The I’m Getting Older So I Do
“I knew I should have never married him. The signs were there, but I chose to ignore them because I was getting older and I wanted to be married.”
Coming from a family where couples fought for the longevity of their marriages, Jackie Smith and her future ex-husband were reared in very different homes.
“He didn’t grow up in a two parent environment and couldn’t tell you what goes on in a marriage because he didn’t come from a family where he had examples of how marriages operated.” Smith notes her former husband as one of the most romantic men she had ever met, but his emotional abuse and acts of adultery quickly turned the romance into a hellish nightmare.
Despite the heartache and emotional stress, “I never thought about leaving him and divorce was not an option for me,” Smith shares. Smith’s husband’s unfaithfulness became so reckless that women were allowed in their home, drove her car and one was even a family friend. The extra marital relationships left her with more than she bargained for.
“He gave me two sexually transmitted diseases…at that point you’re playing with my life. I could deal with all his flaws, but cheating was a no!”
Smith’s invested energy, time, and tears led her to a pool of denial the day her husband decided to call it quits.
“I thought things were getting better and all of a sudden one morning he said ‘I’m tired of trying to be a good man, I’m throwing in the towel’.” Unaware of her husband’s seriousness, Smith returned home to find her husband packing his things and putting into action the statement he made to her earlier that morning.
Shortly after the separation, Smith’s husband took the initiative to bring divorce papers to her job. Reluctantly signing them, Smith began to question herself, “why stay with a man who doesn’t want to be with you,” she asked herself.
The stress of the divorce was overwhelming. So much so that Smith even considered taking her life. Before she really lost it, Smith decided she needed a fresh start. With just five outfits and the support and love of her family and friends, Smith moved, but she admits that she still hoped that her marriage would work itself out.
That was until reality finally kicked in once again. “He called and said the divorce was final and that’s when it hit me.”
Many years, tears, and prayers later, Smith openly admits that her former marriage has raised her guard and she questions whether “men can act right.” Smith is currently dating, but places more emphasis on her career. “I’m about living life and doing what makes me happy…. I can no longer put my life on hold for another man.”
I’m So Tired of Being Alone…So I Do
“I was tired of being alone, so I dealt with her insecurity,” says David Free.
Although she was controlling, jealous, and lacked self-confidence, Free admits that he stayed with his girlfriend because his loneliness got the best of him. There were many fights about his whereabouts and friendships, Free realized that not even his relationship with his family members were acceptable to her.
“She questioned my cousin about who she was and her relation to me and that’s when the red flags went up.”
According to Free, his girlfriend’s self-esteem, or lack there of, tainted her self-image and she questioned him daily to give herself validation. Her lack of confidence in herself pulled so much on their relationship until Free unexpectedly reached a moment of clarity.
“I was reading something that said you had to like yourself and you can’t give yourself to someone completely if you don’t think you are enough?”
After this epiphany, Free made the agonizing decision to break up with his girlfriend of one year. He now engages in relationships that are uplifting with women whose self-esteem is not sold separately.
Andre 3000 had a point when he said forever never seems that long until you’re grown. Being dedicated enough to stay in a commitment not only speaks volumes about your devotion to a person, but it is an illustration of who and what you value the most. Sure, relationships and marriages thrive off of love and obligation, but they cannot co-exist without the other. So before impulse pressures you to pop the question, ask yourself, “Do I?”
Article written by Monica Atkins