The Macys

Diane Macy doesn't feel as if she is married for the second time. "It's like it's my only marriage," she says. Jonathan Macy, her husband of nearly three years, agrees.

"My first marriage was terribly unexamined," he says. "I never realized I could have the kind of closeness I have with Diane."

Mrs. Macy was divorced in 1973 after 13 years of marriage and three children. Mr. Macy, who has two children, was divorced the same year after being married for about the same length of time.

The affable computer program analyst says he was "just getting back on my feet" when he met Diane in 1976. She had started dating after her divorce, but she wasn't looking for marriage when she met him.

"I was not receptive to anything permanent," says Mrs. Macy. "He had to be persistent."

Mr. Macy, on the other hand, says he "kind of fell -- rather rapidly." He wanted to marry right away, but Mrs. Macy was not ready to rush into anything. They set a wedding date a year away.

"We were not fighting, we were thriving," says Mrs. Macy. "It felt good. Troubles came along and they were handled."

Today the Macy household in Cambridge is a come-and-go collective of five children, a dog, and a cat. Joshua Macy, who'll be 16 soon, and his brother, David, who'll turn 15 in March, visit their father and stepmother on Wednesdays and Sundays. Mrs. Macy's children, Alex, 15, Randy, 10, and Beth, 8, call it home base, although they visit their father one day a week.

Diane Macy laughs as she explains that she met husband Jonathan in a private club, despite warnings that the only place to meet men was through family and friends. She didn't want to wait around for that to happen.

"The best friends I have are ones I have met by myself," she says.

She says that she didn't fall in love with her husband-to-be right away. As they got to know each other, she liked what she saw: "He was reliable and had strength of character."

Both look at their previous spouses as fine people but "seriously wrong" as marriage partners.

"You hear a lot about 'working out' a marriage," says Mrs. Macy. "But that means there has to be enough to work on."

Mr. Macy had felt the pressure of parental expectation when he was married for the first time, and he admits the marriage was not carefully thought out.

"I thought at a certain stage you married and had kids," he says. He looks at marriage differently now. As he and his wife sit in their kitchen, children wander in and out to ask questions or merely see what their parents are up to.

"I'm responsible for all this," he says happily.

Mrs. Macy, who used to be an editor, now stays at home to raise her children and write poetry. Once a week she does volunteer work for a parental stress hot line.

She says that her first marriage broke up when she was ill and her former husband gave her no support.

"Jonathan is even more supportive than I thought he would be," says Mrs. Macy. "Our marriage gets better and better all the time."

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