I have been DVRing the current season of VH1’s Couples Therapy (quit judging me) after hearing that Whitney and Sara from The Real L Word would be one of the featured celebrity couples. I was sad to hear that The Real L Word would not be continuing on Showtime, but I’ll take seeing the pair on Vh1 over not seeing them at all. This season features Jon Gosselin and Liz Jannetta, Ghostface Killah and Kelsey Nykole, Taylor Armstrong and John Bluher, and Farrah Abraham all by her lonesome. But this isn’t about the couples. It’s about one question that was posed to the couples that struck a nerve with me.
In the second episode of this fourth season, the couples were asked to discuss their darkest moment(s) in their past or current relationships and reflect on how that relationship impacts them in the present day. One of the key points that the therapists tried to drive home was that the past does not dictate the future, and that the past must be dealt with in order to ensure a positive and happy future. The question got me thinking about the darkest moment I’ve had in a relationship. I was engaged to my middle school sweetheart, J, after tracking him down and writing him a letter that resulted in me taking a week-long vacation so we could reconnect and him leaving his life behind in one state to start over with me in another.
J stole my identity, racking up thousands in credit card debt after he learned to perfectly forge my signature. He once threw all my blankets and pillows out onto the damp lawn because he thought another man had been in the bed. He beat on me repeatedly, once blacking my eye so badly that I couldn’t leave the house. He was verbally abusive on top of the physical abuse, making me feel worthless. He kicked down doors when I tried to hide from him. He wasted all his money on car parts and alcohol, leaving me to pay rent and all the bills. He cheated on me, no doubt more times than I’m aware of. He isolated me. After I finally grew a pair and left him, he continued this streak with other women (financial, verbal, and physical abuse, landing himself in jail on various felony charges, and likely still getting in trouble to this day).
I’m not bitter about J whatsoever, and I no longer wish him a slow and painful death. I don’t wish him well either; he’s a blip in my past and I don’t care what happens to him. What I didn’t realize until watching that one episode was how that relationship still affects me to this day. I wrongly assumed that getting over the jumpiness around my husband and not wanting to throw things against the wall during arguments meant that I was over the pain of my time with J. I thought that getting to the point where I was past loving him, past hating him, and simply nothinged him meant that I was healed. Damn, was I wrong.
I drive my husband crazy with my financial worries. I stress about how much money I have left, what I have to pay, and I’ll extend that stress months out to things that haven’t even happened yet. I do this when not once in the six years we’ve been together have we ever been in a place where we’ve been in a financial crisis. I do it because of J. I never stopped to think that even though he’s not on my mind, the damage still lingers and is the reason I never relax when it comes to cash. It’s horribly unfair to my husband and our relationship and something I hope I can work on now that I’ve pinpointed the real problem.
The most important thing that I realized after thinking about that relationship question was that, if I’m being 100% honest with myself, I really only have one legitimate complaint about my current relationship with my husband. Minor annoyances (like his socks being left in random places) aside, the single thing I have an issue with that is a legit complaint is that my husband isn’t as emotional as I want him to be. That’s it. That one, tiny little thing, is the only real thing I have to complain about in my marriage. Imagine how stupid I feel as I write this, knowing that I married someone so close to perfect that it hurts, and knowing that 95% of the trouble we face is because I am still damaged deep down and I have yet to fully let it go.
As far as exactly how to let it all go, I have no idea. I think recognizing it is a fantastic first step though. Acknowledging that it exists, telling myself that it doesn’t have to exist, and finding a way to make it exist no more. Realizing that I’m in a safe place and don’t have to be on guard so much is a great feeling. Even though I feel foolish for allowing things buried in the past to still affect my present, I know I’m not alone and I know it’s a common problem people have whether they know it or not. I never thought that there were so many steps to let go of a past experience, but I’m thrilled to finally be able to take the last few.
I’ve been married for slightly over five years now, about as long as my two previous longest and most serious relationships combined. I’ve gone from being a paranoid nutcase to a happy nutcase, settling into married life and becoming part of something I never thought I would have. I’d be lying if I said it was an easy journey; my husband and I butted heads quite often in the beginning and we still do so now in a much gentler fashion. We threw ourselves headfirst into a relationship after spending less than two days in each others company, relying solely on the emotions we felt through our digital relationship and the confidence that we had found our other half. It was a big risk but one I’m so glad we took.
