Single Motherhood and the Reality of Relationship Jealousy
It may surprise some of you to know that I embrace single motherhood with everything I have. I absolutely love it. To me, anyway, it is so much easier than being married was. Not because I did not value the parenting help and opinion of another adult in the house but because, as many of you know, my marriage was not easy. It was a job in itself. Now single coming up on 4 years, I still can not imagine myself in a relationship. That being said, I am started to experience the reality of relationship jealousy.
Relationship jealousy is not, ‘the grass is greener.’ or ‘I wish I had that‘, but more of a deep aching for someone to find me valuable enough to care. I stifled it for years, only allowing people in my life that I knew were never a threat to my single hood status. But, lately, usually when I least expect it, I see TV characters hug each other tightly or share what is meant to be a deep, meaningful kiss and it hits me in the gut.
I see posts online where boyfriends and husbands do something kind and unexpected for their significant other and I wonder why I have never had that. I watch couples tag each other thanking them for help or support and I grimace at the reality that that seems to have passed my by.
I don’t feel ‘sorry’ for myself, please don’t read that into this, but I do wonder if some people are just so damaged that they inadvertently push the possibility away. I am overwhelmingly happy with my life and am not even sure I want or could handle someone else in it full time. So it is odd, at least to me, that I have relationship jealousy at all.
I don’t necessarily admire the couples that have just met or just walked down the aisle. We all know that there is a honeymoon period which I have experienced. I respect and admire those couples who have made it years and years and have weathered the bumps together. Who never strayed nor put their partner in a place of mistrust. The ones who raise the kids and have the healthy fights and celebrate anniversaries as if the marriage just happened yesterday.
The ones that still look in each other’s eyes when they talk even after 20 years, that you can hear giggling over a private joke even after their child has thrown a tantrum in a store. The ones that understand that the partnership is far more valuable than their individual musings.
That I have never had. In fact, if I were to be completely honest, I have never even been close. I am one of those women who does not have the ability to choose the right man for me. My dating and marriage history is mired with infidelity, emotional trauma and scars that still hurt long after they should have healed.
I don’t think I am the only one who has relationship jealousy. I think most of us, married or not, have some. But since the thought of doing anything about it exhausts me and makes me feel great stress, I would say I am not ready to even look.
So I will watch from afar. I’ll be the one who accepts the reality of relationship jealousy, continuing to throw myself into my girls and my dogs, living life truly happy but with one piece of the puzzle eternally missing.
And I am OK with that. Because that is what gives me the most peace.