Have you ever thought back to your past relationships and how you got to where you are now? Tonight, I started doing some thinking but let’s be honest that’s all I do is think! I started thinking about the men I have dated and how they have effected who I am and how I am in a relationship.
I haven’t had a ton of relationships but I’ve had my share. My first boyfriend was very controlling, aggressive, dominant, and emotionally/physically abusive. That specific person scarred me, shaped me, and led me down some very dark paths at a very young age. He took my confidence, my freedom, and my sense of security completely away. I vowed to never be with a man who could have that much power over me or make me feel that way ever again. From there, I passed up a good man, for what I thought was a better man. He ultimately cheated on me, was abusive towards me, and again made me feel insecure and not good enough.
I then met my (now) ex husband who lifted me up, let me have the power, and I found myself in control of everything. When I say everything, I mean everything; money, decisions, sex, and arguments. It was good and bad all at the same time. I finally found myself with everything I had wanted but I became everything I didn’t want in my prior relationships. Maybe he was too good to me. But still, he struggled with his own demons and it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be either. When we found out I couldn’t bring a child into this world, my dreams, my spirit, and my whole world were broken. You never fully understand or get over the loss of what you were always supposed to have. Meanwhile, in the midst of the marriage, I asked for a break from him and stepped out twice, feeling like I was missing something. I was missing something.
I dated 2 men on 2 different occasions. One was a drunk, man whore. The other was an immature, liar. I don’t mean to sound harsh but it’s the best way to describe them. The man whore, was the opposite of anyone I would ever be with and I think that is why I was attracted to him in the first place. I married at 19 and never really got to experience too much else. It was fun, sickening, and eye-opening all at once. He was a lot older than me, drank all of the time, treated me very poorly, and had no care for the things he did to me or put me through. Oh, and he was an ex-convict. Not my proudest moment, ever! I quickly reverted back to my ex-husband.
The liar, well, he did just that. I fell for all of the bullsh*t lies and he truly tried to toy with my emotions and my mental being. He had a little boy who in just a short time, grew on me. I cannot have children of my own so I think that played a part in my attachment with him. He had his son 50% of the time and during that time he was with me. I didn’t realize how greatly this had effected me until it was over. In no way shape or form did I want to take over the motherly role, but it was really nice to be a part of a child’s life and experience holidays and mile stones with him. When it all came down to it, the liar couldn’t stand up to his ex nor could he make up his mind on which one of us he wanted to be with, which now looking back is probably why he couldn’t stand up to her. If she said jump, he said how high. The second time we dated, after going back to my ex-husband and then filing for divorce, I caught him lying to me again. He lied about EVERYTHING.
Now this is where it all plays into who I am and how I handle my current relationship. I use these life situations to judge how my relationship is currently. I also allow myself to fall into the thoughts of, what if this or that happens again? I hate to think that my past has shaped me negatively but in some instances it has. The scars are there. The memories are there. I find myself fearing the inevitable happening all over again. So my walls go up, the questions start coming, and I start analyzing every little detail as I search for the crack in the mold. The, here we go again, thing. No way is this an excuse for my behavior or feelings but these instances really did change me as a person.
My boyfriend, the person that I swear one day I will marry, is not like these men. Although some parts are alike; for instance, he has 2 children and a less than pleasant soon-to-be ex-wife, it is completely different. He stands by me and fights for our relationship. Even though he shouldn’t have to, he defends me when the ex is being absolutely horrible towards me. From the day I met him, I knew he would change my life. Boy did he ever. He has never wavered on how he has felt towards me and always gives me reassurance when I just feel hopeless. He doesn’t lie to me and believe me, I would know. He doesn’t cheat on me and wants the same things as I do. I know he gets frustrated with my issues but giving up has never been an option for him. Unfortunately, I really do not ever give him the credit for what all he has done to make our relationship work.
I’ve prided myself for a long time on being a secure, strong, non-judgmental, and non-jealous person, but the truth is; I have insecurities, I’m weak, I judge, and I get jealous. I’m human. I’m not perfect. These are not excuses, instead, they are things I have to work on, day by day. Today, my strength comes from admitting my own weaknesses and overcoming them to be a better person to him, in life, and to myself. I have been tried in more ways than I thought were possible but this man loves me and I love him.
While all of this is true, I also must give myself a little credit. I’m hard on the person I’ve become but the truth is, I made it through every day and every thing that was designed to break me. The biggest losses and the biggest hurt, reap the biggest benefits. I do believe that. It’s cliché but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I have a larger appreciation for life, the love of my life, and myself.
“The most meaningful validation you can get is the validation you give yourself.”