The Good Guy

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He’s going to be the greatest guy…until he isn’t.

Your friends will love the way he makes you laugh…until he won’t allow you to be their friend anymore.

They’ll think it’s just you being in love. So, they don’t think much of it.

Your family will adore the way he holds you close…until they see the look on your face.

They’ll believe the lie you tell them… again. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m really happy. So, they don’t think much of it.

Your neighbors will think he’s the greatest guy, always working on things around the house… until they hear the shouts and cries late one night.

They’ll believe it was just a lover’s quarrel, and no one really wants to get involved anyway. So, they don’t think much of it.

On first glance, no one would believe the guy who carries the conversation like him, always offers a helping hand, talks about protecting you, and generally looks like a normal, clean cut guy would be who he is.

But when the shadows fall and you’re all alone,

You’ll believe the words he says when he tells you if you could just be trusted he’d give your debit card.

You’ll just know he’s right when he says it’s your fault he can’t trust you.

You’ll absolutely believe he just gets so angry because he loves you.

As you dry your tears, he’ll comfort you with a quiet

I’m sorry I had to yell like that

You just make me crazy when other men look at you

I love you too much to not make sure you love me too.

I wish you’d remember when I tell you not to say certain things.

I wish you’d just put dinner on when it’s time.

I wish you’d not hide things from me.

Then, while you’re driving to work careful not to make an extra turn, in your mind you hope,

Today is finally the time he’ll believe you

Today is the last time you have to send him pictures of where you are, show him receipts, and let him check your phone

Today will be the last time he writes down the mileage on your car.

And it could be

Because today could be the day he finally snaps.

Today could be the day his “love” makes him tighten the grip around your neck a little too much, a little too long.

Today could be the day he finally pulls the trigger.

But you don’t leave because no one will ever believe a guy like him in the daylight, a guy who wears a suit and washes his car twice a week, could be the monster he becomes in the dark when no one is looking.

Who would you tell anyway?

Emotional abuse isn’t a crime

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there is help. Please call -1-800-799-7233. Please know computers and cell phones can be easily monitored and never wiped completely clean. Call the number. Get help now. If you witness abuse, don’t dismiss it. Victims will often make excuses for their abusers, especially when confronted in front of them. EMOTIONAL ABUSE IS ABUSE, TOO! Just because there are no bruises or police reports doesn’t mean there is no abuse. Get Help Before It’s Too Late. Over 10 million people are the victims of domestic violence each year in the US alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

An Open Letter to His New Ex-Wife

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Remember when I was the bad guy? Yeah. So do I. I always knew you had the wrong idea about me. “She’ll learn,” I told myself. His empty words, hollow promises, and blatant lies had reeled you in. But the truth, just like the dirt, always comes out in the wash, so they say. His wash water must look pretty filthy right about now.

It was never me keeping his kids from him as he said it was. He simply never made the effort to see them. He’d show up once in a great while, hang out for 15 minutes, and then his phone would go off and he’d be out the door. Visiting his kids was his cover, I’m sure, but as they can tell you, they only saw him maybe 10 times over the last few years. They’re adults now, but it still hurts them more than his cheating hurts you.

See, they’re his blood. He created them. He has a cosmic obligation to treat them with love, dignity, and respect. Being cheated on hurts, for sure. Now imagine if it was your father who betrayed you. So yeah. I stood up for them. That doesn’t make me the bad guy, though. That just makes me my children’s’ protector.

What you never thought would happen came true. He treated you just like he treated me. I know you’ve been telling yourself all these years that you were so much better than me—that marriage was “forever,” and you wouldn’t just walk away like I did. I thought that once, too. I thought I’d made a vow to live with this man for all my life, and I did everything within my power to make our marriage work. It was only when the lying, cheating, and abuse became so toxic our own children couldn’t live in it anymore that I made him leave. You’re no better than me just because you tried harder than me; I was with him much longer than you. I think I tried plenty hard.  You’re no worse than me, either. All of his actions had absolutely nothing to do with either of us, and everything to do with the fact he is a narcissist who uses and abuses people until they break.

I hate that you’re going through the heartbreak. I feel terrible that another person has suffered like I did. It makes me sick that another child will pay the price for his lack of ability to be a caring human being. I know just exactly how you feel. I’ve been in your shoes, so trust me when I say don’t let him pull you back in. Don’t let his tears and threats of suicide change what you know is true. If he comes back, things will be better for a few days or weeks, but then he’ll go back to his same harmful ways. This man is only capable of caring about himself. You will never be his No. 1. His child won’t be, either. Try and remember that it’s not him you miss. It’s not him you cry for. Who would miss a liar, cheater, and abuser? What you cry for is the loss of the dream your relationship could work. Your tears are you hopes of “forever” falling from your reality, and that’s okay. Mourn them. Just make sure you don’t let mourning lead to more than a little sorrow because none of this is your fault.Don’t let his mistakes and bad choices make you become despondent and depressed. Don’t let more of his lies make you lose who you are, ruin your self-esteem.  Even though they say “It takes two,” in reality it can take only one to ruin a good thing, and babe, the “one” wasn’t you any more than it was me.

