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NOT YOUR FIRST RELATIONSHIP? MINE EITHER…

A personal message from one of our founders.

Why should I be running an intimacy/relationship website? What could I possibly understand about relationship? I’ve asked myself those questions, and to be honest, so has my family. My response is simple. There are many people in the world who are just like me.

Here is a small part of my story. I’m in my fifties. I’ve had a good number of girlfriends since high school, and some of those were lengthy relationships. I’ve also had a reasonable number of marriages, and I now have three “ex-wives.” And it’s fair to point out that not one of my past relationships ended because one of us died.

I’m currently single and enjoying my choice to stay that way for now. However, it’s not that I want to be single forever; I don’t. But I also don’t want another ex-wife, or another ex-girlfriend. It dawned on me that I didn’t want to keep heading (or stumbling) down the same path with the same negative result. So I took a break from dating a while back and decided to keep the focus on me, my kids, life as a single person, and what all that looks like. I know that for me, it’s been a good move.

I should probably point out that even though my marriages didn’t end well, there were plenty of positive things during those years that I would never change. I have three amazing daughters who remind me every day that I’m worth having around. My married years have significantly contributed to who I am today, and those contributions will also influence what kind of a partner I will be in the future.

When a marriage ends, people get hurt. We often walk away feeling like a complete embarrassment as well as a failure, not to mention the added guilt and complications that we experience when kids are involved. But a co-worker said to me after my last divorce, “If you add up all the “good” years from your marriages, you still have more happy years than many people ever get.” Now I know that sounds funny, and I’m sure he was trying to help me feel better about myself, but in a way he was right. I didn’t appreciate what he said until months later, but it stuck with me and ended up giving me a reason to be encouraged. Any reason to be encouraged is definitely worthwhile.

When it comes to being married, I know a couple things. The first thing is, divorce sucks. Whether you’re the one wanting out of the marriage or the one trying to keep it together, it sucks either way. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and I didn’t like either side. Nobody is 100% responsible for the failure of a marriage. It’s a two way street for sure. Certainly at times one person will own a bigger percentage of the break-up than the other, but both are responsible and I’m not sure enough people recognize that. I own my part in every one of my past relationships. I’ve also learned that everybody has baggage. There’s just no getting around it. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, young or old, famous or on the street, the game of relationships is the same for all of us. I’ve given myself permission to put my baggage down. I still own it, but I’ve put it down. It’s time to take what I’ve learned in the past, break the pattern, and move on to a new path which, so far, for me, has been less traveled.

I’m not saying I’ll ever walk down the aisle again; odds are against it, but I do remember saying after my second divorce, “Never again”. Now, after five decades, I’m still learning things about relationship and intimacy. And I'm not giving up on the idea of finding a healthy, long lasting relationship. It’s still very possible. If you’re still reading this, I hope you don’t give up either. Give yourself the chance to stay encouraged. I believe ZARZAND can be a part of that. It’s one of our primary goals, to help all of us take another look at how we value and deal with intimacy in our lives. Some couples have it figured out. Some of us are figuring it out. Where you may be in the process doesn’t matter. Just keep processing.

Thanks for listening. I wish everyone luck in their own journey.
- Tom