Every happy ending is prefaced by heartbreak, and I definitely experienced my share before finding happiness. It taught me a lot and has made me sensitive to others who are unlucky in love, turned off to relationships for personal reasons, or stuck in bad situations. Too often, I see friends on Twitter venting about failed relationships or feeling as if they are not meant for love and destined to be single forever. I’m always glad to see the handful that are comfortable with their single status and immune to the pressures of finding someone and settling down, but they are sadly outnumbered by the miserable crowd who wants nothing more than to find true love. Dating can be rough and it’s quite the challenge to find someone who fits your needs to a T.
The desperation to find love can make even the most intelligent person turn into a lovesick teenager, reaching out for anyone who will give them a chance. I’ve seen strong-willed men and women crumble at the feet of a person they want to love but who is all kinds of wrong for them, sacrificing parts of themselves in order to appease the other person in their search for happiness. I was that person once, always anxious to hear those three little words and willing to do whatever it took in order to hear them. It was never something I admitted, not even to myself, but that need grabbed hold of my life for far too long and kept me prisoner.
Desperation is what kills you. Half the time, you’re blissfully unaware that you have become desperate, but it’s clear as day through actions and words. Maybe you’re unable to enjoy a girls night out because your pretty friend is getting attention from men while you go ignored. Perhaps you cling to flirty words on Facebook, regardless of who they come from, because you want to feel pretty and wanted. Maybe you feel pangs of jealousy whenever you see a couple holding hands or a post on Twitter talking about love. Acknowledging the signs and adjusting your behavior is key, but it rarely happens. It isn’t fair that everyone else is happy while you’re lonely and stuck on the outskirts, and it’s natural to have a strong desire to change that.
When the emotions cloud common sense, people make mistakes. Some will settle for a person who isn’t good enough for them just so they can have someone to cuddle up next to at night. Some are looking to fill a gap left by a previous love and show a lack of care for who they choose to fill that gap. Some are quick to sacrifice friends in order to maintain their relationship, siding with their new love without question or thought. They blame others for any hiccups in their relationship but never blame themselves or the person they are with. They shut themselves off from the world, creating their own little universe around this “perfect” person. It’s a dangerous path to take, but countless people are walking it right now.
I hate that I’ve lost friends because of their relationships. It stings a bit to know that I can be cast aside so easily in favor of some girl or guy, but it saddens me more to know what a big mistake they are making. True love does not require one to break friendships and become someone different. Love does not give ultimatums, spoken or otherwise, that cause a person to compromise parts of themselves in order to keep the relationship going. Love does not say “your friends aren’t worth it, take my friends instead.” It shouldn’t be selfish, closed off, take it or leave it, or hurtful in any way. Love shouldn’t make you choose between that person and the rest of your world.
I lost a lot of friends when I was with my most serious ex because I chose him over everything else, casting everyone aside and immersing myself in an unhealthy relationship. I know too well when someone else is doing the same and it pains me to see it happen. Just as I ignored warning signs that flashed in front of me, I see people turning a blind eye to all kinds horrible actions from their love. And there is nothing I can do about it. I didn’t allow anyone to help me and let advice slide right off my back, so why should I expect anyone else to do any different? I can only hope they come to their senses before wasting any more of their life on a person who isn’t good enough for them.
Good things come to those to wait, right? Annoying saying, but it’s true. As I’m typing this, I’m listening to a coworker on the phone with a friend, talking to her about her failed marriage. In regards to her own marriage, after listing complaints about her husband, she said “well, I guess I could do worse.” It’s a perfect example of someone who failed to wait for a good thing and decided to settle for what was available, leaving her needs unsatisfied and her heart desiring something more. At nearly 60 years old, she is venting her regret for not having a better husband. That shouldn’t be anyone’s reality. Take a deep breath and take an honest look at your life. If you want better, go out and get it. Just be patient and be smart about it. No one should be forced to settle for anything less than what they truly deserve.
While screwing around on Twitter this morning, I saw a few random comical comments from a female that I could once call a friend but who I’m now unsure of where she fits into my life, if she even fits at all. We have not spoken since the day I finally became fed up with her friend’s boyfriend and told him that I want nothing to do with him. This was after he had acted very inappropriately and disrespectfully to me and to his girlfriend (indirectly), but I kept the trash talk out of it and just ended the friendship I had with him. His girlfriend slowly cut me out of her life, but this one female has kept me around on her Twitter feed for some reason even though we no longer speak. She’s favorited things I’ve said after the incident, yet uninvited me to two things we had previously planned. And I don’t understand it at all.
