How learning from a broken heart lead me to my best friend.
Speaking for Myself.
My most recent heartbreak left me on my own at the age of 35.
The relationship I was in was ridiculous, on the whole. The man I was with, on-and-off, for four years had a seemingly pleasant personality on the surface, yet he undermined me every step of the way. I accepted his behavior because that felt like love to me.
On my part, I was needy and insecure. I wrote inane letters to explain what those needs were (as if I knew) and how they weren’t being met.
When I finally left, I moved in with two good friends. My neediness found a home.
I would linger in the hallway to see who would or could talk to me.
The best thing about my ex-boyfriend was not what he gave me, but how I grew and learned from our relationship.
I’d had my heart broken a few times before
. I firmly believe that before marriage everyone should have the heart ripped out at least once.
I knew I could leave.
We tried couple’s counseling.
I remember seeing myself through his eyes. My revelation was that I was someone who asked to be walked on and I did not like whom I saw. That was the moment I knew I could leave.
I grew stronger and he crumbled. I also saw that he could not stand up on his own.
Many have said that if you don’t love yourself it is difficult to love another. Love tends to be imperfect.
We do our best. We learn how relationships work from our parents. Not all parents do their best, but I like to think most try to. All families have dysfunction, some more than others.
Then we become adults, and learn what we don’t know.
In AA they say you go through it till you grow through it. I have been married 15 years. I married at the age of 37.
I assumed we’d have children but for various reasons (a topic for another article) we did not. In fact, all I knew I wanted, as a kid, was to be a mother.
Marriage freaked me out. Some people always have a partner. I did not.
I had long periods of being single. This period was shorter. Healing was quicker, easier. I knew the path. And I did want to share my life with someone.
I was in AA at the time—meaning I went to meetings.
I still don’t drink and I don’t go to meetings, but I am not still recovering. I healed.
Now I have other places that need healing of course, but I don’t believe I have to be in recovery for life. I believe healing is constant because we all hurt.
I went shopping.
When I was shopping, as it were, I wasn’t looking for security or romance. I was looking for a friend.
I was around lots of men. I entertained each friend as having potential.
I did not care what he looked like or how much money he made. I was looking for things like compassion, empathy, intelligence and curiosity.
My husband is a gentle man. He has never treated me with disrespect.
I cannot say that about most men I have been involved with but maybe that says more about me.
He is smart. I am the chatterbox. He is quiet. I like being around people.
We have four cats and no kids. Had we had kids I know what has been smooth sailing for the most part would not have been so smooth.
He is my best friend.
We give each other space and freedom.
If I really want something done at a certain time then I do it. If I ask him to do something, he does it when it works for him. And the same goes for me when he asks me to do something.
I do the cooking and grocery shopping as a rule, but he is more than willing to make his dinner if I am not around, which is often. He takes care of the yard and house tasks.
I teach yoga full time. He works with the general public.
My husband is the first person aside from girlfriends who has supported my every endeavor, whether or not we could afford it.
Do we have a comfortable life? It works. We always scrape by but we have the perks we want.
Do we manage money well? No. But neither of us earns much money to manage.
How we manage.
We support each other. We talk a lot. I like yoga. He likes to watch sports. I like to hang out with my friends. He does not.
Do I ever insist he go places with me? No. I teach yoga. I give and get the message all the time that grace is at our fingertips and love is in our hearts.
So May 13, 1997 we walked off to the Justice of the Peace, got married and ate a pizza. That was it.
He is my best friend. He loves me and I love him. We talk all the time. We support each other. Who has the control issues? Me, of course…and he has patience.
They work well together.
Editor: Lara Chassin
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