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Hey, Jealousy

Told Abby on twitter that her post got me thinking in an unexpected way. I don’t have shame about being a single mom. In fact, I think those who discriminate or even pity us need to grow up and grow their minds. Some who know me who might discriminate probably give me a pass because I adopted. (They can still imagine that I did not have *cough* pre-marital sex). I get Abby’s desire for a partner, but I have S-man, and he is pretty amazing.

Maybe it wasn’t Abby’s post that spurred my heartache. Maybe it was Facebook. Right after reading Abby’s post, I had a bit of a perfect storm – PMS, some (clearly minor since I cannot recall) personal stress, and finding out S-man was going to be around even less frequently. The pièce de résistance was the start of wedding season on Facebook. I am truly very happy with S-man so rarely do I feel left out, and I can genuinely experience joy for friends embarking on the grand adventure of marriage. The wedding I attended that weekend was one of those scenarios. The wedding I saw on Facebook of one of the less than a handful of men I’ve dated as an adult with who I actually saw a potential relationship was not that scenario. I crushed hard on this guy who should not have been my type, and he seemed like real marriage material (clearly, I was right). There were never any hard feelings between us, so I suppose the crush never evaporated.

Today when I saw a marriage announcement of a friend who truly deserves every wonderful thing she has, who missed out on romance until much later in life, I hated that I was jealous. Jealous? Me? Of marriage? I think marriage is awesome, but I didn’t think it was something I wanted, at least not intensely enough to be jealous.

I am not opposed to marriage. There are certainly things about it that I desire. I don’t think my commitment issues started when the engagement of my youth ended disastrously. I think that came after the two major involvements I had afterwards. The point is I do have commitment issues, but not anything like S-man does. The therapist has helped me figure out the origins of his issues surrounding relationships, and I simply take him at face value. I don’t think any issues I have would hold me back from marrying him, but I’m not sure if it would be a good idea for him even if he thought he was over those things

But he’s pretty amazing. He is certainly not perfect. I don’t think he’ll ever learn to shut the cabinet doors. He couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag. He will be distant when he is stressed. But he is so good for me. He calms me. He balances me. He loves me. And I love him. I know where I stand, so I don’t need the title of marriage. I actually think I’d prefer a courthouse (well, the pastor’s office), so it isn’t the wedding planning either. So what do I do when I feel jealous? It isn’t that I question if I’m good enough. I don’t wonder where my life is going. I am ok if I am perpetually single with or without S-man (although I am sure I would have bad days without him or anyone else). Yet I am jealous, jealous of the grand statement of being chosen I believe. It isn’t the commitment because I know things can change….

Writing it isn’t helping me figure it out. Talk to me; what could be behind my jealousy when I feel like I have everything I need (and more) already? And what do I do with this stupid feeling?

*Posting now for Abby. I will add a picture soon.

**Also, today S-man has been amazingly supportive. Seriously, amazing. So please no hate on my boy just because his life experiences have made him hesitant to “commit”.

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That Is Love

Today I (the proverbial back of a camel) was broken by a straw. The straw was a mess from the dog. I told him he wasn’t coming in for a long time (He’s sleeping at my feet now), and I went to bed to cry. After a week of dealing with people’s complaints at work and renovations to the house with workmen tracking in mud, cutting my electricity, and turning off my plumbing for hours, I had already noticed that I was sensitive to any disappointment or frustration. The added mess from the (goofy, innocent) dog just overwhelmed me.

I’m not very good at feeling sorry for myself. Pouting rarely gets me anywhere, so while there were still some tears, I was out of bed after about two minutes. I changed into yoga pants, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and started cursing between my tears, attempting to do something about the mess that was overwhelming me. So what does pouting, a dirty house, and tears have to do with love?

I have my own personal ‘Stedman’ who has been a part of my life in one form or another for years – even before kids. This afternoon, it was just S-man and me at home when I had my melt down. He didn’t get mad at me for throwing a fit. He didn’t go to the gym to escape my crazed cleaning. He didn’t zone out on his iPad. Before I even left the bedroom, S-man fed the dog and put him outside, moving all the doggie stuff out of my way. Without a word to encourage my tantrum, he started sweeping the living room. As I scrubbed the kitchen top to bottom as only an angry woman can, he brought me the steam cleaner for the floor. I had moved on to scouring the bathroom before he uttered his first word, asking only if it was ok for him to vacuum downstairs. That’s a wise man. That is love.

S-man doesn’t talk about love much. He doesn’t clean at my house much either. He abhors tantrums. Acts of service is his love language – that and gifts. I don’t get emotional often and he wouldn’t know how to deal with it anyway, but he did recognize at least my situational stressor and care enough to help me get it under control. Sometimes it’s the fact that someone cares that makes the impact even more than their efforts to help fix the problem. Because he cared I was able to pull it together without putting everything away because we are still renovating and down a room (oh the clutter!) and before anyone else could see that crazed mascara-smeared look in my eye. Only the ones that really love us get to see the mascara smeared by tears angry face, right?

For the record, I did have to clean up the bathroom again after he left, but I’ll forgive him – this time. 

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