I suspect the reasoning behind it, other than her loyalty to her friend, is that she sees me as wrong and ill-informed when it comes to the guy I cut out of my life. She was drinking and distracted the first time he acted like a royal ass, not around the second time he acted inappropriately, and not present on Twitter enough to see the rest of it. To her, this guy is amazing and a perfect match for her friend. To her, I am jealous, bitter, bitchy or a combination of all three. Since I have not defended my actions and not explained why I cut the guy out of my life, I am probably also seen as cowardly. Truth is, there is no way in hell she or her friend would listen to anything I have to say. It’s like that too often with women. We get blinded by love and ignore everything else while treating other females like garbage if we feel threatened in any way.
This is one of the main reasons I have a very small group of female friends. This nonsense was a daily issue in middle and high school as we fought over boys and battled with our self-esteem. I expected and accepted it as a teenager, but I’ll be 32 this year and I’m not okay with dealing with it any longer. If I slip up and make a mistake, I will own up to it and make efforts to repair the damage, but if I am justified in my behavior and it just so happens to upset you, I don’t feel that I am in the wrong. If I am hitting on your boyfriend, that is my mistake and I owe you an apology and must right the situation. If your boyfriend hits on me and I tell him where to stick it, I have nothing to apologize for. So why is it that I am seen as in the wrong and given the silent treatment in those situations where boyfriend was bad? Why is he absolved of all wrongdoing while I am slowly pushed away?
Part of me thinks that certain females see me as a threat. I don’t say that in an egotistical way and I’m not trying to claim that I’m so gorgeous, guys can’t resist me. But I am confident and confidence can be sexy. I’m married and I don’t care what any other man thinks of me outside of my husband. The lack of worry about having to impress the masses has boosted my confidence, plus my husband makes me feel gorgeous, so I suspect that lends to females thinking that I could pose a threat to their relationships. I was once that same shy little girl who was threatened by any woman who was pretty or that came across as sure of themselves. But then I grew up.
Another reason I feel that I’ve been pushed away by this female is the fact that I have chosen to remain absolutely quiet about why I became angry at the boyfriend, as I do not want to be the one who messes up the relationship. If I could put her in my place and show her what I’ve seen, this would likely be a very different situation right now. Sadly, I can’t do this and I won’t waste time trying to convince her of what I know. I didn’t listen when people told me that my ex was a liar and a cheat, I just felt very silly when I found out the hard way. If I had let loose with details, there is a small chance that I would have been heard, but it was too small of a chance for me to bother. So I remain silent and look like the bad guy. All anyone has to do is ask, but it’s easier to stick to the strange girl code of shunning females who threaten us.
Whatever the reasoning, the bottom line is that the female who has yet to delete me from her Twitter and the female who has already done so are both reminding me way too much of my high school days. I tried hanging on, as we have a mutual friend in the mix, but I no longer see the point. To be so irate at me that you uninvite my kid to your own kid’s birthday party is just silly and I want no part of it. I don’t want to associate with someone who thinks so little of me and I don’t want to associate with anyone who doesn’t have the guts to express what they are feeling and express why they are angry. It’s cowardly and it shows that you know deep down that you’re angry for a stupid reason.
Ladies, every female out there isn’t secretly plotting and planning, her mind set on tearing your life apart so she can steal your man, take your job, and laugh as you are left with nothing. Not every chick who doesn’t like your boyfriend is acting that way because they are secretly crushing on them; often they see something you don’t and shouldn’t be ignored. It is pointless and petty to treat each other as if we are all waiting to stab the other in the back. I’m exhausted by it all. I’ve taken the few seconds today to delete the female in question from my following feed and I’ve blocked both of these ladies in order to further distance myself. If they want to talk things out, they both have my phone number. In the meantime, I’m content in sticking them both in the past until we can all act like adults.
Happy Valentine’s Day/Single Awareness Day!! Today is the day that far too many people will be making themselves miserable. Perhaps they are single and annoyed by coworkers receiving flowers or gushing over the new piece of jewelry they got from their significant other. Maybe their current love interest isn’t as involved in this holiday as they are and they are let down by the lack of fanfare. They could be stressed out by the pressure put on them to plan the perfect evening or buy the perfect gift, or maybe they are unsure of their current relationship status and lost as to what to do today. Either way, this day of love and romance has the power to bring strong people to their knees.
