“I got married when I was in college, at 23 years old. I remember as if it were yesterday that the day they asked me to marry me and I said yes, one of my friends asked me if I was sure of my decision. There was neither prejudice nor malice in his tone of voice and that is why I felt comfortable answering from the honesty. I was scared, but I also felt good. Not happy, not excited, but she thought that was what she had to do.
I remember her telling me: ‘We are young, why now? It could be later if they still feel like it. ‘ I didn’t know what else to say to him, because deep down, he was also right. Why had he said yes to shooting, without even finishing college. Had we been influenced by pressure from our conservative family members? What was the rush really? Did we want to have children? Did we feel that we had to do things in a certain way? I wanted to think that at that point I had left certain pressures behind and I was not ruling by the supposed to be, but there I was about to get married at 22 years old. Was it what you really wanted?
My friend was still there standing in front of me and when she saw me tormented by these fleeting thoughts -which all appeared at the same time and quickly took over my being-, she said in a hurry: ‘It does not matter friend, divorce exists anything’. I knew that his initial question had triggered this questioning in me, and that last answer was his way of making me feel like my decisions didn’t have to be forever. They did not, in his subtle words, be of such importance.
I lived my five years of marriage knowing that; that if tomorrow we wanted, there was the option of divorce. The contract, then, became less scary when I began to see it as an option, like many, that did not have to be eternal. But outside of that, the relationship, or at least seen from the outside, was taking place naturally. There was a lot of love, a lot of pampering, a lot of laughter and a lot of stimulation. We were in the same career, we had the same interests and certain established dynamics that we felt were our own. All factors that – I know now – have nothing to do with whether a marriage works or not.
Until one day I received a voicemail from a woman saying that she had to contact me immediately. I called back the number that left me with a wadding pain, because I sensed that something was wrong, and they answered me. I learned in a call of no more than seven minutes that my husband had had a parallel relationship with her for months, and that they got together every time I left the city to work.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. ‘Parallel relationship’, ‘together in your house’. All phrases that I never thought to hear in my marriage; From the beginning we said that if we felt the need to expand our interests or desires, we would tell each other. The possibility of talking to different formats was always there, we didn’t have to stick to the conventional format and we established that from the beginning. Why then had he felt the need to lie to me so much?
That continuous and constant lie was what finally caused that at 28 years old, I ended up divorcing the one who had been my partner since college. I had not turned 30 and had already married and divorced, a situation that none of my friends shared. There were those who were just embarking on more traditional paths, or those who had been closing very long university relationships, also those who wanted to be single for a while. But none had ever been through a divorce. And in that I felt alone.
Two years have passed since then and I feel that now I am living situations that I had never experienced before, with a certain ease that I sometimes mistakenly associate with a more youthful stage of life, such as adolescence. I go out, I meet people, I get nervous, I tap, I change my tap, I send messages and I get back, and I have a good time meeting myself in instances where I had never met before. Because when I was a teenager I played for a while, before I met who my husband was when I was 18 years old. But it is different to live it now, being more mature.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and I say to myself ‘what’s wrong with you? You were married ‘, as if that for some reason was a superior situation and the current one, a setback. After that unnecessary challenge, I feel tenderness towards myself, for having been so young and having signed such a big contract, that in a certain sense, although we don’t want to say it, it takes an eternity. And is that why marry if not? Nobody says it, but not many would sign it if they did not firmly believe in that project.
In short, in all this time I have questioned many notions of myself, of what I believed to be. I see that there are certain stigmas or decrees that it will cost me to eliminate, but I am working on them. I see myself in new situations and I like that, it amuses me, it excites me. Because with all that that may entail, it is a process of self-knowledge and that is always positive.
Sometimes, even though everyone tells me that there are no rules in this, I feel like I’m living my stages backwards. I already got married and divorced, and only now am I living what I did not experience before. My friends tell me that it is good that it is so, that there is no single way of leading life, and that certainly ages have nothing to do with it. I want to believe them and I believe them more and more ”.
Fiorella (30) is a dentist.
We want to say thanks to the author of this article for this outstanding content
I got divorced at 28: “I feel tender towards myself, having been so young and having signed such a big contract” – La Tercera