Yes, I'm Single and No I'm Not a Man Hater
Sending the Wrong Message About Being Single
I absolutely love it! I do not know how many times I've heard the speculation on why I'm still single. The major line of thinking is that I must be a man hater. I'm not.
I was married...once. I was married for twenty years and I had two beautiful sons. My husband, Jim, was a good man. We had lots of fun doing things as a family too. My sons were active in sports, and we attended all of their games. Steve, the eldest, played football, baseball, and soccer as did James, my youngest. There was running them to practice, and cheering them on in their games. Life was good...then it wasn't.
Eventually, the marriage began unraveling. Jim loved me, he loved his sons, but he loved alcohol more, and he was not a nice drunk.
If I knew then, what I know now? I would have handled things differently because I knew more. I would have known that alcoholics are manipulative, in that they make their partners feel as if everything wrong in the relationship is their fault. I would have known that my actions in trying to be a good wife, were actually enabling him and turning me into a co-dependent. I would have recognized the damage Jim was doing to me, and our sons. I would have left sooner.
I didn't know any of those things, so I stayed. Stayed through the fights, the verbal abuse, Jim running around with other women. Jim losing his job because of the alcohol. Our dwindling finances, because we couldn't survive off only my paycheck. The lies.
I think that the lies were the worst because it wasn't just his lies. They were my lies too. I knew I was lying to myself. I knew he wasn't going to change. He wasn't going to seek help or even acknowledge he even had a drinking problem. I told myself those lies, knowing if I told myself the truth? I would have to do something about it. I would have to leave Jim, taking the boys with me, and that scared me more than anything in the world, even staying. That saying "better the devil you know, then the one you don't?" fit the situation perfectly.
I was locked in my nightmare because I was more afraid of the unknown than dealing with Jim. There was a part of me that was afraid of his violent outbursts, and his reaction if I told him I was leaving. So, I stayed, twenty years, until HE left.
That was irony of the whole situation. We were trying to start a business together, and he flew to Bulgaria to get a contract going. I called at 2 AM Bulgarian time to give him information he needed, only to have another woman answer the phone in his hotel room. He tried to say that they were having a business meeting—yeah right!
Flash forward a couple of years, and I'm still trying to rebuild my life with my angry sons. They never totally got over Jim abandoning them (their words), but as bad as things were? I was finally free and as scary as it was, I slowly rediscovered who I was and learned to stand on my own feet.
I've been single twenty years. Jim didn't turn me off to men. I love men, and in fact, I'm living with a great man now. Jim turned me off to marriage. I will never get married again.
Now, I totally understand that not all marriages would be as bad as the one with Jim. Yet, I have my freedom. I can come and go as I please. I can spend my money on whatever I want without needing to get my partner's approval. I am responsible for my own decisions and my own choices.
I would rather be alone, for the right reasons, then be with someone for the wrong ones. I don't understand the need many women have about needing to be in a relationship. I don't understand why people feel that a woman not being in a relationship, means there is something wrong with the woman. There isn't. It just means that in today's world, marriage doesn't always mean commitment. You can be in a committed relationship without being married and just because you're married, doesn't always mean it is a committed relationship.
Commitment is conscious choice between partners, that they are staying, literally through thick and thin. It is an acknowledgment that I love you enough to stay and make this work.
Being single isn't a death sentence. It's a time to discover the real you. It's time to go on different adventures, explore, and discover the world. It is a time to be you.
Take it from a woman who has been married and now single. I love my single life, and you will too!