The first man to break my heart was my father.
It is a tough pill to swallow when the one man who is supposed to love you to your core leaves you.
As a child then I was very forgiving….sadly, as a parent now I cannot say the same. There was always this whole story that is someone else’s fault. That someone kept me from him. Money, travel, the list goes on. But as someone who cherishes love more than most, none of that would keep me away from someone I loved.
The one man who is going to be there forever. The one man you can always count on. The one man in your life,,,,gone. Leaving you with the thought, ‘if the man who created me can’t love me, how could anyone else?’
I do feel like for a few of my flings, where I did my thing and left without getting close, can all be pulled back to this thought. I also think the longer relationships I experienced prior to my husband had this thought too. I pursued unavailable men….FOR YEARS. Knowing they would never let me get that close. I was even with someone for three years and we talked about marriage, but we both knew we only spoke of it because it had been three years. He was 100% unavailable to love and I was 100% okay with it.
I was so scared to fall in love because again, how could anyone love me. I mean, I knew I was great, attractive, successful….but lovable?! Probably not.
It didn’t matter how much my mom loved me, my sister loved me, my friends loved me…..there was always something missing. Something I was terrified to put out there to a man. If I love you with all my heart and soul…if I love unconditionally, will you love me back? My dad couldn’t….can you?
I had to take the self-love journey a little longer than most. And damn was it worth it. I honestly think I love myself more than anyone has ever loved themselves. I did so many things for myself and nurtured myself in ways I never received from a man. I still dated during this time, which maybe I should regret…but I don’t (regret and love in my book is a total oxymoron.)
But I took some serious time to figure out how to love myself and to really think about how I wanted to be loved. During this time I dated someone again, who was extremely unavailable. It was a major setback and the one dating situation in my life that I deeply do regret. But while I dated him, I had a long distance, almost 100% emotional relationship with someone who wanted to love me, but because of circumstances could not. Through both of these men I realized the importance of love and found a determination to be released from this love sabotage journey I had been on for so long. I was physically with someone who was a cruel and selfish, and just what I was used too. But emotionally I found a life changing connect with a man who touched my soul in a very unthinkable way. I had to stop both relationships, and did. I let go of both. I walked away from both.
I began once again the self-love process. Maybe I was still trying to find a replacement of a father figure. Maybe I was still not feeling lovable. Maybe I was still trying to prove to someone that I did really deserve it. But then I realized the only person I needed to prove this too was myself. I started living 100% for myself. I had a business. I had a home (alone!) I had my dogs. I had my family. I had my friends. I went on a dating sabbatical. I started talking about my “daddy issues.” I stopped being ashamed that he left me and learned that he actually didn’t leave me. He had to go work on himself and do his thing. Sucks that he never looked back? Yes, but that is what he needed. It had nothing to do with not loving me. He didn’t love himself enough to love me. These were all his issues and I had to give them all back to him. They were not my issues at all.
One my very first date with Matt I openly talked about my dad (which I RARLEY) do. I was very clear what I needed and what I wanted. By the third date we had talked about kids, goals, needs and wants from a relationship. I was 100% myself from the moment he knocked on the door to pick me up for our first date. Of course it wasn’t all serious shit…I mean there was lots of booze and booty involved, but I was on a mission to not be involved with yet another unavailable, selfish, man. I was ready to take my daddy issues by the hand and ask them to step out the door.
I knew what I wanted. I knew I was lovable and most importantly, I knew I was worthy of everything I have ever wanted and desired. I let that be known as we sat next to each other as complete strangers on an awkward first date at the ballet. I let that be known when I was puking in his toilet telling him I was accidently pregnant after 3 months of dating. I let that be known the moment he put a ring on my finger. And even though I don’t have to tell him what I deserve anymore because he knows and he does, I find nothing wrong with a little reminder.
Growing up without a father figure is tough. As a woman, I had no idea the kind of damage it can do. But now, as a wife, a mother, a lover, a friend, I can whole heartily say I am okay with what happened. I am glad it happened to me. It made who I am today, and I am the most amazing person I know.
The Shitty Housewife