I think the short answer is yes. Now that I know what love really is, I can say that without a doubt, I never really was in love with him and I never really did love him. And damn, that’s pretty deep stuff.
It makes me question why I got married in the first place, why I stayed throughout all the abuse, why I had 3 children with him… But don’t misunderstand me – I wouldn’t undo the birth of any of my children for anything in the world. I love them unconditionally and I’m extremely happy that I have them. They’re probably the only thing from that relationship that I’m not questioning… although in hindsight I probably could have picked a better person to be their father… or just gone with a sperm donor, lol.
Which leads me to the next thought: Even the suggestion of being intimate with my ex makes my skin crawl, so what in heavens name possessed me to be with him? A psychologist will probably go on about things that happened when I was growing up that led me to being co-dependent and how my self worth was low. Maybe even tell me that I never knew what love was or that I was too young. Whatever the reason, I’m not going to disagree but I’d rather look at it in another way. I’d like to look back at it all and say that that relationship taught me many lessons and now that I’ve learnt them, it’s time to move on. Unfortunately, untangling myself from the relationship is proving more difficult than I’d like and in short, it looks like it’s going to be the court that determines the details of how the remains of that relationship is split, because out-of-court negotiation doesn’t seem to be possible.
But I’m not allowing any of this to dampen my outlook on love and relationships.
This time around, I’m much older and wiser. This time around I’m going to take into account all the lessons learnt and my own self worth, and know that settling isn’t an option. I’m perfectly fine on my own so when it comes to opening up my heart to someone, I need that someone to accept me for who I am – all of me. That person can’t want to change anything about me; They need to be able to support me (emotionally, not financially) and be there for me. I’m okay with growing and learning together, but nothing about me should annoy that other person, and I know that’s a lot to take in; But I have every intention of being loved completely and unconditionally. That means that that person also needs to accept my children and love them as their own, and I know that’s a big thing to ask… but I would rather stay single than settle or compromise, and I’m not about to devalue my children for the “love” of a partner. I refuse to settle for anything less. And in return, I have every intention of loving, giving and providing with all my heart. Complete commitment and unconditional love. A real and equal partnership. Nothing less.
I’ve already shown and taught my children that it’s better to walk away than to put up with something uncomfortable and wrong. I’d like to extend that lesson to teaching them to never settle for anything less than what they’re worth… something that EVERYONE needs to know and understand.
Every person deserves to be loved and to feel safe in a relationship and they should be always free to be themselves, however vulnerable, ugly, or anything in between. Complete unconditional love. There shouldn’t be any compromises on any of this. Why? Because you’re worth it.