So as I said, I didn’t lack pluck. By 1996, as far as men in my life, I figured that after having been with someone for over two decades, it would be useless to avoid them altogether. But, I would do the rejecting, not the man.
Besides, it wasn’t like I was bored when Bruce came along. Single parenting and having enrolled in college to finish my degree kept me busy.
We’ll share more in the next chapters, but at the time Bruce and I were introduced, my life was full. Two guys I’d not met were in pursuit; one was writing and the other calling. I felt powerful and in control.
Bruce: “In November 1997, at my sister’s invitation this woman came to my house so I planned to enjoy her company. If I had thoughts leading me in any other direction, I shut them down.
Having recently just ended a recent relationship after having been divorced for three years, I wasn't willing to commit to another. As Chloe says, she didn’t want to date me and I had no plans that way either.”
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