I married Mr. Good Enough. He was nice. He was educated. He came from a good family, and I thought he would make a good father.
Check, check, and check.
He was good enough. Until, he thought I wasn’t. He was nice, until he was nice to someone else.
I married him anyway.
Under society’s hypnotic spell of false and inaccurate beliefs. Conditioned and educated by too many Disney movies, rom-coms and parental role models doing their best. Seducing my mores with stories of princes rescuing princesses from evil step-mothers, dragons, and a lifetime of loneliness.
American culture succeeded in inculcating a sense of urgency in me to get married before a “certain age.” The threat of not being a mother always present, lurking — childlessness — punishment for my not marrying soon enough. If I didn’t find a husband before my eggs spoiled, death as a valuable person would be my fate. Conventional wisdom said I was “getting up there” in my mid 20’s, and finding a life-long mate should be my ultimate pursuit if I wanted more than one child. …
It was 5:55 pm. I had just dropped my five-year-old off at a Trader Joe’s parking lot where her father was waiting in a parked car for her, a neutral territory only those going through a not so amicable divorce can appreciate. As I was getting back into my car and he was strapping our daughter into the car seat in his car, he yelled, “I called to pay for half of the food order, and they said it was canceled.”
It was less than 17 hours before my daughter’s 6th birthday party held in a park next to an amazing café that was to cater it. …
Growing up, my father was either in a bad mood or good mood depending on how his children were behaving, what grades we were receiving, and how clean our rooms were (think Captain von Trapp before a nun put him in his place). Or, if something negative happened at the office, my dad would take it out on us. I thought this was normal.
It is not.
We each are responsible for our own emotional wellbeing, the actions of others should not determine our happiness, or we’ll have a long, rough road ahead.
Your partner isn’t responsible for your internal mental state at any given moment, nor should your inner landscape be determined by the emotional whims and moods of others. …
For most people, we don’t give up on love. Humans are tribal. We have a deep sense of wanting to belong. As Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel says, “we are hardwired for connection.”
We don’t give up on love, even when it does us wrong.
The need for connection appears to be innate — but the ability to form healthy, loving relationships develops over time.
Some of us are naturally better at relating than others, while many of us keep trying to get it right because we are susceptible to the human condition — we crave connection.
One way to find out who you are and what your needs are is to be in an intimate relationship. When you meet the right person — someone you like spending time with — it can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of life, giving you a sense of deep satisfaction and companionship. …
A man who has confidence is a man who has faith in his abilities when things go wrong, and in life, things will, sometimes, go wrong.
Confidence often determines the quality of our relationships with others, like self-esteem or self-worth. The man who turns a woman on believes in his own worth, and that sense of esteem informs how he thinks, feels, and acts, and determines how he relates to others.
His confidence gives you the gift of not having to worry or feel you need to be confident for the both of you.
There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance: assertiveness and pushiness. A man with confidence is sure of himself and doesn’t need outside validation to get it — he already has it. …
Some women are predators. I’m not blaming her. Ok, I am blaming her entirely. I blame him entirely too. My husband was, technically, an adult when they met, even though he quickly regressed into a man with the emotional maturity of a teen in love.
He was gaga.
She can keep my husband.
But the dress she stole from my closet, I want that back.
While away for Thanksgiving, she went into my home and stole my favorite dress from my closet, only a few months after they started sleeping together.
It was bad enough that she came into my house where our child learned to walk, but my closet (!) while I was away with my five-year-old nursing my wounds with family and attempting to figure out why my life was falling apart. …
Most of us picked up unhealthy ideas of love from rom-coms, parents, Disney movies — mass media — which can be categorized as a gross misrepresentation of healthy love.
Most of what we learned is crap.
Far too often, what we see in movies or what we gleaned from parents can be summed up as codependency and not conducive to maintaining a healthy relationship.
John Bradshaw, a family-systems therapy advocate and family dynamics expert cites research that found that 96 percent of all families have dysfunction.
A large number of us didn’t see our parents demonstrating what real love looks and feels like. …
Last night I had a dream I was about to marry my husband (now ex), again — a second chance to get it right. The dream was in color. I rarely dream in color.
In the dream, I was panicked. Just as I was the first time I got married, but I gave myself the opportunity to right the wrong — a shot to have a chance of calling it off.
The first time I got married, I fought my intuition. I didn’t listen to my body or my mind and went through with it anyway.
I was in my 20s. …
He’s having an affair. Not a sexual one. It’s just an emotional affair. At first. He arranges for the first time to take his daughter to school, fighting the LA traffic. When he didn’t before. Before, he told his wife he couldn’t manage the drive because he had to start work straight away in the morning from his home office. She didn’t work, so she should take the kid to school. It is her job, after all.
Then, a young, cute mother of three children — the three, attended the same school — started paying attention and making googly-eyes at married, busy dad who was previously unable to fight rush hour traffic. You know, all that work. Only when he got some attention from a woman other than his wife, he found a way to drive the child to school, telling the stay-at-home wife a different tune. His excuse, he wanted to give her some extra zzz’s, let her sleep in a few days a week. …
I was listening to Esther Perel, therapist and author of Mating in Captivity; she was a guest on a podcast the other day. Much to my surprise, she said she doesn’t believe in unconditional love in terms of a romantic relationship. It is a myth.
This flies in the face of everything I was raised on, romantic rom-coms, books written on love, and how I was taught to love my child.
I immediately felt relief.
Perel went on to talk about this romantic ideal we grow up with — unconditional love — and how it doesn’t exist,
Love is conditional, completely. You do lousy things to me; it doesn’t mean I have to like it, there is absolutely no reason I should just continue to love you despite the lousy things you do. No. We demand too little in our relationships. …