I used to care a lot about Valentine’s Day. In middle and high school, students would put together a flower exchange. You would pay a dollar and have a carnation delivered to the person of your choosing, having it noted that it was from you or doing a “secret admirer” type message. These flowers meant everything; you had to collect quite a few to proudly carry with you throughout the day. If you were lucky, your boyfriend would bring you a little heart-shaped box of chocolates, or maybe a five-pound box like the one my friend received one year that made us sick by 10am. My girl friends and I would compare notes and see who had the best boyfriend and who needed to trade up for next year. We were ridiculous.
The last time I recall thinking Valentine’s Day was a big deal was during my freshman year of college. My boyfriend and I wore matching red shirts and went to a fancy dinner in a crowded restaurant. It was overpriced, the service was slow, and we were crammed in with dozens upon dozens of other couples who looked pretty miserable. He bought me a necklace I didn’t want because my mother pressured him into getting an expensive gift, flowers I didn’t care about because his mother said it was necessary, and I went home at the end of the evening wondering what all the fuss was about. It seemed like such a waste of time and money, all for a few hours that were pretty forgettable with a person I haven’t seen in about a decade.
I’ve been happily married for nearly five years to a man who loves me to pieces. During that time, we’ve had quite a few romantic evenings, experienced amazing things, giving each other wonderful gifts, and done countless things for each other to show that we care. We do these things because we want to and not because we have a set day in February where these things are mandatory. I don’t demand jewelry because the Jared commercial says that is the only way I’ll know I’m loved, and he doesn’t demand I cook dinner in pink lingerie (although I’m certain he wouldn’t mind that at all). Today is just Thursday and that’s the way it should be treated by everyone, single or attached.
I’m not saying that the only way to celebrate love is to ignore the 14th though, just that we should ignore the commercials and silly suggestions and gestures. I don’t know why chocolate diamonds are the must-have item right now, but I know they’re unnecessary and I know that it’s silly to blow a bunch of cash on them out of some silly obligation to impress a lady. Boxes of chocolates are always fun, but it seems more fun to surprise someone on a random day with a selection of Godiva than it does to grab one of those heart-shaped boxes from CVS and present that to your sweetheart. If you desire to show your love interest how much you care, show them in your own way and not the way that is dictated by the people who are trying to sell you things.
If you’re single, today isn’t a day for sadness or for feeling lonely. Relationship status does not dictate personal happiness and a lack of romantic love on the 14th doesn’t make you less of a person. If flowers mean that much to you, send them to yourself. Take the day and do some personal pampering. Get some friends together and have drinks over dinner. Be a little petty and laugh at all the stressed out couples trying to secure a table at the go-to restaurant. Hit Redbox and have a movie night. The day doesn’t have the power to make you happy or miserable; that lies on your shoulders alone. If you don’t give it the power to bring on negativity, it can’t do so.
For the parents out there, it’s part of your job to show your children that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a light-hearted holiday that they should have fun with. In elementary school, the entire class will get a card from each classmate and will exchange other goodies and do fun arts and crafts. Do your best to make sure that the light-hearted attitude doesn’t fade as they grow, replaced with a need to impress, a need for gifts, and a need to have the ideal day as dictated by others. If your daughter watches you pressure your husband into buying you expensive gifts, you are teaching her that behavior is acceptable and pushing her to do the same to the love she will one day welcome into her life.
Love is a simple and complicated thing all at once. It is a wonderful thing to have and makes getting out of bed in the morning well worth it. It is too big and too powerful to be confined to a single day during the year and comes in too many varieties to be looked at as narrowly as the commercial world does. We all have love in our lives in one way or another, and while it might not be exactly the way we want it, we should feel lucky that it is there and happy to have it. Spend your Valentine’s Day living in that happiness. Appreciate what you have and do so in a way that brings you the most joy. I don’t care how many times I hear that kisses begin with Kay Jewelers, it will never become the way my kisses begin. I choose to love in my own way. You should do the same. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
I was recently asked how long one should wait before posing the question to their significant other about whether or not they are ready to move in together. I had no idea what to say to her. I didn’t exactly follow a logical path with my husband. We talked online for about a year before developing serious feelings for each other, but it wasn’t as though we spoke consistently. We both were also dating other people at the time and not exactly flirting or trying to make things happen.
Eventually, my husband wrote a blog about his breakup and I hate to say it, but I was happy. I stopped seeing my interest at the time, which was easy because we had never taken things further than kisses and sharing concerts. We made things official on November 18, 2007. He came to see me that next month in December and at that point, after about 40 hours together, we decided we were going to be married and live in Indiana. Two months later I was here. Two months after that, we were married. I moved a thousand miles to be with a guy who I had barely spent any time with. We’ve now been married for 4 and a half years.
