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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Zunter

I Knew My First Marriage Would Be A Mistake — But I Got Married Anyway

I knew it was wrong.

I knew it probably wouldn’t last.

I knew my first marriage was a mistake — but I got married anyway.

I was 24 when I married for the first time. I wasn’t so young that I couldn’t have known better, however, I still wasn’t old enough to understand that the choice I was making wasn’t wise.

Unfortunately, when we choose to be blinded by hasty desires in relationships we are often choosing to become fools rather willingly — and quite happily.

Moments of hesitation get washed away by the excitement of danger or emotional turbulence in relationships that take our breath away. You know the ones. The ones everyone tells us to avoid. The ones we know we should avoid. The ones we end up learning the most excruciating lessons from.

Alas, it is those sharp, cruel lessons that eventually end up jamming the most knowledge into our love-burned brains once all is over and done with.

Knowing you’re making a mistake when you’re making it and doing it anyway is a special kind of ignorance, right? In the case of my first marriage, I could tell you that I was stupid. I could tell you that I was careless. But the truth is that I was hopeful. I was auspicious. I truly wanted the best outcome.

The only problem was that during that period in my life I didn’t have enough life experience to understand what a ‘best outcome’ even looked like.

I jumped into my first marriage with two feet and an inspired heart. My friends and family looked on with much-warranted trepidation. But as I leaped giddily into that marriage, my heart was filled with the motivation to make things better. It’s both admirable and laughable to me now, of course, knowing how my first marriage went and ultimately ended.

The arrogance of a young mind in love to believe she could change the dark, violent patterns of behavior displayed by a person who was old enough to know better is both astonishing and bittersweet, looking back.

Alas, here we are decades later and I still marvel at the colossal chaos my first marriage created not only in my life but in the lives of those who loved me and cared about me. These are things we often don’t consider when we are young, impetuous, and desperately in love.

I look at my own children now and I wonder what kind of curveballs the universe is going to throw at me as a parent in regards to their relationship choices in the future. It boggles my mind to imagine that they could make the same kind of choices I did.

And I will have to stand by and watch them make these agonizing choices just like my own parents did. I can offer advice — YES. I can advise against certain decisions — YES. However, we all know about young hearts and what they want. I certainly know.

The best advice I could tell my own children is that if something feels like a mistake — you’ll know it. If you choose to ignore that feeling for whatever reason — whether it’s love, loyalty, or lust, be prepared to pay the price down the road.

The price of a mistake can be steep and sometimes we barely survive the consequences of that mistake to ever pay it.

We pay with tears. We pay with pain. We pay with humility.

And once we are humble enough to realize that everyone goes through these trials in life, the wiser we’ll become down the road when we feel like jumping into another choice that makes our hearts feel that same kind of passion that pushes us to say ‘YES’ when we should

probably say ‘NO’.

I own my mistake(s). I did what probably wasn’t best. But I’m damn pleased I’m still here to write about it.

More from Michelle: The Dirty Little Secret About Divorce

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