This is the point where I usually find myself wondering how and why someone who was supposed to care about me, treated me so poorly.
I feel victimized and empowered at the same time and seriously just want to kick some ass. Or burn something. Or yell at someone.
Except by this time I'm already so thoroughly exhausted from other other array of non-optimum emotions that I usually just push and anger aside and try and move on.
This time though, was different.
This time I starred the anger down and confronted it head on. Instead of just letting it simmer inside me, I was able to come to a resolution.
See, it does me no good to be angry at someone for treating me poorly. I mean, really. What good does it do?
There is a Buddist quote that says, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
And how true that is! It really does no good to get mad. But what do you do instead?
Well, I had to take responsibility for what I did that got me there.
Sure it makes for good drama for an unsuspecting girl to meet a wonderful boy and, 1 year later, said boy goes all Jekyll and Hyde on her, leaving her devastated, angry and unable to understand what the hell happened.
But as dramatic as this sounds, it's not a very likely scenario.
More likely is that "unsuspecting girl" is really girl with low self esteem and "wonderful boy" has really been Mr. Hyde all along.
More likely is said boy has been treating her like crap from the beginning, maybe not to the extent of whatever crappiness brought the relationship to a halt, but like crap nevertheless.
And she just took it because somewhere deep down she never realized she deserved better.
Somewhere, sometime and on some level she agreed that it was OK for someone to treat her like crap. And so when Mr. Hyde arrived and treated her a little less like crap than the previous ones, she labeled him "Mr. Wonderful" and just took it.
I won't get into my whole journey here, as it is long and probably boring. But I will say that, while it takes two to send a relationship into the depths of hell; the only place I should be looking is within myself.
How can I blame someone else for treating me like crap when I basically started out saying, "Hey, it's OK to treat me like crap"?
Did I say it just like that? No.
But when you accept things you know are not right and when you accept treatment that is less than you deserve. When you make excuses for these things or start apologizing for what you did to make a person treat you this way then you are, in fact, saying, "Hey! It's OK to treat me like crap."
And when you start off a relationship just like that, how can you expect anything less than pure, unadulterated crap?
So now, lessons learned, I am back to number 1. Back to putting myself back together so that I think highly enough of myself to not settle for anything less than amazing.
The best part is, the more I look within myself and the more I evaluate what I want out of life for myself and others, the more I like myself. And the more I realize I would be absolutely crazy to ever settle for anything less than amazing again.
It's inevitable for me after a failed relationship that I hit this stage. The stage of pure, unadulterated anger.
Remember this book? Well I order it, it arrived today and I finished it today. Yeah, I know I'm about 7-8 years too late on this bandwagon but when this book was released I was married and pregnant with my first child and really could
not have cared less about what this book had to say.An unfortunate fact since, had a cared and read the book at the time, I probably would have saved myself a LOT of heartache over the course of the last 7-8 years. I'm not going to get into talking too much about a book that is old news. (I KNOW, I'm seriously late on the bandwagon). But as I was reading the book I started thinking... There seems to be this general agreement that there are far more good women than there are good men. And that women just need to "be strong" and hold out for her "Prince Charming". But what if that's a bunch of crap?
With all of the changes in society, the economy and the general roll of a woman over the last few decades, it's easy to make the argument that women are more evolved then men, and maybe we are. But have we evolved ourselves onto an impossibly high pedestal?Do we now think so highly of ourselves and our Hollywood-induced concept of romance that we are our own worst enemy? Have we become big-headed
and unnecessarily critical of men? Are WE the reason we are still single? Or are we simply less tolerant of behavior we previously HAD to tur
n a blind eye to?
Let's put it this way: 50 years ago a woman depended on a man for survival. She depended on him to pay her bills and to buy her nice things. She HAD to be more tolerant of his behavior, her survival depended on it. If he cheated or hit her or yelled at her, she turned a blind eye, wrote it off as having "had a bad day" and went about her business. But what about now? Now she is able to kick him out. She is able to be picky. She no longer depends on him or her survival, she only wants companionship and maybe a family. But honestly, in this day and age, a woman doesn't NEED a man to have a family. Just a clinic and his best swimmers. And the general consensus is that this puts us women at an advantage. It puts us in a place where we can afford to hold out and wait for our "Prince Charming". But I think this whole situation has a downside that we women, sitting up here on our highly evolved pedestals, seem to be overlooking. It seems to me that we are becoming less and less tolerant of behavior that is simply the behavior of a human being and a MAN. We get annoyed when we don't get wined and dined or when he checks out another woman. Or that he needs us to iron his shirt. We resent that he expects a cooked meal at the end of an exhausting work day. We don't need them to take care of us anymore and we resent that they still needs us.But that's just it. Women have evolved in a area that men have not, an area that men may
never evolve in. But more than that, we women have become intolerant of behavior that is quite simply the behavior of a man.
