He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Oh the Drama!

I had a totally different post planned for today, but then my husband went and did something wonderful. I had taken our kids to his parents’ house for what was supposed to be a Monday night supper. (Oh, it’s so good to be wrong sometimes!) But when he showed up at their house after work, he proceeded to whisk me off for a surprise night away. He’d packed everything I needed and arranged for the kids to be cared for that night and after school the next day.

Quite lovely. :)

But I haven’t always been so lucky.

I grew up with drama, and so for the longest time, I thought that was the only way to live. Don’t get me wrong, I knew my parents loved me and would do anything for me, and so I was blessed to have that sort of stability. But, like I said: drama.

Drama, drama, DRAMA.

This of course conditioned me to always step in to try to “fix” things. As I got older, this meant focusing on guys I could “help.” I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

Major, long-term boyfriend #1 had major, long-term self-esteem issues. This 7 year relationship was a rollercoaster ride of emotions because I really believed I could make him believe in himself. How can he not? I’d wonder. He was handsome, athletic, smart, came from a great family, etc…. OMG WTF, right?

But the more I focused my mental and emotional energy on him (to the exclusion of most of my high school friends, what a dumbass!), the more down he got on himself. And you know what? I. Missed. Out.

On a lot of things. Totally my fault. You can’t fix people who don’t want to fix themselves.

Alas, I hadn’t learned that lesson yet.

Major, long-term boyfriend #2 had major, long-term commitment issues (sound familiar anyone?). This 5 year relationship was both thrilling and depressingly tumultuous. To this day, I don’t know if I’ve ever met another man as charismatic as he (still) is. I was an enraptured moth to his bright flame. The dark side of this (for me) was that he can probably never belong to any one person, but rather, he belongs to his audience. He lived for the spotlight, and he knew how to work it. Like I said: charisma. But his charisma wasn’t the cause of our break up, it was just the vehicle he deployed to avoid the commitment thing.

Again, I focused all my energy on trying to be someone whom he could love enough to stop pushing me aside when others came around.

Why did I stay so long in his shadow when I felt so alone?

I really loved him – who he was when there was no audience.

And on some level, I believe he loved me too. It just wasn’t the kind of long-term, I’m-here-for-you-at-all-costs, you’re-the-shit-honey love I needed for a lifetime. Breaking up with him was agonizing because he was actually the one to push me to work through some of my personal issues. He was my biggest supporter in that respect.

And working through those issues helped me see that…our relationship was not good for me.

So, it was both a sad and liberating time. After that, I made a vow to myself I would never again disrespect my needs the way I had for the last 12 years. If I had to wait until I was 50 years old to find a man who would put me first, he would be worth the wait.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait that long. :)

So how did I know DH was THE ONE for me?

Mainly: I never have to de-petal a single freaking flower because I’ve never had to wonder if he loves me.

Now it’s your turn. What mistakes have you made in your relationships? How have you grown from them? And how did you know your special someone was THE ONE?

Comments

  1. Old boyfriends – always a great topic :-) I married Mr. Charisma – the life of every party. It works for us because it gives me the opportunity to hang back and observe people – my favorite activity :-) (as a writer).

    • Hey Kylie! Yes, your post has made me edit my post to reflect that charisma wasn’t the cause of our breakup, it was just the vehicle by which I felt alienated. A situation unique to our relationship, I’m sure. :)

  2. Oh and I have to add – he makes me laugh. After twenty some years, he still entertains me.

    • If you can laugh together, you can make it through anything, right? I’m so happy you found your Mr. Right, Kylie! :)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Kylie, I have a Mr. Charisma too. He think he’s the funniest thing since sliced bread, but so does everyone else. He is loved by everyone, especially me because I’m the only one he really wants to impress! Luck girls we are!!!!

  3. My mistake was thinking I was never enough. I worked hard to earn my ex’s love, but never ever had it. This time I decided to be myself, and the amazing thing about it is my sweetie loves me that way. He thinks everything I do from talking to myself to my big, horsey laugh is wonderful. Ahh…love.

