In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to talk about love. I wanted to talk about the ugly side of love. The side that makes you stop when a certain song comes on the radio. The side that takes you back to a time that wasn’t as bright and cheery as you would have liked.
I’m going to write something for the women who are wishing for chocolates, flowers and goodnight kisses. The ones who lay under their comforters with headphones on playing Teardrops on My Guitar and sobbing into their pillows. I’m writing this for you, because, once upon a time, I was you. I was there. I know that pain.
Yes, I’m 30, married and mother of four, now, but back before my husband there were dark times, indeed. There were times I didn’t know how I would make it through the day. I want to write about those times for you, my sisters.
I have started writing the story of the boy who broke my soul so many times. I’m embarrassed that it still affects me this way. The pain was buried for a long time and bubbled to the surface in the form of morbid obesity, binge drinking and deep, deep depression. I want to write the story of what he did. I want to buy a billboard, put his picture on it and pay people to shit in his mailbox. But, you know what? It’s not worth it. I don’t need to tell the story about how much I loved him and how little he loved me. I don’t because it’s not his actions that matter, it’s the way he made me feel.
It’s not worth it because, the pain was worth it. It was worth it because when I met my husband I really, really appreciated him. Actually, I was a psychopath for the most part when I met my husband because I was certain I would come home and he would be gone with the wayward wind. I was needy, extremely uncertain of myself and terrified.
He loved me anyway.
He loved me when I logged into my friend’s Facebook, messaged him and asked him if he was going to propose. He even still proposed.
He loved me when I told him about my ex and the hideous ways he treated me. He treated me better.
He loved me when I told him I was going to marry him the first day we met. He said it back.
He loved me because I was certifiably insane, not despite it. He was also a little loony himself.
He never batted an eye. You see, he went through his monster of a relationship and was equally broken and discarded. Our two broken, blackened little Grinch hearts blossomed into each other. We needed each other. Even more, we needed those horrifying relationships to really find each other. We were lost in a black sea of sadness and saw light in each other.
If I wouldn’t have been through what I had, I would have thought my husband suffocating. I would have thought, this guy is just too into me. What’s wrong with him anyway? It’s just not attractive to have someone who is always saying he loves me. I mean, where’s the adventure? Where’s the hard to get? This guy is lame. Does he even own a leather jacket? He hasn’t stood me up even once!
I didn’t think those things. I had already been with men (yes, there was more) who weren’t into me. Even though I tried my damnest to scare him away, he stayed. He proved he was here for the long haul. Four kids and what feels like a million years (in a good way) later, he is still here and never once made me feel like he would leave.
That’s what I want you ladies to hear. I wish I would have heard it all those drives home from college when I played the songs my ex used to sing me and sob until I gagged. I wish I would have known before I felt hopeless and unlovable. I wish I would have known it’s all worth it. It’s all shaping us to be who we are supposed to be. It’s turning us into the perfect mate for our future Valentine.
Hang in there, my loves.
One day the fog will lift. The sadness will fade. You won’t die alone and get eaten by your cats no matter how many times you tell yourself that. You’ll find the light in your storm. In the meantime, breathe in the pain and remember what it’s like to be unloved for one day you’ll appreciate it. Write down the pain. Cry those tears. Scream into the ethers. Call your best friend and promise you’ll marry her before you ever so much as speak to a man again. Remember it. Your future husband will appreciate it.
Click on the picture to download
a free printable Valentine’s day card