I started dating my son’s father (first husband) when I was barely past puberty at 17 (he was 27) and married him when I was 19, giving birth exactly 9 months and 3 days later. We were both in a strict, patriarchal religious system where choices in partners were limited and women only had a voice if they were married. I was trying to get on the proverbial ‘map’ and really wanted to get laid.
Looking at my son now, who is the age I was when I was writing love letters to his father, I realize how much of a child I was then. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my son’s father in Java Joes coffee house when we were on the verge of breaking up forever… I asked him what first attracted him to me and he said “you smiled a lot and had nice boobs”. Yep…. You can see why that marriage didn’t last.
However, I am grateful we have been able to co-parent for the last decade. Despite our differences and anger with each other at times, we have always put the well being of our son first. Our kid is turning out to be a responsible, sweetheart of a person and his father is a big part of that. When I was nursing my son watching daytime TV, Judge Judy said often “love your children more than you hate each other” and I took that advice to heart.
I was married again within 2 years of my first divorce being final. I thought I got it right the 2nd time and, in many ways, I did, but we are better as friends than husband and wife. I am aware the statistical likelihood of future marriages lasting goes exponentially down with every one. I’ve learned a lot about what destroys relationships and the shadow parts of myself in the past year. I am hopeful I will find the love I am looking for in a partner but my mission for this next year is to find my voice without one.
It’s requiring me to set and keep emotional boundaries with people in my life. It’s making me set aside time to be completely alone doing things that connect me with how I understand spirituality now. I am practicing saying what I think and how I feel with kindness even if it’s not convenient at the time for the other person to hear it. I am back in the saddle of hosting workshops, enjoying exploring my potential with music, and trying new things with new people.
The trickiest thing about romantic relationships with me is staying true to myself while in one. I can adapt to anyone but that’s not always good for me. And if it’s not good for me, it’s not good for ‘us’. I am a hellava lot more than someone who smiles with nice boobs! It’s time I prove it to myself, for reals.
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading