Image by Charlott_L via Flickr
My previous post Entering the real world, I talked about my marriage. Any time I have looked back on it over the years, I can’t really say that I was ever in love with him. I mean, I did love him and care for him, still do in some ways (he is the father of my child), but I just don’t think I was ever “in love” with him. If I was, it wasn’t very strong. Let’s be honest, I was young and stupid. I think I was more in love with the idea of being “in love” than anything else.
When everything ended I was extremely hesitant to allow anyone to get close to me. I wouldn’t date anyone more than once or twice. I would find any and every excuse to end things. If I’m honest with myself, it wasn’t just that I didn’t trust people, I didn’t want to trust anyone. I had no interest in anyone proving to me that there were better people out there. The few people who came really close to proving me wrong, I had no interest in and quickly blew off.
Over the years I did eventually attempt a few relationships. But every time I tried to actually date a guy, all his insecurities and possessiveness would start popping up. I attempted to work through it with a couple of guys, but wasted effort.
The first guy I actually dated after my separation (yes, prior to divorce being finalized) was really a great guy. I still think about him from time to time and wonder how he’s doing now. He was a southern boy in the military. We dated off and on for several months and he even took me on a trip back east to visit his family. When he got out of the military, he planned to head back home so he could be close to his daughter from his marriage. He actually asked me to go with him. I won’t lie, I seriously considered it, but it just couldn’t happen.
For one thing, my divorce was about to be finalized and the custody agreement said I couldn’t move out-of-state with my son. I wasn’t about to leave my kid behind and didn’t have the resources for a big old custody battle. Besides, as much as I disliked my ex-husband, I really didn’t want to take my kid away from his dad. Outside of that, I just didn’t have enough faith to uproot and move across the country with him. We hadn’t been together for all that long and what if it didn’t work out? I wasn’t willing to take the risk. So we broke it off, mutually. We tried to stay in touch for a while, but that never lasts.
So then I was right back to where I started, no desire to stay with anyone for long. I was getting restless and tired of living in such a small town. I wanted more out of my life and all my options were just way too limited there. I think it may have just been that I felt in desperate need for a major change in my life (as if I hadn’t had enough of that!). So I started looking for jobs in close by cities.
I finally found one and I up and moved myself and my son to a big city where I knew absolutely no one. I liked to refer to it as my early mid-life crisis. I got a job in a whole new field, bought myself my first brand new vehicle (plus first vehicle I had ever gotten completely on my own), started back to school and began starting my life over.
I thought I had finally gotten myself together. Haha, boy could I lie to myself back then.
When it came to dating, it didn’t take long at all before I found myself right back in the same scenario of picking the guys who used and took advantage of me. They always seemed so confident until we actually started dating. Over and over, I would find myself being treated like nothing more than a possession after going out only once or twice.
I started to think that maybe this is just all there was for me. I started to accept that this is how is was. I mean, who the hell was I to be so damn picky, not like I was some great catch or anything. I quit always being the one to end things. Not that it made much difference, things still never lasted that long. I just went from being the dumper to the dumpee. I gotta say, it was really a hit on the ego. I think the worst break up line I ever heard was “I can’t see you anymore, I met someone I actually like”. Ouch! Sadly, I heard this more than once.
Thing is, I started to realize it was still me causing things to end. Even with guys I met that seemed really nice, I kept myself so distant. It wasn’t possible for anyone to truly get close to me. Sure, I may have been open to sharing personal things, but it was still limited.
I tried to see a shrink once. She told me I was so normal it was almost abnormal. Said I didn’t seem to have any real issues and she didn’t think there was anything she could do to help me. Nice. Even shrinks wanted nothing to do with me.
It was getting easier and easier to give up. I was lonely. I was sad. I hadn’t really made any friends in my new city. I couldn’t seem to connect even on a friend level with anyone, much less connect any other level. Who was I kidding?
Then I met him. Almost 4 years ago, I met him and my life as I knew it would be changed. I thought I had actually found something. Ah, if only we could see into the future before we get too involved.
Guess it’s time I really examine that relationship and figure out where and why I started turning a blind eye.