I got married when I was 20 to a man that by all accounts wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t good for me. Long story short, I was married to a loser. He didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, he just didn’t do anything at all.
Now, I am not a “typical woman” if there even is such a thing. I love myself. Sure, there are things I want to improve, but I don’t have a problem with my age, or intelligence, or what my body looks like, or my personality- those things that seem to stereotypically plague women just don’t bother me for whatever reason. I have a career where I make more than enough money on my own to live comfortably. I know how to use power tools, fix my own car, and google the shit out of anything else that needs to be done. I say what I mean, and expect others to do the same, none of this passive-aggressive nonsense. But I’m stubborn as a mule, and marriages are supposed to last, so even though I was the primary breadwinner, and did most of the things around the house, and raised my kids mostly on my own, I still spent 13 years in that worthless marriage. At the end of the day, my husband felt like I didn’t need him, because I am very capable. But he was wrong. I needed support. I needed a partner, a friend. Even someone who would see how hard I was working to just keep my head above water. I couldn’t manage EVERYTHING on my own; and I still can’t.
For some perspective at how emotionally isolated I was, I struggled with infertility for three years; I had to take tons of medications & shots that made me sick, tired, have hot flashes, body aches, and migraines for those years; not to mention the emotional drain of every month without fail seeing a single pink line on that damn stick. The emotion of going through a bulk pack of pregnancy tests, or taking photos of your cousin’s child’s first birthday (for the child they conceived after you started trying), is just… a lot to bear; I was very open with my struggles, because i think it helped other people too. Somehow, my husband wasn’t even aware this was a thing that i was needing support in. he had no idea. and it’s not because I didn’t tell him or directly ask him. he just was that thick and lost. He was a five-year-old trapped as an adult- lacking the ability to give support in that way.
And once I had kids, he was actually more of a burden than a help. I spent most of my time walking on eggshells, trying to balance being exhausted from a high-demand job, making dinner, and praying the kids (who are all-around good kids) didn’t do anything to “poke the bear” while my husband played games on his phone and mostly ignored them. I spent more time trying to keep them from upsetting him than anything else.
When I finally asked him to please leave, everything improved immediately. I could breathe again. I was free of so much dead weight. I was so, so happy to just not-have-him around. It was so much better, I never looked back, and I was ok on my own. Sure, I crawled in to bed every night, feeling ready to collapse at the end of the day. Kids are demanding, after all. But I was free. And I was happy.
But it wears on you. I have an unfair amount of help in my life. I have a six-figure salary and live well within my means. I have family that watches my children when i need. I have amazing neighbors and a church family that pitches in often whenever I need a hand, and still, i had many, many, days where I was so tired from thinking all day, coming home to my screaming 4-year-old, and my 10-year-old yammering about a tv show, and the dog yapping at the door and the cat under my feet crying, and it’s so much. everything needs me, all the time. Notice, I didn’t say want. They needed me. Feeling needed is great, but most days I was a mostly empty cup that was trying to wring out every last drop to pour into my little family, and there simply wasn’t enough to go around.
Did I ever think of dating? lol, no. Who has time for that? I sure didn’t. I was busy enough, and i clearly was ok on my own. Besides, who would want to date a woman who had little kids, and was by all accounts completely independent and very successful? I was sure as hell not ever looking to date for “fun”- aren’t nobody got time for that! Not to mention, I’m not going to go out of my way to meet anyone, my standards were WAY high after my ex, and again, that’s just time I don’t have for something I didn’t see any particular need for.
So that’s when God said “Hold my beer” and cracked his knuckles……to be continued.