    • Morgan, what do you think was your tipping point? When or how did you realize you were not making self-affirming choices?

      • Probably when my ex turned up the televsion when I tried to talk to him, or we would go for a walk and he’d walk in front of me to keep up his cardio rate because I didn’t walk fast enough. I decided then it wasn’t the relationship I wanted. It propelled me to have my cards read almost five years ago. The man who did it I thought was a quack. Ironically, I now realize I am living the life he’d foretold.

        • Oh wow. What a complete jackass he was!! Good riddance and sayonara!

          So…do you “have your cards read” often? And…is that something you should be guest posting about here in Swaggerville? :D

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Isnt it amazing how so many women are so good at being chameleons…changing to be the person we think they want us to be? I think shedding that chameleon skin comes with maturity…If only we knew then what we know now!
      Love J

  4. I ended up fixing my husband rather than trading him in on another model. It worked out great, but I had doubts at times.

  5. I’ve been married to my husband Tom for 25 years now. I know God is listens to prayers because he sent me Tom. He wasn’t my first marriage. I married David when we were both seventeen years old. We married to get out of our bad home life, only to create another bad home life with each other. Alcoholism, ran in his family and became part of ours. He was a mean drunk just like his mother and father were. Seven years and two kids later I left. Determined not to find someone who drank, God sent me Tom. Fifteen years my senior and twenty five years later he still picks me flowers, encourages me to follow my dreams, and has always been my mighty oak tree. I feel like I’m a very lucky woman.
    Diane Kratz

    • Oh my gosh, that is just beautiful, Diane! What finally happened inside you to find the courage to actually leave with two young children?

      • My children did. I didn’t want them to become like him. They deserved a chance to see life without alcohol/violence in it. He remarried and was violent with his second wife too. They divorced and he met a women who was an alcoholic like him. She shot him in the foot one night when he was violent with her. He couldn’t hold a relationship with anyone.

        David died at age 30. He drowned trying to save his friends life. God took him at his best moment in life. Even though both were legally drunk at the time. I feel so sad because he had so much in front of him he never saw because of his blurred eyes. He drank to kill the pain inside him. The pain he had as a child growing up in a home with no love, stability or compassion. He drank because of the pain he knew he inflicted on others. They taught him to be the man he became. I didn’t want that future for my children! That’s why I left him.

        Life lessons are hard, but I’m an excellent student because I learn from my mistakes! When one door closes another opens! Love this blog Misty!

        • Wow. Just…wow. This just gives me chills. You, my friend, have been blessed with not only courage, but wisdom as well. Your children are so lucky to have a strong woman like you as their mum!

        • Josie Matthews says:

          Wow Diane, What great words of wisdom. I love your empathy for David when you said ‘God took him at his best moment in life.’ Thats so thought provoking. You are a very strong woman. Major Chickswagger!
          Love Josie

  6. I am so young yet have been through the ringer.
    My first boyfriend was such a breat and such a suck- years later I found out he’s Gay…
    There were a slew of men in between my ex and my current boyfriend. From control freaks to drug addicts, I’ve had them all lol

    But now, I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years and we’re absolutely perfect for each other. We complement each other very well. He’s trustworthy, respectful, wealthy, smart, and he makes me laugh like none other!

    • Holy crap, even a drug addict, huh? You *have* had the gamut. But it’s obviously made you better for it. I don’t regret most of my mistakes because I feel I’ve learned from them. At least after getting beat up by the lessons often enough. LOL

      Thanks for stopping in, Anna! I’m so glad you found someone who loves and respects you! Hugs, misty :)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Anna, love that you are young and putting yourself out there to find out what suits you! Alot of young women just want to hurry up and wear that pretty white dress! Sounds like your man right now is pretty much your ticket! (Sounds like Christian Grey!!! Does he have a silver tie?) Just kidding.
      Love you!
      J

  7. I am lucky to have found THE man for me! This happened when I wasn’t even looking. My history is getting out of a relationship only to jump into another. I never felt like I mattered without someone there by my side… I would take being 2nd best, sometimes 3rd, sometimes all the way at the bottom of the list. I was married 13 years, and sure things were good at the beginning, I think, but now that I look back I see that I was working my butt off to be what he thought was perfect. Now who can live up to that. It took that many years for me to pick myself up and say, DAMN IT, I am good enough, and I kicked his sorry butt to the curb. Sure, every day isn’t perfect, but at least now I don’t have to be!!

