Monday, May 18, 2015

I do not love you for the way you’ve been exactly what I’m looking for

I love you for all of this, and so much more.

On the first full weekend of June, last year my friends made a drive to my town from theirs to make sure that I was faring okay following the divorce.

 They wanted to make sure I was eating, that I wasn't pretending to be tough.

While they were here we discussed dating. It had been about 6 months of separation (and of course what felt like years of solitude).  We talked about my patterns. And they served me a bit of "real talk."  I had a tendency in my past to choose men with strange relationships with their mothers: either fractured and unavailable (their grandparent or father raised them) or their mother was somewhat emotionally unavailable.

I have for a long time been jealous of my friends and my sister-in-law because they have a positive relationship with their mother-in-law. My last mother-in-law was not emotionally available to me. I felt like in the end she respected me as a mother and as a professional but I never felt she liked me. I am much like my mother in that I try to make occasions special with little notes and cards or baking something, or decorating something pretty.  I tried this for years in my ex-husband's family but they were not receptive.  Also other members of the family treated me with utter disregard and were impolite and rude to my face.

I tried for a long time during our courtship and marriage to win over my ex's family. I believed that kindness counted and that eventually they would really like me and want me around, they would appreciate me and respect my wishes for how I raise my child.

Most of my life I thought kindness and being nice mattered to the point of my own detriment. I often let people abuse me emotionally because I didn't want to cause a stir. Although I had this very strained and almost invisible relationship with my ex mother-in-law I allowed her to stay in the room when I went through the most intimate thing in my life: natural childbirth of my first and only child.

She was there and she never really asked to stay and I didn't speak up. In fact, many times since that day I have been sad that the act of allowing her to be there didn't seem to earn me much in return after it was such a sacrifice of privacy on my part.

So part one of my friends NO COMPROMISES list was: he has to have a normal relationship with his mother. His mother must have the capability to allow someone in to her son's life. He will not be "needing a mother" (i.e. using me as such) and I will not feel that this is my role either.

Not long into dating the man I am with he was set to deploy. His mom lives far away from him and me and he told me that she asked if she could "friend" me on Facebook.  I said of course.  And from moment one of interaction with Cindy I have felt completely at home.

She made sure throughout the deployment that I was faring okay, she knew I was new at being a military girlfriend and so she explained a lot about how things would go/feel.  She and her daughter made sure I didn't get too lonely on the nights when I used to talk to her son. They would keep me upbeat by chatting online with me and telling me funny things about him or including me in family celebrations with pictures and telling me how they can't wait to meet me and my daughter.

I loved Cindy immediately because she didn't have an expectation of communication back from me. I suppose that sounds callous but I am so busy that I sometimes can't message back to people and I am extremely introverted and I have to play an extrovert at work. This wipes me out and sometimes when I've put my daughter to bed I just want "0 people time."  So she's never pumping me for information or interaction she just wants me to know she's there for me and that she was thinking of me.

I felt for the first time in a long time (God bless my one college bf's mom, her name was Judi and even after we broke up and I graduated she sent me a little bracelet with my birthstone in it and a sweet card, I wanna be a mama like that some day) I felt appreciated for just being me. Busy, single mom, crazy me.

And I treasure my relationship with this woman for all of this and so much more.

She asked me if she could print out photos of me from FB and send them to her son in a little WE LOVE YOU book while he was deployed. He sent me this pic and said "my mom is never this impressed with girls I date, lol."

She was sad that she didn't get to be there for homecoming so I wanted her to feel like a part of it. I sent a photo of the obnoxiously large balloon I bought and wasn't expecting such a sweet response. 

This made me feel super special.  In 8 years together there was never a photo of me displayed at my inlaws home.

I sent this bracelet to her for mother's day. 
title and text in blue from Ron Pope, one of my current favorites "I do not love you"