I’m fairly certain that my path with my husband means that I am the last person that should be giving advice on how long one should wait before taking that step in their relationship. But in all honesty, even if I did have a more typical courtship with him, I still don’t believe I could answer that question and be of much assistance. The dynamics of every individual is different and the dynamics of every relationship is different. Rushing in blindly happened to work for me, but it spells disaster for others. Waiting for a year works perfectly for some but would have made me insane if I had to wait with my husband. There is no right answer.
One of the big problems in deciding when the time is right is making sure what you are feeling is true love and understanding as opposed to puppy love and infatuation. I’ve been in puppy love, I’ve looked for love with the wrong people, and I’ve been downright confused. With my husband, however, things were clear. Things felt different and for the first time, I knew that this was it for me. That being said, since I had never felt this before, I had no idea what to be looking for and no way of knowing I was wrong in the past about people. Once I felt the clarity I did with my husband, it seemed obvious, but how was I to know prior?
I’m curious to know what you think. When did you know the time was right to bring up the subject of cohabitating? Did you have failed efforts? Did you succeed? What would you say to someone who asked you how long they should wait?
Single men and women are complete fucking idiots. Some of them anyway. Perfectly datable, good-looking people without crazy skeletons locked in the closet or demons in their shadows are unable to find a date because of the simple fact that they behave like morons. I would love to get a hold of them and beat some sense into their thick skulls so they can quit embarrassing themselves and being miserable and finally find love and shut the hell up about the woes of single life!
The biggest mistake I see people make when they are single and looking is holding on to bitter feelings from past relationships and experiences. It seems like a no-brainer to let these things go in order to move on and find happiness, yet some people seem unable to do so. It becomes a problem thanks to one of my favorite things in the digital world: Twitter. Facebook as well, but I stay away from that evil place. It has become way too easy to vent about things that are sent out to dozens or hundreds of people and that are out there for any potential date to see and be frightened away by.
Offense #1 is the constant bitching. I bitch on Twitter (surprise to no one) but I don’t bitch about the people I’m trying to get to like me. As a single person, if you engage in too much bashing of the gender you want to get naked with in the near future, you’re going to have a lot of lonely nights alone with your hand or mechanical toy. What guy wants to date a person who is always saying things like “Men are so immature,” or “Why are all the GOOD guys taken and I’m left with nothing but losers?” It’s a turn off and an insult and is making you undateable. If you constantly call women sluts, do you think your chances are good of scoring a date with one? Unless you truly adore sluts, in which case you might have a chance.
Offense #2 is the mixed messages. On Monday, you’re bragging about how awesome your boobs look in your low-cut shirt. On Tuesday, you’re bitching about guys being interested in nothing but your chest. One moment, you’re enjoying random flirtation and the next you’re saying it makes you feel cheap and you don’t appreciate childish come-ons. You need to make up your mind! Bragging about your giant package is fine if you’re okay with the feedback that kind of admission is going to get. You can’t engage in public penis talk and then get mad when the attention is more on your magic stick than on your personality.
Offense #3 is the oversharing. If you’re not currently serious and you feel like boning random people until you find someone special, go for it. But if you put it on the internet, you’re going to sound like a whore, regardless of what gender you are. Most people don’t want a relationship with a whore. They probably want you to act like one with them behind closed doors, but they also want to know that 100+ people haven’t been playing with your fun bits before they got a run at them. Likewise, they don’t want to hear about your past relationships and conquests in great detail. I’m happy that your ex had the most amazing breasts you’ve ever seen, but do you need to still be talking about them years later?
Offense #4 is trying too hard. Desperation isn’t a good look on anyone. You can be sexy without the thousands of instagrammed pictures of you showing cleavage and wearing miniskirts. You don’t need to talk about how hot your ass looks in those new jeans. You can seem appealing without insisting you’re not the typical guy/girl and people always love you instantly. If I’m being told over and over again that a person is sexy, I’m going to find that person less sexy each time I hear it. Trying too hard to present yourself in a certain light or be someone you’re really not is always going to backfire.
And finally, offense #5 is being nothing but a flirt. Flirting is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but at some point you have to make a move past that and actually make an effort to get someone to agree to go to dinner with you. Too much flirting is also a turn off; if I (pretending I’m single) look at your Twitter feed and see you telling dozens of chicks how cool and pretty there are with winky faces everywhere, I stop feeling special. I feel like I’m just one of many you’re throwing out lines to, and now that I know I’m not truly on your radar, I’m not going to bite. Give flirting a purpose.
