My big brother called me two weeks ago to give me his very exciting news: he’s getting married! At this point, I should have squealed with excitement at these tidings. I should have blurted out “Congratulations!!!!” Instead, I replied, “Really? Oh, okay. When’s the big day?” I had a strange feeling of déjà vu; I was sure I had heard this somewhere before….
Oh wait a minute, I have been here before! I believe this is the fourth time I’ve heard him utter the “m” word. However, he has only been successful, a word I will use loosely, at completing the event twice…so far.
I have to face facts: My brother’s a serial marrier.
He and Wife#1 lived together for 5 years before they got married. The actual marriage lasted less than 12 months. She quite lost her temper and threw him out – literally, yes – when he arrived home at about 1:00 am from his girlfriend’s house one night.
Wife#2 is the mother of his child. Their lives were filled with so much secrecy that they didn’t even tell my mom and me that they were getting married even though they were already living together. They stayed married for about 10 years, in fact, with just a small matter of them living apart for about 8 of those years.
Potential Wife#3 was “The One.” While still legally married to Wife#2, I specifically remember him calling me at work, my then 42-year-old brother, to tell me he had found “The One.” I had asked him, “The One what?”
He replied, “The One. The woman (he) was going to spend the rest of (his) life with.”
I said, “I thought you had already found that person? What does that mean?”
He went on to gush about this woman he had been seeing for a few weeks. He was truly sounding like a teenager in love. I could not contain myself. I reminded him of the other times when he had found “The One” and asked him if he was losing his sanity. His response was to ask me why I had to keep bringing up the past. <sigh!>
About two weeks later, he called again, this time to say “The One” had been avoiding him. She wouldn’t answer her phone or reply to text messages. When he turned up at her place of business, she wouldn’t see him. He was utterly devastated. At that time, all I could do was lend a sisterly ear. I really felt bad for him, but inwardly I believed that maybe she thought he was rushing her into something she didn’t want.
Still married to Wife#2, he met his current fiancee. Within six months they were buying a house together. What?? She was still married to her husband, he was still married to his wife. I tried my best to talk him out of this arrangement, but love won out in the end. I’m all for falling in love, but when it comes to legal issues, like mortgages, I take a giant step back and put on my sensible hat.
They’ve had their issues and drama and her teenage daughter hates him. And having spent a day with them for the first time last July 4th, I must say that I felt a bit uncomfortable, as I kept wondering how long this relationship was going to last. But I put on my biggest smile and faked my way through the day.
I was quite surprised to get the phone call two weeks later bearing news of their upcoming nuptials. The words “I didn’t know you and J had already gotten a divorce” somehow managed to escape my lips before I knew it. He assured me that that was already final. I didn’t ask about the new bride.
Eventually it occurred to me that I should probably say something like “Congratulations” and so I did. I cannot help but feel that this marriage will go the way of the other two. I know my brother has never lived even one day on his own, like I have. He would always glide effortlessly from one relationship to another as long as I’ve known him.
Forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic about this latest joint venture. I wish them both the best of luck. Maybe this one will work out after all. Do I really believe that? Well, we shall see.