Every relationship I had ever had started off with someone telling me how wonderful
At the age of just 30 after the break up of yet another relationship and a major illness I decided to put myself first. This also included a vow of celibacy – now that sounds like a whole lot of fun, right?
Now I am 50, I realise how young I was to make such a life-changing decision. I had spent most of my twenties with a man who refused to commit. I am sure that is familiar territory for so many of us. Then I hitched my star to someone who promised me the world. He didn’t tell me he was breaking the law to help himself create a life based in fantasy, but he was.
How long did my celibacy last? Ten years. That’s right. I said it. I decided at 40 to give someone a chance. I gave someone a chance. I had no children and again I fell in love with a fantasy: the ultimate single dad with the fall-in-love-with offspring.
What I never realised was that I was ignoring the same red flags that had driven me to celibacy a decade before. This one wasn’t a criminal (thankfully!) but he was grandiose, controlling, opinionated and overbearing after the initial phases of fun and love-bombing had left us both exhausted.
At this point, every relationship I had ever had started off with someone telling me how wonderful I was, soon after to be telling me what they didn’t like about me.
I never used my voice. I am well educated and have my own opinions. I also never could admit to why my own issues contributed to each situation.
Over the next decade, I lost both of my parents and made a great friend. Before you judge me, after being my friend for a decent amount of time we became much more and got married – 9 months later!
That was four years ago and whilst being married for the first time, aged 47, presented new challenges there were no red flags waving. I never worry what he’s doing when he’s not with me. But I also know that marriages take work and ours could easily fail if we let things slip.
In the meantime, I’ve kept my eyes wide open in my own life and finally found my voice.
My message? It’s not a Hallmark card one, but simply this: you can always change your mind and try a new route in life.