How I Avoided Divorce…By Never Getting Married!
Is it weird that the most played song in all of my iTunes is Peter, Paul and Mary’s, Wedding Song (There is Love)?
Actually, I will answer that for you. Yes, it’s strange, because despite what the song’s title suggests, I have not been married. Or even close. At all.
But as I like to be a “glass half-full” (of tequila) kind of woman, I frequently have noted that my singledom has meant that I skipped my first divorce. Because, if I had married any of the men that I thought I wanted to marry – I would, without a doubt, be divorced. Not that any of those men wanted to marry me, let’s all be really honest here, I had the uncanny ability to either date men that had absolutely no desire to commit OR find wonderful men that wanted to commit and then (as one of my closest friends would say) “chop their balls off.”
I know. That’s not fun, or funny.
I think the reason I would put myself through this was that I hadn’t found myself yet and I had no idea who I was, or who I really wanted to be. I pretended to be a thousand times tougher than I ever really and I always wanted to be the first one out of a relationship so I never had to face rejection. And in turn, I attracted arrogant men with artificially inflated egos and I was swept up by how those men were - in theory.
Don’t get me wrong, the guys I dated always looked good on paper, but they never felt good in my heart. I never brought out the best in them, and they never brought out the best in me. I was torn between acting like the cool girl who didn’t really care about commitment, and the completely jealous girl that was chronically pissed off that they didn’t call.
There was one guy that prompted my sister to threaten to abstain from family holidays if he and I ever ended up together. No problem there - as a good friend noted about the same guy, “I have gotten to the point that I no longer get irritated that you and (let’s call him Mr. Big) Mr. Big are hanging out because I know in a very short period of time, he will do something vile and then you’ll get angry and we won’t have to deal with him for a few months. I will thoroughly enjoy those months.”
And there is another guy - or okay fine three guys, that a handful of my friends might physically harm if they were within 5 feet of them.
As Carrie Bradshaw realized when she was dating the noncommittal character played by Jon Bon Jovi – what do all these men have in common? Me.
But when I got pregnant with my daughter, it was like a 2x4 smacked me over the head, causing something to shift and without knowing it - I traded in self-importance for love.
On the surface, deciding to have a baby as a single woman, living in Manhattan, while working as a control room producer who went into work at 3:30am was not going to do anything to help me get ahead in life. And don’t get me started on my financial stability (or lack of). Ellie's father promised me he would never share the responsibility with me. I had no savings account, a 385-square foot apartment, and I lived paycheck to paycheck. Having a baby made no logical sense whatsoever.
And yet...something told me it was the right thing to do. I loved her from the moment I knew she was on the way. I decided I wanted Ellie in my life, and I made the commitment to figure details as necessary. And when I did that - my shallow, narcissistic, falsely tough exterior was worn away and I was able to realize what I really wanted out of my life.
And what type of man I wanted to come along with me.