Two Years Post-Divorce: Am I Forsaking Love to “Prove” Something?
From the archives of I am Divorced Not Dead.com : originally posted in 2009
“You’ve proven that you don’t need a man, Dee,” said my best friend Hali as she put down her wine glass on the restaurant table. “What I want to know is when are you going to stop proving it?”
I looked at her confused. “What do you mean?”
“You’ve done it, Dee. You’ve shown everyone that you can live just fine without a man. You’ve taken lovers on your terms, you’ve made hard choices, well-made mistakes and you’re all the stronger for them. You’ve even rebounded from your job of eight years as a stay-at-home mom to start a great new career as an author. And all of that is fantastic, and I applaud you louder than anyone else for how far you’ve come. BUT – “
She leaned in and said firmly, “Everyone needs to love and be loved. It’s part of being human. We all want to share our lives, have someone hold us, dream with us. We all need to be touched, to make love, to feel that connection with someone. And as much as you try and deny it, you, my friend, are NO different.”
Her comments threw me. Why should I stop now? I thought almost defensively. I still didn’t feel that I’d travelled far ‘enough’; I wasn’t ready to start thinking about loving another man.
“My life is still precarious, Hali,” I replied. “My writing career isn’t established enough and I never want to have to rely financially on a man again. I know that’s hard for you to understand, but you already had a good career before you had kids. I didn’t. I feel so vulnerable without one. This is about proving something to ME.”
I continued: “And as for needing someone to hold me and cuddle with me – I get that from my kids. I start my days with three little bodies climbing and snuggling into bed with me. And that’s enough. I don’t have to worry if some man beside me is pissed cause now he can’t have sex with me, I’m just free to savor those precious moments. They’re getting older and won’t be jumping in with me forever you know.”
Hali half-smiled and nodded her head – but she wasn’t fully buying it. “I just want you to check in with yourself periodically, Delaine, to make sure that this is TRULY the course you want to stay on. Cause life ALWAYS feels precarious and unknown in some ways. And at the core, fear of loving might be what’s really holding you back, even if you don’t know it.
“I also think being alone can become a habit,” she said. “A person can get used to having the bed to herself, filling up the entire closet with her clothes, and cooking meals for one.Humans are VERY habitual. And I worry that the longer you stay single, the harder being in a new relationship will become for you.”
Over the next couple of days, Hali’s comments kept returning to me. I knew they’d been said love and good intentions. Overall, however, I felt she was ‘off’ – I still hadn’t accomplished or moved ahead ‘enough’ to make loving a man a priority. A great deal of work still lay ahead of me and now was not the time to go all soft.
Nonetheless, her words have still not let me be – they follow me, on my back; like a warrior who doesn’t realize it, but there’s a crack in her armor.
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