What I have learned in love and relationships over the past 30 years and why it's took me this long to figure it out...
I think as women we are hardwired, or maybe convinced as children, that love is this fairy tale, a "Happily Ever After" place, where no one gets their feelings hurt, and it's unicorns and rainbows all the time. A place where there is never a harmful word spoken or an unspeakable act committed. Unfortunately, no place like that exists—or at least not in my universe. That and the fact that in the past I have had the crappiest taste in men you have ever seen. I love the broken and misunderstood, thinking that if I just loved them long enough and hard enough, they would somehow become a decent person. That is sooo far from the truth. Not to say that someone who is broken can never be loved, but people don't change unless they want to. Addicts and egocentric assholes are never going to change just because you want it... they have to want it. My mother used to say you could put me in a room full of successful, well-balanced millionaires and one broke motherfucker with no job or ambition, and that's who I would fall in love with. She was married four times, so where do you think I get it from? Even when I was fully warned by friends that said guy was absolutely no good for me, I would still dive head long into oblivion, knowing I could prove everyone wrong about him. For the record, I have never proven anyone wrong in any of these cases. That being said, you should probably listen to your friends and family when they speak.
I have been married three times myself, all to very different, "projects" I'll call them. My first marriage was to Bruce, a drug addict who would never hold down a job or keep his dick in his pants. I actually found a bra in our bedroom that didn't belong to me and sat and watched him try to convince me that it was, in fact, truly mine. He was abusive, both physically and mentally, but he did give me two beautiful daughters. My second marriage was to Jeff, and although he was an awesome dad, he was not an awesome husband, and sometimes men just can't be both. But if I had to choose I would always want him to be the best dad he could be to my third daughter, even if it meant we would fail as a couple. My last marriage was to a wonderful but much younger man. Zach was the sweetest person I know, but I just couldn't love him the way I should have. I cared deeply for him, but was not in love with him and that union soon fell by the waste side, along with every other bad decision I ever made.
However, after all I have been through, I still believe if you have someone who is willing to dive in and get dirty with you in life's fucked up version of American Ninja Warrior, and understands that life can get ugly and dark, that you really didn't mean it when you called them an asshole and threw their favorite video game in the trash. Someone who knows there WILL BE bad times, no matter how much you adore each other or make each other laugh til you cry. Love does not care how much you sacrifice or how many years you spend together. Time does not protect you from rocky patches that may not even be from your own doing. Sometimes jobs can keep us away from the person we love most. Family issues or even kids. Let's face it... love does not pay the bills.
And no matter how good of a person you are, there will be days that you suck as a human being. There are times when I am so grumpy and intolerant I could literally set my coworker on fire for no particular reason just because I don't like the way he looks.
But I do know that love gives someone the power to destroy you... all the while, you are praying that they don't. It's because you love someone that makes you vulnerable and empowers them to make you miserable to the point of insanity. They can make your heart ache like it is literally breaking. You will fail each other time and time again. But if you are willing to put in the work and learn from each mishap to figure out what went wrong, and work together to move forward, you will be more than okay. Especially if he looks like Tom Hardy.