This blog link gets thrown out on Twitter, so maybe one of the offending parties will happen upon it and adjust their behavior. Probably not. Either way, I hope for their sake they are able to figure out that it’s their bad behavior that is keeping them single, not the rest of the world. It’s easier to change yourself than it is to change the entire dating pool. Take the easy road.
I’ve had four serious relationships in my life. The first was in high school during my junior year with a guy I was head over heels for in a strange way. I met him during that phase in most teenage girl’s lives where they adore the bad boy image. We stayed connected until I went to college and met a guy that I can probably say was my first true love. It wasn’t a healthy love though and eventually dissipated as I worked to find myself and grow as a person. During that time, I reached out to my middle school boyfriend, reconnecting with him and eventually getting engaged. I thought this was it; he was my world and we would get married. Thankfully, his true colors shone through and I had the sense to pack up and leave while he slept off a hangover. And yes, I gave him back the quarter carat engagement ring. Which he then gave to his next girlfriend a month later.
After I left him, I shied away from getting serious with anyone. There was a guy who played guitar in a band that I had a serious connection with, but we didn’t ever cross the line into relationship territory, not really. I wasn’t ready and he wasn’t what I needed. I eventually started talking to this amazing guy online. Since he lived a thousand miles away, it seemed safe for me, as it’s near impossible for me to get serious with someone I can’t even see. As the months passed, I began feeling this incredibly longing to meet this guy, who unfortunately had a girlfriend at the time. When he posted a blog about breaking up with her, I did backflips. He finally came to visit me, giving me an amazing weekend. A couple of months later, he came back to help me pack and drive me to Indiana. Two months later, we were married.
I got a lot of shit from most of my friends after announcing I was dropping everything to marry a guy I met online and had only spent 48 hours with, but I knew it was right. I felt something with him that I had never felt before in my life. I knew I was truly in love and I knew that everyone who had come prior was not a real love. Yes, I cared for them, but it was either love tainted in some way or superficial love that didn’t have the required depth to last over the long haul. But I didn’t know this until I found real love. I had no idea how wrong I was about the past until my husband captured my heart and showed me the true meaning of love.
I wish I had some way of explaining what love truly is, especially when I see certain people in my life falling into unhealthy relationships where their other has shady motives, an untrue heart, or is just wrong. I wish I had the balls to say something and possibly push them to do something now rather than fall down heartbroken later. Then I think back to people who told me that my exes were wrong for me and I think of how I ignored it all, so I keep my mouth shut. False feelings of love have a way of shutting out all common sense, blinding a person and making them see only the positive side of the person they are with. Maybe they’ll happen upon this blog and maybe it’ll make them think, but chances are that their relationship will have to play itself out on its own.
There is a comfort in true love that I never knew with anyone else. Comfort not only in not being ashamed of my bedhead and disheveled morning appearance because my husband will try to hump me regardless, but comfort in knowing I have a person in my life that loves me inside and out. I feel that I’m near perfect in his eyes, not because he boasts of how gorgeous I am on Twitter, but because of the way he looks at me, touches me, and the various ways he tries to be close to me. We can disagree and get angry at each other, but it is absent of the fear that a fight will kill the relationship; I feel safe in knowing that any upset is temporary and I have no fears of him walking out the door.
Our former friends, D. and A., are the kind of couple I almost envied at one point. A. would talk about their amazing sex life and they were always touching and cuddling. When D. would come visit us alone, he would constantly be distracted by phone calls and text messages from A. It took me a while to see that what they had was not to be envied because they were simply putting on a show. Love doesn’t need to be boasted about, shown off to friends, and made into a spectacle. Love isn’t bragging about how many times you bone and making sure everyone around is aware that you’re getting laid and dropping the L word to each other. Love is a deep and personal thing that, when real, simply exists and shines on its own.
Being in love with my husband is also being in love with my best friend. Through a lot of work and a lot of personal growth, we’ve strengthened our relationship and our marriage, becoming a whole rather than two people just living in a moment. We are two imperfect people who developed a perfect love. As our 5th year wedding anniversary draws closer, I find myself wondering what the hell I ever did without him. He makes me a better person simply by being near me. He makes me smile when nothing else can. He makes me feel safe and secure; no matter how bad things can get, he’s always there to be strong when I can’t manage to be strong myself. The world could crumble around us, but as long as I have him, I know I’ll be just fine.
