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Road in Autumn


6. A Second Marriage Begins and Ends

As soon as my children were raised—and perhaps a little too soon—I ventured to marry again.

I saw Sharon for the first time at the Bookstar Book Store in Memphis. She was reading, and I asked her, “Do you know where the books on cats are?”

Sharon and I lived in Birmingham for two years. Then we moved to Massachusetts. We came to each other in life’s second half, each of us widowed, each with families, each bringing the histories of our already long adulthoods.

There are good reasons to marry a second time: companionship, the future, affection.

There are also good reasons not to. It is difficult to “leave and cleave” for the second time.

The first time, one leaves the nest of origin and makes a nest for one’s own mate and children. But the second time, it is different and complicated.

The first time, one sets out to found one’s own little colony of spouse, children, friends, and work, to which one is intensely loyal. The second time, one has to manage one’s loyalties in a changed world, and often one faces decisions to which there seems no good solution.

It is no wonder that second marriages are at greater risk than first ones. We attempt things that cannot be done, and sometimes that ought not be done.

Sharon and I dissolved our marriage as peaceably and amicably as we could. She has remained in New England, married again, and her daughter and her daughter’s family have joined her here.


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    Copyright © 2002, 2007 by Stephen E. Broyles. All rights reserved.
    Created November 5, 2002. Last updated January 6, 2009.