When I met my true love so long ago, I had already spent many years of my childhood yearning for a “real” family and a man who would be my husband. I imagined this family of mine being so close and loving and that through the good and bad times they would stay strong and hold each other up. I anticipated my husband to be my best friend, my protector and the one who I would explore the intimacies of being a couple. I was sure that whomever I married, I would grow old with.
I held on tight to my hopes and dreams. I never thought they would not come true. After only three years of marital bliss and my first child, I realized that love was truly not enough. Wanting to be the best you can for another, loving them so much it hurts and being unable to imagine a life without them was not enough.
Being a young married couple was a huge factor in the harsh realities of my dreams not coming true. Both my love and I had no idea who we were or what we stood for. Our childhood experiences which led to our perceptions and fantasies about life as adults was quickly shattered by financial difficulties, parenting, and the temptation of our new found “freedom” as adults.
Although we didn’t end up together, I still held on to some hope that in time those early hopes and dreams of family would come true. I believed there had to be someone, somewhere, so special that the pain and disappointment of lost love would go away and I would live a life of romantic bliss and have my ideal family. The family who talked and laughed together, who shared dinner together regularly, who played and worked hard together. The husband who was both strong and expressive and would create balance in those same characteristics I have.
When I met someone eleven years ago, I had thought I put to rest the notion that there was such love or joy to be found in a relationship. After years of dating and failed relationships, I had enough and was feeling good being alone and living my life according to my values. Yet I wasn’t as strong as I thought once this person began to show me feelings of love. Being vulnerable to the newness of romance, affection and attention I began to think there may be hope yet. Maybe it wasn’t too late, maybe there was still a chance for my wish of a husband and father for my children and I.
These past eleven years have just about destroyed my belief in love, in romance and in relationships. I am sad, lonely, have been disrespected, and treated harshly. My dreams didn’t come true. I found that I unknowingly lowered my standards and expectations of the man in my life over time. I lost my self and my self-respect somewhere along the way. I realized that I let my heart grow cold and I began to believe I was undeserving of true love, respect and someone who truly cares for me. I lost touch with my personal intimacy both physically and emotionally.
Recently, I came to a stark realization … it’s not too late for me. I can still hope for love in my life. I can still daydream about holding hands and walking along the beach, bubble baths together, snuggling by a warm fire, love letters, and flowers. I can’t wait!