We sit here on our pedestals and criticize men for being men. We don't try and understand them AS THEY ARE. Instead we compare them to our delusional concept of what we think a man should be. Listen ladies, MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE. That's all.
Nothing more. Nothing less. Somehow men have this figured out far better than us women do. They KNOW we can be a little crazy, they know we overreact, get emotional and need romantic gestures that are not intrinsic to their God given behavior. They know this, they accept this and THEY LOVE US ANYWAY. But not us women. Nope. We criticize them for "not evolving" and move through them like we change outfits simply because he did not meet our expectation of what we think a man should be like. Am I saying you should put up with shitty behavior from a man? No. I am not. But I am saying that we women need to start loving men for who they are, not some deluded concept of what we now think they should be. It takes patience and tolerance to love a man. It's not a walk in the park. They do stupid things sometimes and need to be taken care of in ways we think they should have outgrown by now. Then again, women are no walk in the park either!But there is a difference between not tolerating bad and toxic behavior and simply being intolerant. This may not be a popular idea but I think we, as women, are becoming intolerant.
And not in a strong, kick-ass way. But in a biased, "my gender is better than yours" way. Ladies, if you want a husband then expect to get a husband and everything that goes with it, whether it be good or bad. Don't expect a wife in husband clothing. So my advice to anyone currently unhappy with the scarcity of "good men" is to start loving men for who they really are.
Men are not the way they are because they are "unevolved". They are the way they are because they are MEN. And, while we're at it, let's be honest with ourselves. If we REALLY didn't need men, then why the hell did this book end up a New York Times best-seller? Want to read more on this topic? Try my post: An Open Letter To All Men
First of all, I apologize that I have been MIA for the last week.
Actually, screw that. I don't apologize. I had a week off from motherhood. An ENTIRE week.
Yes, it's true that I promised myself that I would get ahead on blog posts and catch up on networking and the endless household to-do list.
Yet, I did none of that.
What I DID do was: I slept in. I drank far too much wine. I bought shoes and Victoria's Secret items that I don't need. (REALLY don't need). I cleaned practically nothing. I cooked ABSOLUTELY nothing. I took walks in parks that look like this:
And I enjoyed EVERY. FRIGGEN. MINUTE of it.
So yeah, I don't apologize.
In fact, this last week was probably the first time in many, many years that I've been able to just BE. I was able to focus on myself with NO guilt for doing so.
It was virtually stress free and virtually drama free. (Ok, I'm lying. I totally flipped out at my ex, but what can I say? Stress free or not, I'm still me. Deal with it.)
But I digress...
In short, it was amazing and it was exactly what I needed.
And I really, really wanted to share it with you all. I did attempt to sit down and blog on several occasions and I just could not do it!
Whether it was too little stress and therefore not enough pressure or just too many pairs of shoes calling my name. Or possibly, and maybe the most likely, too far in to a bottle of wine to compose a rational thought. (I know, I know. Who am I kidding with the "rational thoughts"? The irrational, drunk-off-my-ass ones would have been far more fun. For you.)
But regardless of the reason, I could not think of a single thing to write and could not find the discipline to sit down and try until my kids came back and I was forced back in to the daily routine of things.
But fortunately (or unfortunately) for you, they are back and so am I.
AND this is exciting because I'm going to be launching a new series on this blog on Wednesday and I am really, REALLY going to need your help!
This new series is inspiring for me and I think it will be for you as well.
So don't forget to check back here on Wednesday.
I'm seriously, really, REALLY gonna need your help.
For real. :)
Sitting here tonight, binging on junk food and alcoholic beverages, I can't help but wonder: When does working hard for a relationship become settling for less than you deserve? When does it cross that line from making concessions for the one you love to losing yourself almost completely? You would think it was a very defined line. And maybe it is. In hindsight.
But when you're in it, or when you're almost out of it, it's not a very defined line. It's a blur. A big, messy, confusing blur.
I mentioned in my guest post
for Tatter Scoops
that my relationship ended. Truthfully, it ended in June and the last 3 1/2 months have been a lot of trying to make sense of it, trying to survive it and trying to clean up the mess.
At first, I didn't want it to end. Although, if I'm being honest, I toyed with the idea at numerous times through out the relationship. And for the last 3 1/2 months I've gone from hating him to loving him and back to hating him and then loving him and now, finally, I'm just walking away.
That's a really good question... One I don't think I can answer except to say, I don't like the way I feel around him anymore. I don't like the way his doubt about me makes me feel. I mean, after all, don't we all deserve someone who just thinks we are the very best? Don't we deserve someone who feels damn lucky to have us?
I think we do.
I think I do.
Through out the last 3 1/2 months he and I have reached back for each other, wondering if we could possibly make it work. We've gone from one side to the other, ultimately arriving in the same limbo that drove us to break in the very first place.
And I just can't do it anymore.
