Hot on the heels of my recent third divorce, I get asked this a lot: "Why do you keep getting married?"
My response is that just because you don't get something right the first time, it doesn't mean you should give up. It's like if you buy a dog, and the dog eventually dies, you think, "Well, I'll never buy another dog. They die." Not that spouses are like dogs. Unless, of course, they are, but that's the topic of next week's Dr Phil: "Is your man a dog?"
Some of my hipper Buddhist friends say in response to my admittedly disastrous romantic past, "Everything's impermanent," meaning, I assume, that these marriages were bound to end someday. Impermanence is often interpreted to mean that things end. I've had a lot of experience with things apparently ending, and I think that this is not true. Marriages may end, but the relationship doesn't. It changes. Sometimes even within a relationship, the changes can be radical. Sometimes these changes are survivable; sometimes not.
I've never been one to give up, on anything. Failure isn't an option. At age fifty I went back to college to finish a degree I left hanging thirty years ago, and begun seriously studying piano, the first music lessons of my life. I finished that degree, so now I have three college degrees, none of which are currently marketable but my head is full of all kinds of arcane knowledge.
Last semester my Italian teacher asked me if I was ever going to marry again. I answered, "Amo le donne," ('I love women,") and she laughed. "You will, then." And I might. I'm neither bitter nor disappointed. Furthermore, I'm in love. Like I said, amo le donne,
I so amo le donne very much.