    • Hells yes, Dawn!! I feel like we’re havin’ a “power to the she” party around here! I can relate to your comment about needing someone by your side. I felt that way for a long time too. Thank goodness we wised up! Because when we’re “whole” all by ourselves, that’s when we’re most ready to find that forever kinda love. :D Thanks for sharing!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      “Go Dawn, Go Dawn, Go Dawn,” Josie chanted as she executed the perfect running-man on the tail of a flawless charlie-brown. (okay…so that visual with a 165 lbs 50 year old woman is a little scary…but I don’t care!)
      Why the hell don’t men ever feel the need to change for a woman…Mine still sits with his hand in his pants and scratches (or whatever) while he watches TV and he knows I hate it!
      I blame their mothers! They raised their boys to think their perfect. How DARE them!

  8. I have never had to wonder if my husband loves me either. And for whatever reason I have never had to wonder if I loved him. I just do. I had a boyfriend through most of high school and some of college. Everyone, including both of our parents, thought we were going to get married. One of the hardest things I have ever done was walk away from that relationship because there was nothing wrong with it. His parents loved me, and he was a fabulous guy who treated me great. Sometimes even though there is NO drama, it still isn’t right in the way you want it to be right. It can be just as hard because nobody else can see where you’re coming from, and they all think you’re nuts. And the thing I find really funny about my husband is that I have actually known him since I was in middle school, when my brother was dating his sister. He’s been brother’s good friend for many years, just hanging around. When I was in college when I broke up with my boyfriend and dated a few duds, I thought I wouldn’t find anyone, I looked right in front of my face, and there he was. Literally in my house. He says he was just waiting for me to grow up, not have a boyfriend for once, and get my braces off. hahaha.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      MAndy, I think it must have been harder to leave a relationship that didnt have any obvious problems. People always have their two cents and a girl might tend to second guess herself! It was meant to be! Love the ‘brother’s friend’ hook up!!! How romantic. Sometimes what we think we want blinds us to what we really need…Hmmm…. A Josie Matthews quote…
      Love, J

    • Holy shit, that’s cool, Mandy! Yeah, I bet that was hard especially when everyone had probably already planned the wedding for you!

      “He says he was just waiting for me to grow up, not have a boyfriend for once, and get my braces off.” —Brilliant! Love. It. :)

  9. Goodness Misty! You are such a giving individual in sharing your story and asking others to share. It is healing so I suppose you will never lose your desire to fix things or “make things right”. It’s an attribute of a giving nature which you portray in abundance.

    I made so many mistakes that when I met “Mr. Right” I saw him as a gift I didn’t deserve. One from the Big Guy-Himself from Above. The moment my husband asked me to marry him was when I began my daily request to the Holy Trinity to be our foundation. The awe I felt in knowing God had selected such a treasure for me is still humbling. Six months prior to our wedding of daily prayers to preside at our wedding has sealed our soul-mated journey with Heavenly cement. When we ask God to get involved, wow – does He come through…and nothing on this earth can touch our union…or taint it. Even thinking about that blessing (one of too many to count here) makes me want to just keep talking about how wonderful our Father in Heaven is.

    And then He just keeps giving in allowing me to see your story and all those who shared here. Goodness, I love Him.

    One thing is for sure…sounds like God stepped in to give that big heart of yours a treasured home as well.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Karen, how wonderful…but dont forget about the wonderful person YOU and your man are and how you played a role in all this. The MAN UPSTAIRS, doesnt give us anything but free will and His love. You took that love and free will and worked it Baby! And look what you got! Yay! for Karen!!!
      Love J

      • Hello darling Josie!