Every time the general public seems to forget about Chris Brown, he does something idiotic and gets his name back on everyone’s mind. He told the world to fuck off via Twitter after winning a Grammy (a tweet he later deleted) and he collaborated with Rihanna on a couple new songs. Now he’s all I hear about; is he back with Rihanna, has the public forgiven him, how dare he be honored after what he did, and so on.
What Rihanna chooses to do at this point is her business and hers alone. She doesn’t exactly present herself in such a way that she would ever be mistaken for some sort of role model; with her in-your-face sexuality and often inappropriate comments and behavior, she is hardly a woman that a young girl should want to model themselves after. I don’t say that to slam Rihanna for the person she is, I’m just trying to make it clear that she obviously is not trying to be a role model for anyone. If she wishes to forgive Chris Brown for beating her, so be it. If she can overlook the violent behavior he’s exhibited since beating her, so be it. And if she’s wrong and he ends up hitting her again, she has only herself to blame.
I have a zero tolerance policy for violence against women. I’ve been that girl who’s made excuses to explain the bruises on her arms, the marks on her neck, the black eye. I understand how difficult it can be to walk away and realize that love isn’t that type of pain. I know the insecurities that a woman feels while in an abusive relationship and the reasons she’ll come up with for why she was beaten. It’s a sad and sorry situation and while I was in it, I honestly didn’t think anything was wrong. I thought it was normal, that I deserved it for being difficult, that it was an accident and wouldn’t happen again, and that I could fix it. I was a pathetic shell of a person and sadly, it’s a common place for women to find themselves in.
I refused to open my eyes to see the situation as it truly was until I had my son. At that point, something clicked inside my head and I realized that I was placing my child and myself in a dangerous situation with an unstable violent man who could kill us both if he came at us hard enough. Prior to that, I remained in a daze. I ignored horror stories from formerly abused women who tried to help. I ignored those who extended their hand and offered assistance. I have no doubt that people in Rihanna’s life are trying to help her as well, attempting to get her to open her eyes and realize that she’s putting herself back in harm’s way and sending the message that she isn’t good enough, that she’s worth so little that it’s acceptable to hit her. I also suspect that it’s a waste of everyone’s time to try to get her to see something she just isn’t ready to face.
People like Chris Brown who lash out at women don’t change overnight, if at all. They are cowardly selfish people who use their brute strength and the fear others have of them in order to keep control of certain situations and people in their lives. They are amazing actors and have the ability to fool most everyone around them, giving off the impression of a sweet man who really loves the woman he’s with. Lying is a vital and central part of their life and no one is better at creating a tall tale on a moment’s notice than they are. Often they come from homes where they were abused or witnessed abuse, but that fact should in no way excuse their behavior. There is no excuse for a man striking a woman and to make any is just shameful.
Should Chris Brown be forgiven? Sure; it’s not healthy to hold a grudge forever and eventually you have to move on, especially those of us who aren’t ever going to interact with the guy and who just want to enjoy his music. While it’s good to forgive, what he did is something that shouldn’t be forgotten. If I had my way, he would never be allowed to be alone with a woman again as I have no doubt that eventually he will snap once again and some unfortunately woman will find themselves on the wrong end of his fist. I would hope that females would be intelligent enough to avoid this guy like the plague, but if Rihanna’s behavior and the tweets from fans stating they would love Brown to beat them, chicks these days are as dumb as ever.
Ladies, I don’t care how wonderful you think a guy is, how worried you are about being single if you don’t stay with him, or what reasons you can come up with to blame yourself for being struck. There has never been and will never be an acceptable reason for a man to strike a woman outside of you violently attacking him and the male fearing for his life or fearing severe bodily damage. Most men are bigger than us, stronger than us, and able to fight at a higher skill level than us. It’s not a sexist remark, it’s just fact. It is foolish of any woman to go back to a man who hits her, especially if you have children involved. Yes, accidents happen (I literally walked into a guy’s fist once) but it’s foolish and ignorant to call being struck out of anger an accident. Call it like it is and decide what’s more important, your heart being broken or your bones.
