Guest Contributor Ms W: Second Time Around?

Friday. 5.30pm. Time was of the essence. He had a plane to catch, I’d been stuck in traffic. There was only time to grab the cases, snatch a hug and a kiss goodbye before the dash to the airport. 5.32pm. The hug lasts thirty seconds too long, yet he doesn’t seem as anxious as I. He holds me and as we peel ourselves off each other, he asks, “Will you marry me?” Time stops…

Having dated L for almost a year and a half, the question of marriage is not new. Without wanting to boast, he’s been proposing for a good six months now and up until last Friday, my answer has been a categorical ‘No! Never! Not if my life depended on it, no!”

Don’t get me wrong, I was the once-upon-a-time girl who dreamed of fairytale weddings and a happy ever after marriage. Growing up, I was more interested in acquiring the skills to be a good Housewife rather than a good professional. In fact, aged 14 I proudly announced to my feminist girlfriend, Liz that I was going to make housewifery my profession, much to her disgust.  Yep, I knew that marriage and parenthood was a full time job, but I was ready for it, and longed for it too. So, in 1999 after four years of dating my super laidback, loving man, we tied the knot.  We were made for each other. Life was good. The babies soon appeared, but distressingly so did the cracks in my picture-perfect marriage. How the marriage I so longed for and worked so hard at came crumbling down around my ears, is quite frankly too traumatic to relay here. In 2008 after nine years of marriage, thirteen long years of togetherness, my life as I knew it ended. I was distraught. Inconsolable. Yes, I had two beautiful kids, yes, I had a career and could fend for myself, but what I held dear to me most, was lost…yet I couldn’t quite remember ever misplacing him. Since my ex’s departure, I’ve plunged myself into a journey of self-discovery. It’s been brutal to say the least and I’ve mostly been subjected to involuntary self analysis of the worst kind. When a long-term relationship ends, you become vulnerable, insecure of your worth and you feel utterly rejected. “ So that was that”, I decided in month five of my new life as a soon-to-be divorcee.  Marriage was not all it was cracked up to be, there were no guarantees and the searing pain caused by a break-up meant I was NEVER, EVER going to walk down the aisle again.

Now, I’d like to say that my mind changed after I met my new man, L. But it didn’t.  The memories of my break-up and the heartbreak was still too raw and real for me. But then a strange occurance took place. L announced he was leaving Ghana. To my surprise I blubbed. I cried out loud as if a dagger had been driven into my heart. The tears fell, causing a little puddle to form in my lap. And all in front of him. This gust of emotion was, to say the least a surprise to him. But little did he know, that it was a shock to me! That was six months ago. He’s since relocated and our attempt to keep the relationship going is working.  Our relationship has deepened and it’s made us both confront a new reality – that life is sometimes a little too short to stop believing in love.

When we first met, I was not keen on embarking on a new relationship. I’d assigned myself to a nun-like existence, believing that I’d had my one shot at love and had blown it. Then one night, L told me that ‘No man is an island, we all need someone’.  I didn’t get the message then, even when he thrust a copy of his favourite book, ‘No Man Is An Island’ by Thomas Merton into my hands. But a year and a half on, I understand it now. The greatest gift we can give anyone is love and the greatest gift we can receive from someone is love, in whichever way it comes. One lesson that’s struck me since the fall of my marriage is that I love to love, I’m capable of loving and being loved. But you can not love, when you allow fear to dominate you, to imprison your true self, disallowing vulnerability and all that comes with it.

I’ve been living in fear. Fear to let go and trust again; to enjoy love and what it means to be loved. And as I watch as L jets from one side of the world to my side just so we can lose ourselves in each other, I’ve challenged myself to reconsider his proposal.

That Fateful Friday as we stood by the door with our arms wrapped around each other, indulging in each other’s scent, I knew I was happy. This man loved me and I loved him. Nothing more, nothing less. So simple.

That’s when I knew that this time ‘Yes’ was the only answer to the question, “Will you marry me?”

There’s no guarantees of an ever-lasting happy marriage, my last happy marriage taught me that lesson.  But thankfully, I’ve also learnt a few other lessons along the way too. Including the lesson of hope and faith. I’ll take both in abundance as I prepare to journey through life with L.

3 comments On Guest Contributor Ms W: Second Time Around?

  • Thank you for sharing your story. This has given me hope. I too feel that I have blown my “one true shot at love” so hearing that you have met another wonderful person makes me feel that there could still be another person out there for me.

  • Awwww, such a sweet story. Much needed hope for the hurt and recovering among us. Good luck, and may God protect and keep your marriage.


  • Thanks guys for the encouragement, especially Nana who is the sole reason why I’m in this situation! Let’s see what lies ahead!

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.