I’ve always settled for “okay” love, “momentary” love, material love and graciousness, you know the kind, that when you buy someone something they really want – you then become the best thing that has ever happened to them, that isn’t real love.
We are raised with such convoluted ideals of what is expected, normal and acceptable for society to accept us. However, we relent, we condone, we allow others to interject their opinions and what they feel our relationship should produce or protect. Truth is – it is not their relationship. I’ve heard wait until your with someone for 15 years – that is a real relationship, real dedication, and real love. Bullshit. Real love, real dedication – has no essence of time. Period.
Being a relationship addict or addicted to love and the belief that one day if I put up with enough this relationship is sure to blossom into a lifetime commitment and I can finally relax into what normal people have – is a ridiculous ideal. I’ve literally laid down and allowed men to walk all over me my entire life, I allowed my father to treat me as if I was worthless and that rolled into relationship after relationship after relationship. You want to know why that is? The old adage you might as well stick it out – because the next person has just as much issues as the one you are with. LIES, LIES, LIES people, listen here that is just completely false and inaccurate. Everyone has their flaws like leaving their clothes beside the laundry basket, forgetting to take the garbage out, not always helping with the kids, but let me tell you…serious issues…there are men without them. You can do better!
They say if you want a different outcome, do things differently. In each relationship I took from the previous failure and then tried to rectify that in the new one. If the guy before was unfaithful, I made myself more sexual, more available, more pleasing. If they guy before was unhappy or felt un-cared for, I learned to cook, to provide, to take care of. If the guy before was deceitful and untrustworthy I tried to open up more- communicate more, to allow and invite an openness in the relationship. If the guy was emotionally, mentally or physically abusive, I would modify my looks, my behaviors, I would give up my life, my fun, my wants and needs and dedicate myself completely to helping and fixing them…DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM HERE?? The problems and changes to be made were not mine to make, it was simply the wrong relationship. I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t listen to my brain or follow my gut…that part was my only fault.
It is important for women to realize this: It is not your job to take on the success or failure of a relationship in its entirety. If the marriage/relationship is failing and you are the only one fighting…STOP. If the first time you meet a guy he has texts from women on his phone saying they are waiting naked in bed for him, honey… walk away! If a guy slaps you then tells you he loves you, walk away, (well I would slap him back and then walk away) but you know what I mean! If you find yourself in a dentist chair having a tooth extracted solely to provide your addict boyfriend with Vicodin – dear lord child, walk away! Cheaters, cheat… Liars, lie… Abusers dominate and destroy and Addicts, simply transfer their addictions. You do not need to stay in any of these situations if you do not want to. It is your choice – not God’s choice, or the Bibles choice, it is not what is best for your children, or what is best for you, or for the person you are desperately trying to fix. You will lose yourself, you will lose this battle and you deserve better.
Here is the thing, yes we tend to fall into relationship ruts, and often times can repeat the past and pick out of a pond packed with emotionally and mentally damaged fish that are most likely floating sideways if not upside down already! BUT, you have this amazing ability to change that. You are more wise that you give yourself credit for. And, my favorite part is this: Not every man will abuse you, not every man will cheat on you- repeatedly, not every man will be systematically deceitful, hurtful and unavailable. In my lifetime, I have loved entirely and completely three men – an abusive alcoholic, an unfaithful deceitful younger man, and an honest to goodness good man. They exist…I didn’t settle, I didn’t have to allow him to hurt me to be loved, or chase him for affection, or fight to keep him every night. He chose to stay, he chose to be kind, considerate, to listen, to communicate and to love me – even when I don’t deserve it.
You’ve heard the saying do not compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel, and it is true. Trust me, I lived a highlight reel life, I boasted and hung tightly to every UP, because I was so tormented and heartbroken by every LOW. I thought I needed to be thankful for the good times, because they made the hard times worth it…which is true to a point. However, when the hard times are many and the good times are few…you have to be strong enough and value yourself enough to draw the line.
There are a number of unhealthy relationships, guarded secrets, ultimatums and foundations built on infidelity, deceit and immoral actions – unfortunately the sad part isn’t that these exist, it is the people who think this is what they deserve. That this is the best they can have, that no one will love them outside of this relationship. That they have nothing to offer the world, no dream to chase, or talent to offer. They look in the mirror and see failure, ridicule, embarrassment and despair, when they should see strength, honor, integrity, beauty, hope and success.
In my mirror I can choose to see all those negative things as well, I can see my flaws and imperfections, my failed endeavors, relationships, parental screw-ups, employment mistakes, and lord knows what else. But, you want to know what I see when I look in the mirror? I see my daughter, I see her impressive beauty, her intelligence and witty personality, and her STRONG sense of self-esteem. I see my son, his goofy ways, his kind heart, and loving soul. I see my green eyes that I love, that have cried tears of happiness more than sadness, and that many have looked into, viewing the goodness of my heart. I see a woman who has been real, honest and fought when necessary and is learning to let some battles go. I see a woman who is beautiful because of my actions, my children, my mind, and my heart – not because of my physical features. And most importantly I see a woman who is unafraid, intelligent, quick witted, stubborn, hilariously funny, dorky, goofy and flat out 100% one of a kind.
That is what I choose, and what I will raise my daughter to choose…it is what all women need to choose…choose yourself and own your life. It will be the best investment you will ever make.