My husband and I went for hot chocolate at work today and were helped by someone who I’ve never met before but my husband and mother-in-law used to see a few times a month when they would go for coffee or ice cream. As we traveled from the register to the end of the counter while she prepared our drinks, there was a bit of conversation exchanged between her and my husband about not seeing him for a while. If our order has taken any longer than it did, I might have started to get uncomfortable because she acted as though I was invisible, choosing only to make eye contact and hand drinks to my husband. In her case, I’m inclined to write it off as her being shy, but nearly every woman I know has had a situation where they have stood idly by as a female chats up their man while they stand there feeling invisible OR has been the woman doing the ignoring.
I touched on this a couple of years ago when working at a physical therapy office. There were certain patients that demanded different behaviors from me as a female; one who expressed discomfort when any female therapist would even make eye contact with her husband, one who preferred we discuss her boyfriend’s care with her and not with him, one who insisted on watching when her husband got massages (these were fully clothed, mind you), and a variety of other habits by women aimed to limit the amount of verbal communication and physical cues aimed at their significant other by another female, even though there was no intent other than a professional one. That place aside, I can think of an endless amount of examples of situations where female A talks to a male while female B stands by, arms crossed, clouded in jealousy, anger, confusion, or discomfort.
Not every interaction warrants an introduction, so girlfriends and wives will often find themselves standing idly by while a female from the past greets their man and doesn’t bother to acknowledge their presence. It’s in our nature to want to claim our territory and tell this mystery female that we are the woman in this man’s life, whether she cares or not. There’s also a bit of insecurity that tends to pop up, especially if the female in question happens to be attractive. What strikes me as funny is that these interactions between our men and the mystery chick are in general very respectable and innocent, yet us females overreact and behave as though this woman just ran up and began dry humping our man.
Part of the reasoning for this stems back to the sometimes myth and oftentimes fact that men and women cannot be friends. Men always have an agenda to get laid and women have one to find love, or vice versa, or maybe they desire both. Regardless of intent, men and women can’t maintain a friendship without letting physical attraction and romantic feelings interfere. Being married to a man whose closest friend is a very attractive female and being a chick who has always had a large group of guy friends that haven’t crossed the line into boyfriend territory, I put little stock into the thought that people of the opposite sex are doomed to fail as friends or fall into bed. However, in this world where we utter things like “well if someone like Demi Moore can’t keep a man, there’s no hope for the rest of us,” it’s really no wonder we let our emotions get the best of us and get irrational.
Females treat each other like garbage, which is in direct contrast to how we claim we want to be treated and how we claim to value ourselves. We rationalize our jealousy and protectiveness over our man by saying it’s not him we don’t trust, it’s the other females. We lie and backstab each other like there’s no tomorrow and we’re quicker to blame the other woman than we are our man if we catch him being unfaithful. We call women sluts when we don’t approve of their outfit or are simply jealous that we couldn’t pull the same ensemble off. I’ve said myself that the reason I prefer male friends is because woman are so hateful to each other. This attitude we have is also another big factor in why we feel such discomfort when our man addresses another female.
I lost two of my best friends in Georgia soon after they got serious with their girlfriends (now their wives) and it still doesn’t make sense to me. Men I’ve never dated, men I couldn’t date due to being an a serious relationship, were pressured by their ladies to quit talking to me because for some reason the friendship we had bothered them. Nevermind the fact that I went out of my way to be nice to them and befriend them, nevermind the fact that I was careful to put extra distance between my male friends and myself when they were present, the simple fact that I was a girl and was their friend made them lay down a “it’s either her or me” ultimatum and was the major factor in putting two friendships to rest.
I consider myself to be a confident and secure person, comfortable in my marriage with no doubts that my husband only desires naked time with me, and yet I still notice things like the girl in the coffee shop averting her gaze from me and ignoring my “thank you.” The thought of my hubby having naughty thoughts about her is laughable, and still this annoying voice in the back of my mind asks me “why do you think she’s not saying anything to you?” Is this simply something that is wired into women? Am I doomed to have these thoughts pop up forever?
The coffee girl didn’t bother me, but here I am so perplexed by the behavior that I sat down and wrote this blog. I suppose what really gets to me is that I am no longer that little insecure girl who expects every man she’s with to run off with the first big breasted blond he sees, and as such, I should no longer give a damn about the behavior of other women when it comes to my husband unless it is extreme and inappropriate. If men are like this too, I’ll feel slightly better about the whole thing, but I’d honestly just love to remove that little part of my brain that is determined to act like a drama queen because there’s no need for it. If you take anything away from my rambling here, please let it be that there truly is no need for any of it. Uncross your arms and relax, stop driving yourself mad with crazy thoughts of boyfriend thieves, and find your comfort zone in your relationship and in life.