From Bitter to Beloved

For starters, this header photo isn’t us, it’s a stock photo. We’re not those ages yet.

I spent a lot of years making bad choices for boyfriends. I allowed certain behaviors where I convinced myself all the good men were married or buried. It kept me in a vicious cycle of continuing to make those choices. It was an awakening when I was very ill in 1995-1996 with a disk infection, IV antibiotics for 6 weeks at home, and a huge laminectomy on my spine. I was bedridden except for 45 minutes a day while wearing a giant body brace. Really sexy, let me tell you.

I had a critical attitude about Valentine’s Day. All the unattached single women did. In the beginning, it was hard to work where every woman around you received these giant, expensive bouquets of roses. Interesting. Many of them read the card, saying it was their husband, and made the comment, “He BETTER do this for me.” Talk about a poor attitude! IMHO, getting flowers because you will make your other’s life hell if you don’t receive them is not out of love. It’s out of fear. I don’t want my love to fear my wrath over a bouquet.

I knew too many women, divorced, raised their kids, and hated men. They went out together and bashed men. I’ve never joined in. I like men, I don’t hate them! So negative. I never wanted to become like that. I could have.

I’ve told the story over and over about the Babe being so kind to me, despite still recovering from that back surgery. I met him in March following the December surgery. He just quit smoking in August after losing his dad to heart disease. Good thing; the Babe was a 3-pack a day smoker and I cannot tolerate smoke. See how things work out?

Convinced all men were the same, my ego in the garbage with a nasty breakup the year before, I believed no one would ever love me. Mom told me what I wanted was not possible. I should have stayed in the terrible marriage. Nope. It was exactly what I always wanted. Amazing. He was attentive, caring, patient with my recovery, and patient with me.

The most important factor in our love is the trust we have in each other. We both feel infidelity is a deal breaker. There is too much of that in the world, IMHO. We get angry with each other, but we clear the air. I sometimes have a hard time with his contented silences. In our house, if Mom was quiet, she was angry. Angry silences were not good. Once in a while, I still need some reassurance about the silence, and the Babe assures me. It’s a weakness I haven’t overcome as yet. We’ll get there.

Learning to love yourself is a key factor in breaking dependency. I grew up during a time when women were incomplete without a man to take care of them. When I got divorced, I was determined to finish college. A lot of men thought college was not even a possibility. Why was I going? I’d find someone to get married. Way to not have a second date, dude. Way to end up in the friend category, man.

The Babe never felt less of a man if I earned more money that he did. He has always been supportive of when I worked, went on LTD, and now as I write. His support knocked me over when he told me my writing was important to him, too. I asked why. He said, “Because it’s important to me.” Wow. Jackpot.

I can tell you if you’re by yourself this Valentine’s Day, it’s ok. I didn’t get flowers either. We’re not going out to dinner, we’re having leftover chili. Neither of us had time to get cards. We talked about what we mean to each other. We talked about how comfortable as we’re doing nothing. Life is an adventure, and it can content us sitting on the deck. That’s what true, trusting love is. Build the trust while you’re in the physical attraction stage. Build the trust while you’re getting to know each other. Talk. And learn about each other. Baby steps turn into a marathon of marriage when it’s right. We’re celebrating 24 years this October. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. I am now beloved. And it’s perfect for us. The Babe is beloved, too. It is worth the wait.

Enjoy your day, your company, your solitude and silence. See you tomorrow!

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