Maybe you could call it giving up. Maybe it's true that I'm just not strong enough to be in this limbo anymore. But I just think I deserve better. I don't want limbo. I don't want uncertainty.
I want amazing.
And so, I walk away.
I recently met Maureen, a single mom and blogger from Indonesia, through an opportunity to guest post on her blog: Tatter Scoops.
After perusing her fantastic content, which I found to be so very real, heartfelt and honest, I of course, jumped at the opportunity. We decided I would do a post on dating as a single mom. Something I've done a fair bit of, so I should be able to bang out a few pointers in no time, right? Wrong. You can see how I stumbled my way through it here: On Dating and Relationships as a Single Mom
While you're over there, have a look around Maureen's blog. Her post: And So I Face The Final Curtain
, will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to give her a big virtual hug because you so TOTALLY get it.
Then head over to her post: 5 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Single Mom
and you'll find yourself nodding your head in agreement and realizing that, while the language and understanding amongst single moms is VERY universal, there are cultural differences that make living somewhere where they are not as desensitized to divorce and single motherhood as they are here in the US, more difficult.
OK, while most of you fully comprehended what I was saying in my last post, An Open Letter to All Men
, and while I even got some great feedback on how what I said helped you, I would like to clarify that I in no way dislike or wanted to attack men.
Let me make that extra, extra clear: I LOVE MEN. Really. I love them. I love how strong they can be. I love how even keeled and laid back they are. I WISH I were more like that. I love that they love women. No, let me rephrase that. I love that women are their complete and utter weakness and that they adore every curve and soft spot on her body. I love a man's hands and, *ahem*, the things he can do with those hands... I love their emotional strength and their general desire to provide for their loved ones. I love their broad shoulders in both the physical sense and the shoulder I can cry on.
I love men. I really, really do. And my sole and entire purpose of my last post was to help men understand women better.
Women are complexly wired creatures. We are emotional, sometimes rationally and sometimes irrationally. We have layers. Oh so many layers. And, unless you are one of us, we are hard to comprehend. Hell, most of the time WE don't understand why we even react the way we do!
So I thought I'd break it down in a way that most women and men would get. And I do think I did just that. But I would be remiss if I left anyone with the impression that behind this computer screen was some man-hating spinstress. Not so. A good man is an amazingly, admirably, beautiful thing. And for those of you ladies lucky enough to have one of those men? Treat him well. Men need care and a lotta lovin' too!
Alright, guys. Listen up. I realize that, as a general rule, men seem to find women confusing. They don't know what we want and don't understand why we get pissed when we do. So I'm gonna break it down for you, because it's really all too simple. If you understand and can really get your wits around this one simple fact, you'll have a much happier wife/girlfriend/fiancee.
Still not paying attention? Let me make it simpler: Do what I say here; really, REALLY get it, and do it and YOU'LL GET LAID MORE. Seriously. Keep reading.
Alright, now that I really have your attention, here it is, in all it's beautiful simplicity:
Women need constant reaffirmation of your affection. We need to know you care. Or more simply put, we need to know you give a shit. Really. That's all.
Seems simple enough except you men seem to be rather skilled at portraying to the world that you DON'T give a shit. It's like it's coded in man DNA. The I-don't-give-a-shit gene. And I get it, I do. You're not emotional like women are and, somehow, caring about something, makes you less "manly". (Ok, I don't really get that part of it, but I'm trying...)
But here's the thing. We women NEED it. We need to know you care. And telling us once or mumbling out an "I love you" at the end of a phone call just doesn't cut it. We need to know on a regular basis that, yes, you do in fact, give a shit.
If you can really get this concept then it all starts to make sense. Why did she get pissed at you when you brought her a box of chocolates on Valentines Day? Well, dumbass, it's because you stopped at the gas station at the very last minute and bought the last box of 50% off V-day chocolates that you could find, tossed it at her, smacked her ass and wanted your V-day lovin'. Doesn't really say you care, now does it?
On the other hand, the man who stops at the store on the way home, picks up a single long stemmed rose and gives it to her "just because" is a smart man (and, frankly, far more likely to get laid).
Don't assume she knows you care. Don't assume that because you said it once and really meant it, that it still stands. It doesn't. She needs to know constantly, newly and for real each time that you still care. If you don't do this, she will begin to think that you don't care. Sprinkle this with a few of the dumb things that you men seem to like to do (like checking out other women while you're with us) and she will become CONVINCED that you don't care. Eventually, the one you cared about but never let know it becomes the "one who got away".
And before you start groaning about how, "women just want you to buy them stuff" or some such silliness. I'll tell you right now that, while there may be some of us after your pocket book, it really isn't true for the most of us. Trust me, getting home, rolling up your sleeves and helping her in the kitchen will go just as far as any expensive jewelry. In those moments we can't help but get all warm and fuzzy inside and think to ourselves how lucky we are to have a man who cares that much. And men, we will take that thought to bed with us. So long as you don't screw it up in the meantime.