 

(cover image via:https://www.google.com/search?q=an+open+letter+to&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBmo79zMDKAhWKJiYKHbsnATcQ_AUICCgD#imgrc=Mwpz6YOIcIOy6M%3A)

Being In Charge Of Your Sexuality: Yes and No at 43

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When you’re a 43 year old single woman, the first thing people talk about is how you’re probably having sex with everything that isn’t tied down. People assume there is some string of lovers aged legal to retired, and ranging from truly single to married who are keeping the cell phone burning up with booty calls. Maybe that’s true for some people. Probably mostly true for women on reality shows and tabloids, but certainly not for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally hip with being in charge of my own sexuality and enjoying a healthy sex life, but part of being in charge means I also get to decline if I wish. Right now I find myself in the midst of a mindset where being alone just seems more desirable than tending to the sexual needs of a partner.

Folks call me crazy for that because these periods of chosen sexual solitude often extend more than a few days or even a few weeks. They can last months, but keep in mind, it’s by choice. This is what I want, so no pity necessary.

Once when I had just turned 40, I had a partner tell me I was in my sexual prime; that I couldn’t possibly be faithful because my hormones, paired with my angst of aging, wouldn’t allow monogamy. His words. Not mine.

I get it, though. That’s the stereotype about women of a certain age. It’s no different from women assuming men this age have a midlife crisis. Thing is, it just doesn’t happen to everyone.

Even though I’m not at all dealing with that hormonal onslaught in my life, I do feel like I’m certainly at the prime of my life emotionally.

I’ve finally reached a point where I’m in complete control of my emotions and what I want from life. That control allows me to have more sexual freedom than ever before. I realize I do not need to be in the context of a relationship to have really great sex. I’ve also finally figured out that being up front with someone doesn’t make me a “whore” or a “slut”. I can just simply say “I want to be friends with benefits,” or “I don’t want any more than sex,” and more importantly, I’m not afraid to say “I’m not at all interested”.

To me, having the power to choose is the most freeing part of being my age. I’m no longer stuck in the confines of what I think relationships should be, but rather, I realize what they really are. I know that as long as everyone is up front about their involvement in a relationship, sexual or otherwise, no one gets hurt, no judgement is necessary, and everyone can go home happy.

All that being said, I’m an introvert. Isolation is like vacation to me. Too much social interaction throws me into a state of anxiety I’m only just learning to deal with. Anxiety is a new thing I’ve started being honest with myself and others about, and it, too, is often judged. I just no longer care if I’m judged, but I digress.

I’m learning to nurture myself, protect myself a little, and make sure I’m able to keep out of the muck of depression too much anxiety can throw me into. So, sometimes I just stay home alone.

I love sex. It’s a very important part of life, but I’ve learned that for all the judgement people will throw you either for having or not having sex (people always have a damn opinion), few people really know how to handle their own sex lives. Many people have sex out of obligation. Some are doing it to feel loved, but few are really in enough control of their sex lives to realize whether they partake or decline is no one else’s business—providing no one is getting hurt, that is.

So here I sit in what many would call a “dry spell,” but what I call my “realignment period”. I’m happy. I’m comforted. I’m recharging my battery so I can be the best me possible.

If there’s anything being in my 40s has taught me, it’s that I own me. No one’s opinion about me or my sex life should be as important as my own. No one else owns my body or my sexuality. I thank feminism for helping me come to that realization.

It has been said (by Woody Allen-pardon, but he did have a point) that masturbation is “with someone you love.” It should be. You should be the sexual partner you love the most, and when you need a moment to collect your sanity, you can enjoy some time with the one person you can never break up with: yourself.

A Fat Girl’s Aside

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While you’re busy judging me by the size of my behind, I thought I’d make your job easier. You see, I’m real honest about who I am.

I’m short and fat. I have gray hair popping through if you could see beneath the artificial color.

My face shows the wrinkles of 43 years. My eyes a small—squinty they’ve been called. My feet are closer to those of Fred Flintstone than a super model’s.

I have cellulite and dimples, and love handles make my hips wide.

Sometimes I laugh too loud, and my voice is big if I’m excited.

I’ll never be a showpiece, not that I care. I know none of what I’ve said matters if you can be real, too.

