Not long ago, my husband told me he had been cheating on me for over a year. At least, that’s all he admitted to doing – I don’t really need to know the full extent of all that had been going on. I have since found out that I have no STDs and that is the main thing I wanted to know about. There are questions in life that don’t need to be answered. Sometimes if you ask the wrong question, the answer will haunt you.
All of a sudden, the dreams of the “happily ever after” that I thought I had “forever” were gone.
Poof. I dread the thought of ever dating again, especially as a single mom. The dating pool is different at my age and from that small pool, I’d also have to find someone who is ok with helping to raise someone else’s kids. Definitely, a Debbie Downer situation when other people still seem to have their families intact and two parents to help raise kids. I used to take for granted that I had a Valentine for Valentine’s Day. I suppose I deluded myself into believing that I had a life partner.
Instead of thinking about all the things I didn’t get to do for Valentine’s day this year, I will think of all the things I’m happy that I didn’t have to do this year. I did some things for myself and celebrated the beauty that is in me.
I think Valentine’s day is usually something commercialized for women. Men potentially put some effort in because they feel like they “have to.” Mine didn’t put the effort in. He’d get me flowers, which are nice enough, sure, but even though I said I’d rather have a date night or a mommy break instead of something that I’d throw away in a few days, he would still get flowers because he didn’t know what else to get. Then he’d say, “You’re so hard to shop for.” I think any father should know that a mother wants a nap. I was so sleep-deprived because I didn’t have support from him. He’d ask why I didn’t have dinner ready and why the house was a mess. He’d tell me how “other wives” all have it together and I never did, no matter how hard I tried.
I used to cook a fancy dinner for him or pick up sushi and wine for Valentine’s Day. Now I just went ahead and put the effort into romancing myself the way I wanted. I’m totally fine with sex and I enjoy it a lot. However, when you are the one caring for two babies all day and night with no help, it’s pretty exhausting to be expected to perform after all of that. Now, I don’t have to. I go to bed when the kids do and I actually get some sleep. No one yells at me if I don’t put the dishes away, if there are toys on the floor, or if clutter is on the counter. My parents don’t even judge me because sometimes their house is kind of a mess and they don’t have kids around anymore. It’s very liberating.
Now I realize that my children are the true loves of my life.
I will always have them to fawn over and adore. Our culture tries to make Valentine’s Day seem like it’s supposed to be some sexy, exciting day. I prefer a laid-back day of being surrounded by the love of my family and supportive friends. If I had another partner, I would want him to be caring and genuine instead of mysterious and hot-headed. Sometimes you think you are attracted to someone because they seem like a bad boy and are sexually dynamic. I recognize that it’s more important to find love with a secure person who maybe seems boring to others, but the “boring” part is the exact reason why it’s a good relationship. No drama, no crazy, just a peaceful and beautiful life.
Now that I am single, I can focus on how I am not alone. I have a support system of people who care. My kids know the kinds of things I like and made me an art project that I truly enjoyed. My mom got me my favorite kind of baked good. I picked up my favorite carry-out dinner for myself. I got the fruity drink that I like. I wore my pajamas and I didn’t need makeup. There was no improving perfection.
Nobody cheated on me. Nobody abused me. Nobody yelled at me. I didn’t have to clean anything if I didn’t want to (though I generally still did because it was my own choice). I took a deep breath in my own home and I heard nothing. Nobody was saying my name in a derisive tone.
I know that God is calling me somewhere toward something that will help me make the world a better place. I know that is the kind of love that I want to bring to the world.