I don’t believe in love. There… I said it. I don’t believe in the fairy tale ‘girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy asked her to marry him, they live happily ever after’ life that has been embedded into girl’s heads for generations. I might have at one time. A long time ago, possibly. Long before the drama of real relationships shattered that image. Before my ex-husband stood in front of our new neighbors, virtual strangers, at my daughter’s 5th birthday party that I worked tirelessly to create, and shared that he was in love with another woman and always had been. Marrying me had been a convenience. A way to have the image of a family life he thought he had to have. A way to be taken care of so he did not have to make any hard decisions on his own. Long before the photos of other women showed up on his phone. Long before he ripped the images of a happy, healthy family out of my head and tore it to pieces.
I kicked him out almost two years ago and just CELEBRATED the one year anniversary of the divorce being final and still have zero desire to let any man into my life at all. I have been on dates… dates with very successful, intelligent handsome men that at one time I would have swooned over for attention. But I find myself sitting across the table picking apart the conversation. Trying to find the cracks where the lies come in. Trying to decide if he is worth the effort or if he is just in it for a brief, unsustainable, good time. They all have ended with my relief to go home alone, curl up in my home, safe from the damaging effects of words that I know so well.
In fact, I accept less dates now and find myself canceling them when I do make them. I stop replying to emails and texts and just have no desire to let any drama into my home. My kids are off limits completely to any man, no matter what, as they are still healing from the immediate introduction of another woman just weeks after I made the ex leave. I have a determined stance not to put them through that on my end. To provide a stable home where the lifestyle is constant. I’ll let the ex be the one bringing woman after woman into their lives as he continues his trek through women he can take advantage of.
Maybe I am bitter. Maybe I am unfairly accusatory and taking it out on other men I meet. Maybe I am too hardened to the false image perpetuated in the movies and on TV. Maybe… but I doubt it. I think I am just a realist and after 41 years have figured out that I am one of those people that just does better on her own.
Except that I am not.
I could not live, breath, function, love without my children.
LOVE.. .true, abandoned, pure, innocent love comes from my children. My three rays of sunshine on a cloudy day. My three joys I get up for. My three excuses to lay around and cuddle despite a sink full of dishes. My three reasons that I am motivated to be a better woman, mother and person. My lessons in life that love is real. True, fairly tale, unrequited love.
Children hold me in their little arms tighter than any man. They kiss me with an outpouring of love and affection like no one ever has. They snuggle with me, holding tightly to my hand, only wanting to get closer in a large bed. They look me in the eyes, want to share my day. Tell me truths without a single thought of a lie (yet… the teen years are coming fast!) They need me, want me and cherish me as much as I cherish them.
The love between a mother and a child is the true love that we all seek in our lives. The trump to heartache. The remedy to disappointment. The proof that magical things do exist on this Earth at any time… any where. It is the purest of love. The most enthusiastic of emotions. The life affirming depth of the soul love that romance novels try to recreate.
These children, my children, that came from me, rely on me, live with me, care for me, are me… are the reason that I do believe in love. They erase the bitterness, lift my heart, create my smiles.
They are my true loves.
So, no… I don’t believe in love. Not the manufactured, you must be in a relationship, must do the hard work to maintain it, love that is peddled in books, TV and perpetuated by those who have to believe it is real to get by.
But I do believe in love. In it’s purest, untouched, refreshing reality.