If you look into my squinty eyes, deep down beyond the surface, you will see the outside is like the façade of an old curiosity shop housing what you’ve really come for.

Looking deep within, the shelves are lined with me. They house who I really am. There are books for each wrinkle, like the time I lost my job, or the when my son fell from the tree.

Laugh lines around my mouth have their stories, too. The births of my children, and the day I first held my grandchild are accounted for somewhere up front so all can see.

There are the symbols representing all which I hold sacred.

Pictures of my family—they sit right there at eye level.

My pen and paper are displayed on an antique desk.

Somewhere in there you’ll see a man holding me as a child in a print shop, the smell of printing ink defines my childhood.

You’ll see the time I decided it was better to live in a small home than sacrifice my time raising my children, and all over the floor you’ll find paw prints of the furbabies who have given us joy.

There aren’t curtains or closets. Everything is open for you to see, for there is nothing to hide.

You’ll see the good and the bad.

My divorce, my stupid choices, my successes, and the things of which I’m proud.

Here and there you’ll see my shortcomings—my hang-ups and pet peeves, but if you can look past those, you’ll see my sacrifices—the times I gave so much to so many.

If you look close enough, you will see a kind, intelligent, strong, loyal, independent soul who is mature enough to know that what I take with me into the beyond is not beauty, but my connections with others.

So while you’re busy counting numbers on my scales, you haven’t begun to see what lies beneath—the person you will overlook for someone who gives your arm some bling.

That’s okay, though, because whether you like me or not, I still love me.

(image source:http://www.celebquote.com/5733)

Parenting and Relationships: Choice Not Cultish Behavior

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Sometimes kids will get in your way. This should be what they tell you before you have children. Kids will get sick. They’ll cry. There will be school events, and even flat our tantrums to deal with. When you become a parent, life as you knew it changes. You are no longer the center of your own universe, and your relationship with your partner may change.

However, meeting the needs of your children probably won’t kill your marriage as this article suggests. What this author, who claims to be a physician, posits is that a strange “religion” of parenting is killing marriages because children are put first, and according to the author, this is a sin against a partnership.

Calling parenting a “religion” is about the most polarizing thing I can imagine for parents. It’s as if dedicated parents are now being equated to cult members. I do realize there are some people who do not have a life outside their children, and I might say they should nurture their own interests to some level because one day, those children will be grown. A person should not live through another person. Individuality is important for happiness, but there is an amount of individualism parents sacrifice.

When children are born or adopted in the context of a marriage, there should be a basic understanding that sometimes the needs of the adults will fall to the wayside in order to tend to the needs of the children. If both parties cannot agree to this caveat, then it would be my suggestion that they not become parents.

Being a parent is a delicate balance of me, us, them, and we. Each parent and child must be an individual, the parents must be a partnership, and the entire family must be unified. In order for this to happen, there must be an atmosphere of respect amongst all members. To say that when parents put children first it destroys the marriage, is to say that respect for all members of the group was not present.

Yes, parents need to have time for themselves both as individuals and also as a couple. This time gives them the strength they will need to make it through the times when life is cracking them about the head and shoulders. It gives them a sense of mattering—a sense of self and self-worth. However, this sense of counting also must relay to the children. They must count enough that they don’t look to other places for attention, which children are often wont to do when they feel like the parents don’t care. They must know that the parents will sacrifice for them. It is imperative parents instill in their children the knowledge that they are valued above a night out or drinks with friends so they can have their own sense of self-worth to carry into adulthood.

When done correctly, the family-centric household will value all its members equally. Sometimes, one or two members will sacrifice for the good of the others, and later, probably when the parents arrive in the fall of their lives, that sacrifice will be repaid as children care for aging parents.

Equating solid parenting with religion is just another way to attack those of us who choose one way of life over another. There is no “right” way to live. Some choose to marry. Some don’t. Some choose to have children. Some don’t. When two people choose to marry and have children, and they choose to put those children before their own needs most of the time, people should not belittle their choice by labeling them as cultish. I can’t help but wonder where the author of the aforementioned article would be if their own parents didn’t care and sacrifice for them? Maybe they didn’t. I can’t answer to that. What I can answer to is that I, too, am a parent who put my children first. Even as they are becoming adults, I can say I don’t regret one moment I gave to them.

Being a parent is tough. Putting your children first is not about abandoning your relationship with your significant other. It’s simply about making a commitment to your children–the people you chose to create-that you will always consider their well-being first, above and beyond all things. If your marriage can’t withstand your commitment to your own offspring, then I’d suggest there are other underlying issues you should explore.

(image source:http://ishareimage.com/family-support-clipart.asp)