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  • Sarah Swindell

Love and Marriage, X 6



No, I was not trying to catch up to Elizabeth Taylor. I will say that for the one hundredth time, and probably hundreds more. I have heard it all about the fun fact that I have been married six times…five if you don’t count the one I married twice. Oh, and also one engagement I broke off in the mix. I bet that fella is glad he dodged that bullet!


It depends on what day it is, and if I am in a playful mood which usually is the case, on how I will respond when asked about my colorful love life. I find it easier to laugh or joke about myself and my past, rather than explain how or why I have said, “I Do” six times, all before the age of 49.


It may sound like I am proud of this fact, or I don’t take it very seriously, but that is far from how I really feel about this scarlet letter I have to carry around with me forever. I did it, and I have no one to blame but myself.


To be honest, I am embarrassed and ashamed about this part of who I am. You can’t hide it, lie about it, or pretend it never happened. It’s in public records, and is brought to light every time my credit is pulled for one reason or another. “Are all these people you?” I would be asked. My go to response, is to jokingly say I am in the witness protection program and have to change my name a lot. Much easier, and sadly, less embarrassing than the truth.


There is no question people were hurt. Most of all my own children and the children of the men I had married, as I unintentionally was selfishly thinking I was doing the right thing. Each and every time.


I know it may sound like a lame excuse, but with all of my heart, and all that I am, I went onto each relationship thinking, THIS is the one! I love him and he is perfect for me and my children. We will all be one, happily blended family that will go down in history as an example how this could really work…easy peasy!


Obviously, my happy little fantasy that we would be the next Brady Bunch, didn’t quite work out as I had imagined.


The truth is, I don’t think I was ever capable of loving anyone else the way I should have. Now that I am of sound, mind and body once again, I can see I was only putting band-aids on a much bigger problem that I was not even completely aware of. Yes, I did not like being alone in raising four children and dealing with autism by myself, but more than anything, I was still, and always would be, in love with Greg.


While I probably deserve to be cursed at, made fun of, and judged harshly, I wasn’t always the only one to blame for things falling apart. In the words of Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock, “It takes two to make a thing go right.” Sometimes, the same applies for when things go wrong.


I also never went into a marriage thinking, “Oh my gosh, it will be SO FUN to get divorced in a few months! I love losing thousands of dollars, being an embarrassment to my family, and hurting children, it will be AWESOME!”


Even though none of it was easy for me or the men involved, by far the most painful part was how it affected the children and families on both sides of the plate. For that, I will always carry a heavy guilt that I caused disrupt, confusion and pain in their lives. I am so very sorry for my part in all of that. Because of that reason, I will not share much, if any, details about those relationships in my book to respect those families.


On the bright side, the marriage train has finally come to a complete stop at the station. After a long, bumpy ride, I am right back where I was always meant to be.



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