Sometimes I just cant help but throw myself a pity party. While I know that I was married to the wrong man and I stayed married for entirely too long, I still wish that I was married. Happily married to the right man. I know that this is not a recipe for successful children who don't have addiction problems. But I think it would have been easier to battle if I had an equal partner. Someone that I loved and respected and trusted. And who felt the same towards me.
I can remember the day I told my parents that I was pregnant and getting married. I was 20 years old. I was lucky, I had loving, supportive parents, and so did my ex-husband. I had only been dating him for about 6 months. I was in college, working part time at an insurance agency. My husband was in college, in theory, meaning he barely went, and he was working part time busing tables at a Chinese restaurant and sometimes making deliveries. We barely knew each other. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.
I remember my mother's face when she told me that while she supported my decision to have the baby and get married, that I needed to be aware of all that I was giving up. I was giving up the best years of my life, and that it was not going to be easy. I heard her, but didn't really hear her. I didn't understand the importance of really knowing someone before you decide to commit to a lifetime together, or more importantly, to committing to raising a child together. I think I thought I was playing house.
Neither of us really knew what it took to make a marriage work. We didn't understand the give and take. We didn't grasp the concept of compromise. My had a really great social life, lots of friends, we had lots of parties and BBQs. There was lots of drinking and partying. My brother in law once said to me that he didn't understand why we focused so much on our friends and not each other. The comment offended me. Until many years later when I realized I still didn't know this man I married many years ago. He worked nights and slept days. I avoided "sleeping" with him at all costs. I wasn't physically attracted to him. I secretly envied my friends and the relationships they had. I coveted their rock sized engagement rings, their big elaborate weddings, the nice shiny new things they were able to buy because they did things the "right" way.
Many years later, looking back through my 40 year old eyes, I see the mistakes that I had made. But it doesn't stop me from wanting a second chance at a beautiful life. I'm way past wanting the shiny toys and sparkly ring. But I want a partner, someone to share my life with. I am seeing someone now who is not the perfect man, but he is good and he is kind and gentle. He is tolerant. He is patient. He loves me.
Early on in our relationship, I would try to make him meet my friends and spend time with us. He was reluctant. I was anxious to meet his family and to be a part of it. He was reluctant. He tried to explain to me that he wanted to spend time with me. Not my friends, not my family. This offended me. I didn't realize that he was right, that it was important to get to know each other, alone, without the distraction of other people. Maybe it is my insecurities that I am not lovable and that if gets to know me, then he wont like or love me and that is why I insisted on surrounding myself with people, to keep me safe and protected and well hidden. This is something I have done all of my life and I am finally learning that it is not the way to be successful in a relationship. if he doesn't like me, well, then he doesn't like me. Hiding behind my family, and my friends isn't going to change that, it is simply going to prolong the inevitable. That's all.
So maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks. Or maybe its just time to take away the smoke and mirrors and just learn to let myself be me. Maybe I am something special after all...