As I sit here just days before I get married, I think of the woman I was before I met Jon. I was naive and easily taken for granted. All I wanted was someone to love me, but i accepted behavior that didnt match someone who was in love. Why? I didnt believe I deserved better. Actually, I didnt even believe I could find better.
I had settled. I held on to what I had hoped would be, instead of accepting what really was. Its amazing how blind we are when we love someone. We tend to be blind to reality because the fantasy appears to be easier.
I accepted behavior that was unacceptable to most, but the truth of the matter was that it was my normal. I grew up watching my mother cry and listening to her get screamed at. Every part of her life was controlled and criticized. Despite the fact that I hated him, I grew up and ended up dating men who portrayed the same characteristics. I was completely oblivious. Control meant love, sex meant commitment and disrespect was normal.
It wasnt until I was 2.5 years sober when I had my heart broken once again, for the last time. It was inevitable and deep down I knew that. I spent two weeks upset, and all of a sudden I woke up one day and thanked god for removing him from my life. I realized that for the past year I had prayed to God to help me; either help this relationship work out, or remove him from my life so I can find the man I am supposed to be with. Well, there was my answer. It wasnt meant to be, so why cry over it.
I was completely done with putting more effort into a relationship than I was getting back. I was finally at a place in my life where I liked who I was. My sister helped me realize that I had been holding on to the wrong types of men because I didnt believe I deserved a happy relationship. That was hard to admit. My mind was blown! I deserve to be myself, to be happy, to be heard, valued, cared for, and loved. I deserved respect, loyalty and acceptance. For once in my life, i was happy to be single.
Thats when Jon came around. A message on facebook popped up, I thought, “oh lord who is this creep.” I looked at his profile before responding. He was definatley good looking! We also had over 30 friends in common so at least he isnt some complete random joe. He was in recovery as well. Something in common! However he was only 2 weeks sober at the time he messaged me. Jon asked me for coffee and I declined. I told him to hold off on women and focus on his recovery. Most men give up and disappear after being rejected. Jon didnt go away. He stayed my friend. We would text back and forth every other day some weeks. We talked about everything. He was respectful, kind and sweet. If only he was further along in his recovery i thought. I saw him at an AA function and my heart fluttered. Damn, hes good looking and he has a great personality. I felt chemistry. What do i do, i thought. I knew he liked me this entire time, but at this point he was only 5 months sober. I was nearly 3 years! I prayed. I asked God for help. I talked to Jon about this the next day. He talked to his sponsor, I talked to mine. For the first time in my life I really paid attention to my instincts. It is God speaking! I had no bad feelings about starting a relationship with Jon. I was nervous yes, but something that I couldnt explain told me to move forward. We agreed that we would do things different this time around. We had both been through heartache and we both didnt want things to turn sour. We took our time and began hanging out more. He was such a gentleman he didnt even try to cuddle with me until I made the move. On our first date he brought me a rose. He asked to meet my sons for nearly a month before I finally agreed. They instantly became friends and I knew right then. This man is it. There is something gentle about his soul, his heart.
3 months later he surprised me with an engagement ring at the beach. I was completely shocked. So shocked infact I kept swearing, “no fucking way!” Classy, I know. One year later and we are days away from saying, “I do.” We are not perfect. Quite frankly we fully admit that we argue and have had our moments where we were not so kind to eachother. Its been a year full of changes, hurdles, and stress with life circumstances. One thing I know with every fiber of my being is that we will be okay. We will forgive, we will grow and we will love. We are equal in every part of our relationship.
I truly believe things happen for a reason. I am now grateful for every failed relationship I have ever had because they helped prepare me for the real thing. If my heart wasnt broken I wouldnt have been free to find Jon. He is my best friend first and foremost. Best friends argue, they fight, they cry and hurt. But they also forgive, laugh and love. He is my partner in life. There is no doubt in my mind that I am meant to be with him.
So, as I graduate from a single woman to a married woman, my advice is this:
Know your worth and know that you deserve happiness. Whats meant to be will soon follow.