As most of you know, I am now married and it took me 32 long years to find The One. My tall, handsome doctor man came just in time! Before my Prince Charming, there were some not-so-charming. These relationships, each having ended, taught me something incredibly important. Even the worst of relationships had something to offer in terms of insight. You can make mistakes, just don’t marry them! To know exactly what I wanted, I had to realize what I didn’t want. Here is what I learned:
I deserve someone faithful. After being jilted by a former boyfriend, who decided it was okay to stay active on an online dating site for the entire duration of our relationship. I realized someone who was going to be unfaithful to me and lie, was not anyone I wanted as a boyfriend, husband, or friend. Staying in a relationship where I was blatantly being cheated on was horrific, it turned me into someone un-trusting, suspicious and obscenely jealous. When you are with someone faithful you don’t have to check emails or creep on texts, you know in your heart they don’t love anyone but you (well, maybe your cocker spaniel, too).
My life is important too. One of my former relationships consumed me and made me feel my life had to be on the back burner. Some men still have old ways of thinking that women should cook, clean, and tend to the house – but then also work full-time. I was in this scenario with someone who expected an omelette on the table every morning and dinner ready every night, because that was “my job.” My life wasn’t important, the only objective was to fulfill his wants. I needed someone who would believe in me and my dreams – my husband and I talk about my desire for a master’s degree and he is extremely supportive. He also reads my blog! I am very supportive as well, hence moving to Georgia for clinicals.
I needed someone on the same page with core values. A former guy always kept me waiting and ran late all the time. I was constantly waiting for him to get done at the gym, waiting for him to get done work, waiting, waiting! He did not value my time or even think to be a considerate person. My husband is extremely considerate of my time and feelings, he lets me know when he is going to be tardy (it’s rare if he is late), lets me sleep in if he leaves early for work, and texts me to ask if I need anything while he is out (you get the gist). We all have traits which are important to us, but sharing core values is extremely important.
Toxic relationships bring out the worst in me. Great relationships bring out the best. When I was unhappy in a relationship, I became a sad shell of a person. I barely recognized myself. I was pressured into being rail thin and look perfect all the time, the guy even going so far to joke that “hungry was happy.” Gross! I had been so oppressed and then made to feel guilty when I tried to leave the bad relationship. Friends and family are very observant, if they mention something isn’t right, probably best to take heed. Conversely, a loving relationship can make you shine from the inside, and everyone will take notice. Being in the right relationship made me realize I wanted to shine.
I could find (and marry) someone who was the total package. My worst relationship always felt like something was missing, it wasn’t a feeling of content, but dread. I would think to myself, “well he doesn’t have this character trait, but that’s okay.” Um no, it isn’t okay! If I wanted someone smart, funny, kind, caring, thoughtful, faithful, etc. I could have it. Dysfunctional relationships can make a person feel less than, they restrict you. I realized I didn’t have to settle! My husband was the perfect match – he makes me laugh harder than I ever thought I could, loves me unconditionally, is whip-smart but still down to earth, considerate and kind, he has it all… not to mention easy on the eyes! You can have it all.
What did you worst relationship teach you?