When GOM & I got married, 40 years ago, it was said it 'wouldnt last'. I was a girl 'from out of Town', not from the 'City', a 'country girl' from 'another Island'. There were 'cultural differences'. Our families were sooo different. He was used to going to Hotels, I had only lately discovered such 'delights'. He was 'older'- though not THAT much,- what is 7 years? He had been 'married before', he was 'divorced', he had a 6 year old daughter.... The list seemingly went on & on. Yes, they said it would never last, we were chalk & cheese, sport & non-sport, music & tone deaf. Even our accents were different!
But... Fools rush in, where Angels fear to tread.
We didnt want a 'wedding' in the usual sense, we just wanted to get quietly married,& that was frowned upon. We just had a 'civil ceremony'- read Registry Office! It suited us, & I have never, ever, regretted not having a 'REAL WEDDING.'
GOM's mother came up to 'my Island'. Startling my mother, who had never met a person quite like her. Startling me- I had never met anyone like her either. I had met her in 'his Island'- & didnt really feel any 'connection'.
We were married in 'my Island' -he was unhappy, so we moved to 'his Island'', as wives tend to be much more adapable- as all we 'girls' know!
My mother said, 'It won't last. Dont have any children. I wont want to see them. They will only look like him.'
My cousin, who overheard my mother, cried for me. But I knew my mother spoke from hurt. She didnt want me moving to the other Island, to be so far away. She didnt want to 'lose' me again.
But we went.
We had our children, we made our lives together, & eventually we worked together.
I think it took me 8 years to really feel I 'belonged' in the other Island. I used to think, when times got bad, as they are bound to do, from time to time, 'It doesnt matter, I can always go 'home'. Now, I think I miss that 'other Island more than I miss 'my Island'. We had wonderful times & made wonderful friends, & worked hard.
In the intervening years, my mother had fallen in love with our children, been to stay with us- often. She had love flying over the Alps, had loved the Southern city, where we lived, & had grown to like & respect the GOM. Who of course was Happy Young Publican Husband, in those days.
We also had very dark times. His eldest daughter, who lived with her mother, was killed in an accident, aged 16. It was the first time I met her mother. She had remarried, but had no other children. To be so devastated was unbearable for us...how could she stand it.
24 years ago, we moved over to live in Australia, another Island home, with our children. They had a hard time settling into school, felt very 'different'. But made friends met partners, & throughout the years my mother came to stay, & I went to stay with her on an average of once a year. We had trips back to 'his Island' his parents came over here to stay with us. My father died, I went back for his funeral- 'my' Island. His father died, we went back for the funeral-'his' Island. My mother died- 'my' Island. His mother, 'his' Island.
Our fortunes have had many highs & lows- we have weathered the storms, as well as the brights. We bought businesses here, some successful, some not. I had some very interesting jobs, & finally GOM became a publican again. More Hotel life, (shudder).
Then we moved, I retired. That was fine. We were happy.
BUT- he retired last year.
They said it wouldnt last. They might be right!