        LOL…yep – free will. That’s what got me into trouble to begin with. I was following the wrong compass. Grateful for my free will to be given an opportunity to follow The Way…Truth…and Life… I want that same free will to lead me into heaven (no free will can get us in there or make us live forever) so once again, guidance is key to our free will because free will can also lead me in the other direction…and I don’t like hot weather here, let alone the temperatures I’ve read about in that other place. I’m grateful for that guidance. But…of course I am speaking from my own faith.

        See what our Misty does? She makes us delve into our personal selves and tell everything.

        That woman is dangerous.

    • Karen, when my husband and I were going through all the Catholic “stuff” before getting married, we had an awesome priest who gave the analogy of a 3-ply rope that would make for the strongest marriages: Man-Woman-God. I’ve never forgotten that. So so true.

      Your man is one lucky guy to get a peach like you, sweetie!

      Love ya! m

      • Josie Matthews says:

        Our priest told me during our premarital counseling that i was marrying my father-in-law madn hubby was marrying my mother. We laughed saying no way…we are totally not gonna turn into our parents… CRAPOLA! 21 years later and my husband husband acts exactly like his father and Im cut right out of my mother’s as$!!!! Father Damas was sooooo right! Scarey…
        Im not a practicing Catholic any more, but not because of that. It’s because cute little Father Charles told our congregation that 85% of souls who leave earth go to purgatory and if we put $ in the envelope in the back of the church we can lower that number. I’d like to know… who collected those statistics?

  10. Josie Matthews says:

    Okay gang, Ive said alot already in some of my replies so in fear of being long and redundant, here goes…
    Didnt get the daddy love as a girl, looked for it in ALL the wrong places. Starting at 14 when I lost my virginity! Boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend…the only place I felt worthy. Misty, I so relate to the ‘lost all the good friends and good memories in high school’ because I was always tied down. College wasnt much better…boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend. Then in my early twenties I got really self-destructive. Moved out after college lived with one physically/emotionally abusive cop that put an engagement ring on my finger in 3 months (creepy). Got out of that one by the skin of my teeth in the middle of the night. Then came the crazy emotionally abusive live-in that couldnt understand why he couldnt ‘share me’ or why he couldnt have who he wanted. ‘If you really loved me….”
    I dont know if God stepped in or I just stepped in shit, but my knight-in-shining-armor-hubby saved me…literally from gun point to carry me away to a calm, sane, normal relationship! Go figure!!! And its been 21 years and I havent died of lack-of-drama yet!!
    And we live happily ever after and he even loves me when my undies are all stretched out and old and when I’m acting like a witch. He’s perfect…and cute…and hot…and hunky….and loves and respects me just the way I am…his momma done right! But he needs more money, I found a great TV stand I want to buy and he wont let me! The nerve!!!!
    Thanks Misty for bringing up great memories?

    • So sorry you went through all that Josie. We should go into a chat room one night where comments can be made to disappear and the only thing remaining is the support and sharing. You and Misty share a special bond and what you’ve created here is a beautiful thing.

      *smooches*

      • Josie Matthews says:

        Love you KC! Misty and I are spookily(is that a word?) conneted. We have so much fun sharing thoughts with you guys.
        I look at my past as very character building…and talk about book fodder! God always definitely watches over me!

    • Whoa. What I find amazing, Josie, is that after all of that craziness, you didn’t have such a bad self-esteem that you sabotaged your relationship with your hubby. That happens a lot you know because people don’t think they’re worthy of something good (ie. Karen’s comments – although she too had the strength of character to reach out for good love and hold it close).

      I’m so very proud of you. It seems like every week I learn something new about you that makes me admire and love you more…. (((big hugs)))

  11. It would take ten pages to write down all my mistakes..well, maybe just nine. How did I know DH was the one? Probably because I thought the sun rose and fell for him. I loved that he was willing to take on my overnight bag and I was willing to take on his whole set of tourister.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Crack me up Jerri!!! Im rather fond of my mistakes…now anyway, wasnt too thrilled when I was taking them for a test drive. Mistakes make us….meatier! Dont you think! Youve got strong shoulders to take on a tourister set…Good Girl! Swagga’!

