I will NOT be that woman. You know, the one who makes all the wrong choices and then takes on the role of victim? No thank you. Accountability. Am I right ladies?
I made the wrong choice in marrying my ex-husband and it took me six years to accept responsibility for that. It was much easier to just feel the victim and throw all of the blame onto him. And somewhat satisfying, but only temporarily.
In the end, I made the choice to marry a man who did not treat me well.
I spent six years in solitude and feeling sorry and scared. I was scared I would find myself in the same exact position with any man I decided to let in. So I didn’t.
Until that one.
A year ago I decided to go on a date. I was giddy and nervous and felt young again. I felt beautiful again. I felt like a woman again. I felt seen. So often, mothers and wives go unseen it seems.
It was a crazy year of miscommunication and mixed messages, along with a bit of incredible intimacy. I was in love. The hard, fast kind. The kind that feels like an itch on your back in that one place your fingertips can almost reach – almost but not quite.
It drives you crazy!
He drove me crazy.
Then I decided I wanted to love him. But the fear was still there. One day I stumbled upon a quote by Khalil Gibran: “Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” And so I decided not to let my fear swallow me, but instead I swallowed my fear. I told him. I told him I loved him with no expectation he would say it back. And it was the loveliest sensation to give my love without expectation.
But love is like a fire that must be fed, otherwise it dies out. I know what it is to carry a relationship, to be the giver constantly giving but never receiving. In my mind, a healthy love is an equal love. A fifty-fifty give and take.
But it’s been a year of mixed messages and I am not getting any younger. I want to be able to look at my love when we’re seventy and say, “Remember that time we made love under the Northern Lights?” Not, “Remember when I drove you to get your colonoscopy?” Not that I’m opposed to driving my love when we’re seventy to get his colonoscopy. Memories are memories. Time spent together is time spent together. But I want young memories too!
So, when he sent me a generic New Year’s Eve greeting via text, I took a big breath, swallowed my fear again (the fear that screams you’re making a mistake and crumbs are better than starving, right? RIGHT!!) and wrote him not to text me again. I wrote him not to call me again unless he was going to ask me out and not to ask me out unless he knew exactly what he wanted. I expressed my love for him one more time but made it clear I knew what I wanted and how I wanted to be treated and I was done with mixed messages. I told him I hoped he would call, but if not, I would be ok. He didn’t have to worry about me.
As much as we may miss someone we’ve said good bye to, as much as we may still love them, as much as we may still think of them, we should never compromise ourselves for someone else.
I still hope he calls, and maybe he will. But only if he’s ready to give to me what he receives from me.
And if he does not, I will be content knowing I did not let fear keep me from telling him I loved him. I will also be content knowing I did not let fear keep me from saying goodbye.