    • LMAO, Jerri! “I loved that he was willing to take on my overnight bag and I was willing to take on his whole set of tourister.” — so original and so funny (just like your writing!!!). Usually it’s the other way around, though, with the woman being the one with all the shit. :D

  12. Sarah Okins says:

    I can totally relate to this! I have had my fair share of ups and downs in relationships and as to date mostly downs but I take every single one as an opportunity to learn and grow! It has been a hard life lesson learning that I am a “Rescuer!” Due to this factor my support and love would be taken advantage of and my kindness for granted. I am a possibility thinker and as a result I can see the potential someone possesses even if they themselves are unable or unwilling to embrace it. As you said you can’t force or provoke change until they are ready to. But you hold on and love them anyway because you can see all their good.

    I just recently met someone who actually sees relationships as a equal partnership and inspires growth with consistent morals and thought provoking ideals. He has shown me the quality of truth and living it on a daily basis along side the innate ability of caring for others and at times putting them before himself. He can distinguish the fact that people are not only a product of their DNA but also the experiences life has thrown at them. He embraces people for who they are! I can’t say where this newly found friendship will lead me considering he lives in Canada but it is refreshing to not be in a one sided relationship. It may be an endeavor that came into my life for a reason; to provide the insight of possibilities. It also may only be for a short while but it already renewed my faith in good. I guess I will trust where life will take me!

    I know I have not commented on here in a while, but I still follow you guys and you still do an exceptional job! It is great to read a blog that embodies so many topics!!

    Love and Hugs,
    Sarah

    PS…I started reading this and it reminded me of a conversation I had with one of the most amazing women I know! ;)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Sarah, Verrrry interesting…I truly believe every encounter we have with a person is meant to teach or show us something. Even the man standing next to you on an elevator…If we keep our eyes, minds and hearts wide open and dont let fear close us off too much, I believe we could learn so much more and experience so much more. Often we are not ‘present in the moment’ so we miss little things that could change our course. Mr. Canada’s friendship definitely sounds like a course changer to me by the tone and poetic cadence in your awesome words here. I can almost feel your happiness with this new friendship! Really Nice!
      Thanks for reading us and its nice just to know you are there!
      Love J Amazing woman?….hmmmm….I think I might know the same one!

      • Sarah Okins says:

        Amen! Beautifully written Josie! I truly believe that as well and that we have specific life lessons to learn. We will be challenge and encountered on a daily basis to to learn these life lessons and once we seem to have a good grasp on it, another wave will hit to see if we can be consistent in it. There is always something good to be taken away from every bad situation, even if at the time it doesn’t seem so. There is so much joy in the little things of life that we let fly by without a thought but the bad always seem to resonate. I feel it necessary to marry the simple joy and hardships to form inspiration and growth! :)

        By the way J, we do know the same one! ;) What a blessing!!

        Cheers,
        Sarah

    • Sarah…all I can say is…it’s about damn time a man sees the diamond you are.

      (Okay, that’s really not *all* I’m going to say. LOL) Being present is a gift, and I think it comes naturally to you. For that reason, yes, you will get hurt at times, but you will also experience more joy in sum total than most people because joy isn’t just the big things in life – it’s also an accumulation of a lot of little things that give our hearts a lift. You’re present so you’re going to feel all those little things so much more.

      Damn, we are quite the philosophers tonight, are we not? :)

      I’m so happy this Canadian boy came into your life – if only to renew your belief that not all men are selfish jerks. Because they’re not. Keep me posted!

      You’re amazing, friend! Much love and hugs! m

      • Sarah Okins says:

        Thanks hun! What inspiration and advice you always give! I am just enjoying life and what it has to offer; we will see where it takes me! :) I did feel very philosophical last night…hahaha! I see you got an award for the blog. Congrats you guys and it is well deserved!! Keep ‘em coming and I love reading your posts!!

        Cheers to success!!
        Sarah

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